Saturday, March 13, 2010


Mingo County Man Indicted

Thursday, the Mingo County Grand Jury indicted 30 year old James Ramey of Dingess. Ramey was arrested August 21, 2009 when police executed a search warrant at his residence where they discovered marijuana, drug paraphernalia and loaded guns near his children’s beds. After searching the residence, officers moved to a residence in Breeden where they found a lab where authorities say Ramey made and transported for the purpose of preparing meth. The site is located near Dingess Elementary. Officers say Ramey, who migrated from Tomahawk Ky. (Martin County), had only resided in the Dingess area for approximately five months, but had already begun teaching other drug traffickers how to make and sell methamphetamine. Ramey was indicted on delivery of marijuana, possession with intent to deliver marijuana and operating a clandestine lab.


Cabell County Officials Discuss Fiscal Budget

The Cabell County Commission met Friday with elected officials to discuss their fiscal year 2010-2011 budgets. County Clerk Karen Cole, Assessor Ottie Adkins and Circuit Clerk Adell Chandler presented their budgets and requested $2,000 pay raises for each of their 58 full-time employees, while Sheriff Tom McComas and Prosecuting Attorney Chris Chiles will present their budgets on Thursday, March 18th. County manager Stephen Zoeller says he projects the commission will have an unencumbered balance of $1.626 million with more than $659,000 suggested to be budgeted for capital improvements. The total amount requested by all five elected officials is $1.029 million for the next fiscal year. Zoeller says it's not possible to fund all the necessary capital improvements and the requests by elected officials. He says pay raises are sometimes difficult to come by in a tight budget, and, while pay raises are always something everyone wants, it's not always something everyone gets.


West Virginia Murder Suspect Arrested

Morgantown Police say 22 year old Joshua Hausrath of Morgantown was taken into custody Friday in Cumberland, Maryland and is awaiting an extradition hearing. Investigators say, early last Sunday, Hausrath attempted to rob 25 year old Domenic Wolfe, but, when the victim resisted, Hausrath fatally stabbed him. Hausrath is charged with murder.


Governor Manchin Declares State Of Emergency

With some areas approaching flood stage and the National Weather Service issuing flood warnings for theTygart, Greenbrier and Cheat rivers Friday afternoon, Governor Joe Manchin declared a state of emergency for 34 counties. The declaration covers most of the state except for parts of the southern coalfields and the eastern Kanawha River Valley. It activates West Virginia's Emergency Operation Center and remains in effect until April 11th.


Flooding Claims A Life

Saturday morning, State Emergency Services officials confirmed one flood related death in Raleigh County and swift water rescues in Raleigh, Fayette and Mercer counties. Authorities say a woman's body was recovered around 6:00 A.M. after she was trapped in her car and swept away by swift-moving flood waters in the Bradley area. A Kanawha County firefighter was lost and presumed dead in Raleigh County overnight, after the boat he was in capsized during a rescue mission in the Beaver area. According to state emergency officials, Raleigh, Mercer, Fayette and Greenbrier counties were hit the hardest by Saturday morning.


Murder Charges Filed

Friday, Charleston Police filed first-degree murder charges against Marcus Wesley and an unidentified 19 year old male suspect in connection with the Aug. 19, 2007 shooting death of 17 year old Leland Chance Miller. Police say Miller was shot at close range in the chest, stomach and arm while on the front steps of an apartment building at 1423 Lewis St. At the time, the then-17 year old boy was arrested and charged with the killing but was later released when witnesses refused to cooperate.


Morehead State University Selects Regents Chairman

Cincinnati attorney John C. Merchant was elected Thursday as the first African-American chairman of the Morehead State University Board of Regents. Merchant has been vice chairman for the past year and was reappointed last year to his second six-year term on the board. He succeeds Sylvia Lovely of Lexington as chairman. A native of Lexington, Merchant is a partner in the Cincinnati law firm of Peck, Shaffer and Williams. He is a graduate of Morehead State and the University of Kentucky College of Law.


Drunk Driving Bill Lags

The idea of requiring convicted drunk drivers to have ignition interlock devices on their cars has stalled in the Kentucky Senate. It has MADD, the bill's sponsor and relatives of victims frustrated by the roadblock. May Jane Oswald of Louisville lost her 33-year-old son, Trey, six years ago when he was killed by a drunk driver. She says if the safety device law had been on the books back then the drunk driver who killed her son would not have been behind the wheel. The device requires drivers to blow into the machine, to prove they are not drunk, before they can start their car. The bill passed the House 95-0 but has been stuck in the Senate Judiciary Committee since February 22nd.


Solicitation Shield Law Introduced

Senator Ray S. Jones II, D-Pikeville, filed legislation Tuesday that he says will help to shield victims of accidents and disasters from predators. Senate Bill 183 seeks to protect these victims from unwanted predatory solicitations in the 30 days following the tragedy. Jones filed the bill before taking a medical leave from the Senate for a scheudled surgical procedure. The bill prohibits solicitations from any person who performs professional or occupational services pursuant to a license, permit, or other authority issued or granted by the Commonwealth, including lawyer and health care providers. The bill does not prohibit advertising directed at the public, a solicitation made by virtue of a prior business relationship, or a referral made by a friend or relative. Violation of the bill’s provisions is a Class A misdemeanor, and may also subject the violator to professional discipline within their profession or occupation.


Sandy Valley Transportation Expands Service

Sandy Valley Transportation has expanded its bus service to better serve the people of eastern Kentucky. “We have coordinated an effort to create something out of a need,” Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford said. “We saved a local service that now provides the only other service a larger bus service would have provided.” Rutherford met with a large bus company in an attempt to lure its services to Pike County, but with the expansion of Sandy Valley’s service Rutherford called off negotiations with Miller Trailways. Sandy Valley Transportation offers trips to cities such as Lexington and Ashland at a cost of 50 cents per mile. Trips fewer than 10 miles are a $5 flat rate one-way or round-trip. SVTS also offers frequent rider rates.


Man Sentenced In Grandfather's Death

A central Kentucky man who pleaded guilty but mentally ill in the death of his grandfather after they argued over trash bins has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Fayette County Circuit Judge James Ishmael said at the sentencing Friday he would strongly request that 27-year-old Franklin Taylor Arnett be given the treatment and medication he needs for paranoid schizophrenia. Arnett was indicted for murder in the January 2009 death of 78-year-old Taylor Arnett. He pleaded to an amended charge of second-degree, or involuntary, manslaughter. Public defender Tom Griffiths later said Kentucky has a severe shortage of facilities to treat someone like Arnett


Mother Plea Bargains In Son's Death

A Lexington woman has changed her plea in the beating death of her infant son.
Courtney Bishop entered a plea agreement Thursday, pleading guilty to reckless homicide. She had been charged with murder and criminal abuse and the case was to have gone to trial on Monday. Prosecutors will ask for a five-year prison sentence when Bishop is sentenced next month.


Animals Found In Deplorable Conditions

A police spokesman says abandoned dogs, cats, roosters, chickens and ducks have been removed from a filthy eastern Kentucky home. Williamsburg police say the animals were found in the backyard of a house where officials had received complaints.
Law enforcement and animal control officials visited the house recently, they found deplorable conditions and animals that appeared to not have been fed in a while.
They say at least one dog was found in a cage filled with feces, a bowl of black, stagnant water and a chicken carcass. He says several cats were found inside a small house filled with rotted food, cat urine and feces. An investigation is ongoing.

Friday, March 12, 2010


W. Va. Considers Early Prison Release

In an effort to ease overcrowding in the state's prisons, Governor Joe Manchin requested Senate Bill 218 which would make some nonviolent inmates in West Virginia eligible for early parole. Thursday the House of Delegates passed the measure by a vote of 84-14. The bill, which passed the Senate last month, could affect up to 700 current inmates, but those whose crimes involve children or violence wouldn't qualify. Inmates seeking early parole would undergo screening to determine their risk to the community, and only offenders who haven't broken prison rules for at least 120 days would be eligible. Members of the House Judiciary Committee added a provision to ensure that inmates serving consecutive sentences for drug felonies are ineligible for accelerated parole.


Coal...West Virginia's Main Export

According to the state Development Office, West Virginia led the nation in coal related exports last year, exporting $4.8 billion worth of products and commodities... with exported coal valued at $2.1 billion. Although the state's 2009 exports were down 14.5% from the $5.6 billion record set in 2008, West Virginia fared better than the nation while United States exports overall declined 17.9%. West Virginia exported to 136 countries last year, making coal, by far, the state's leading export.


W. Va. Set For School Grant

West Virginia is set to receive almost $22 million in federal School Improvement Grant money, making it the first state to be approved for the grant. However, the federal money comes with conditions. Schools that take as much as $500,000 must agree to take big steps to help improve a school's performance. In a "turnaround," schools would be required to replace the principal, rehire less than half of the current teachers, put in place a new structure at the school and upgrade the school curriculum while a "transformation" would be similar with the exception that at least half of the current teachers would not need to be fired. Schools could be changed to independent charter schools, if they are created in West Virginia, or the schools could be completely closed with students being sent to better schools.


Coal Severance Considered

The West Virginia state Senate is considering legislation that would allow coal producing counties in West Virginia to keep a bigger chunk of the severance tax money. Currently, 93% of the severance taxes collected are pumped into the state's general fund, while the remaining 7% goes to the counties where the coal was mined. Every year, the coal severance tax provides up to $400 million for the state budget.
If approved, the state's amount would be reduced to 88%, and the additional 5% that counties receive would be administered through county commissions for use on economic development and infrastructure projects.


Fugitive Arrested

An Alabama fugitive, a 17 year old alleged murderer, will appear for an extradition hearing Monday after being arrested in Huntington Friday morning. West Virginia State police say they received several tips which led them to a housing complex on the east end of Huntington where they discovered the male teen wanted on a first degree murder charge.


Licensed Pot Grower Busted In Kentucky

If you have a license to grow marijuana in California, you'd better not use it in Kentucky. Magoffin County Sheriff's deputies say a strong odor of pot outside a trailer led them to bust a very hi-tech indoor pot growing operation Tuesday night in Salyersville. Terry Burchett and Jonathan Deaton were arrested and charged with cultivating marijuana. Authorities say the two men accused of growing the 54 plants used cameras, computers, lighting equipment, and a sprinkler system set to a timer while using video cameras connected to the Internet to watch their operation from a location in Johnson County. Burchett had a license to grow marijuana in California, but in Kentucky, he could face at least ten years in prison. The estimated worth of the plants confiscated totaled $216,000.


Red Cross Drops Central KY County

The chapter of the American Red Cross that serves central Kentucky says it will no longer provide fire victim services in Lincoln County. A representative for the Daniel Boone Chapter of the Red Cross in Richmond, told the Lincoln County Fiscal Court earlier this week that the county costs too much and contributes too little.
The Advocate-Messenger of Danville reports that county magistrates, both Lincoln County and the city of Stanford, had not contributed to Daniel Boone chapter in several years. The Red Cross has spent about $23,000 responding to 33 fires in the county in the last year. The Red Cross would still provide relief assistance in the event of an emergency such as a tornado. Garrard County also recently lost services from the Red Cross.


Lawmakers Consider Stray Horses

Lawmakers in a state that bills itself as the horse capital of the world are considering legislation aimed at helping property owners deal with strays. One measure, the Kentucky Senate voted 36-0 to pass, establishes a protocol for landowners to follow to adopt or sell abandoned horses. Republican state Rep. Dwight Butler said he sponsored the legislation because of a growing number of horses being abandoned by people who can’t afford to feed them. A separate bill being considered would develop regional centers to care for abused, neglected and unwanted horses. The House passed that bill 98-0 last month.


Public Opinion Sought On Standards

A month after Kentucky education officials approved the adoption of new national learning standards for the state's elementary and secondary students, the state education department is asking for feedback. Educators and the public can go online to see a draft of what is called the Common Core State Standards in English, language arts and mathematics. After viewing them, the public is asked to take a survey. Kentucky will collect the responses and send them to the Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices for their consideration as they finalize the standards. The deadline is March 29.


Kentucky Board Of Education Opposes Fewer School Days

Although the state budget bill approved by the House this week would cut the school year from 177 days to 175 days and save $68 million over the next two years, while helping balance the state budget, the Kentucky Board of Education has warned lawmakers it could jeopardize Kentucky's chances for a $200 million federal Race To The Top grant. Education officials say reducing instructional days would "send the wrong message," and could be a black mark when Kentucky presents its case for Race To The Top money before federal reviewers in Washington this coming Wednesday. Kentucky, one of 16 finalists for the federal grants, is seeking $200 million from the $4 billion program and is the only finalist considering reducing instructional days. Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, says, as far as he knows, no one from the board came to the House to offer solutions while it was considering its budget.


Equine Adoption Fair Date Set

Abused and neglected horses saved by rescue organizations around the state will be offered for adoption next month at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. The John Henry Memorial Equine Adoption Fair will be held April 17 at the park. Horse Park Executive Director John Nicholson said in a news release Thursday that the park is holding the fair because it is important to make a statement about the priority Kentucky gives to equine welfare. Also appearing at the fair will be Molly, a pony known as one of the country's few successful equine amputees. Molly was rescued during Hurricane Katrina and adopted by an equine shelter in Louisiana.

Adoption fair for homeless horses scheduled
March 12, 2010 4:03 AM


Abused and neglected horses saved by rescue organizations around the state will be offered for adoption next month at Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

The John Henry Memorial Equine Adoption Fair will be held April 17 at the park.

Horse Park Executive Director John Nicholson said in a news release Thursday that the park is holding the fair because it is important to make a statement about the priority Kentucky gives to equine welfare.

Hours are 11:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT.

Also appearing at the fair will be Molly, a pony known as one of the country's few successful equine amputees. Molly was rescued during Hurricane Katrina and adopted by an equine shelter in Louisiana.


2 Die In Auto Crash

Kentucky State Police say those killed in the crash Thursday night were 33-year-old Ronnie G. Hacker of McKee and 31-year-old Elizabeth M. Denman of Big Creek. Police say Hacker's pickup truck crossed the center line of Ky. 11 in Clay County and struck Denman's sedan head-on. The investigating officer said both drivers and a passenger in Denman's vehicle were ejected because none were wearing seat belts.
The passenger, 30-year-old Bill R. Henson of Manchester, was airlifted to University of Kentucky Hospital. Alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor in the crash.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Former Clay Co. Judge Takes The Stand

Former Clay County Circuit Judge 66 year old R. Cletus Maricle took the witness stand in his own defense Thursday, while admitting he bought votes in Clay County more than 20 years ago, but, while disputing details of earlier testimony, flatly denied taking part in more recent vote-fraud conspiracies. Maricle, who was circuit judge for Clay, Jackson and Leslie counties from September 1990 to June 2007, said he bought votes in a 1983 election for circuit judge while he was a lawyer in Manchester. He testified former GOP election commissioner Kenneth Day was right about him buying votes in 1983 but denied he double-crossed a candidate in 1985, or helping fix a jury verdict in a 1990 civil lawsuit and also said he did not promise to get Wanda White a job in return for helping rig an election in 2006. Maricle denied being involved in buying votes in elections in 2002, 2004 and 2006... the years he allegedly headed the scheme to corrupt elections.


IRS Workers Indicted

Thirty-seven year old Joseph Ligon and 31 year old Lashon Weaver both of Cincinnati, two employees at the IRS Service Center in Covington have been indicted for theft of government money. Investigators say, from July to November 2009, Weaver stole $7,784.62 in money orders, while Ligon stole $3,737.93 in money orders from July to October of the same year, and the two stole a $500 money order. If convicted, each faces up to 10 years in prison.


Expanded Gambling Passes Senate Committee

Thursday, a Senate committee approved a proposal to expand gambling at racetracks by allowing all eight existing racetracks to add electronic gambling commonly known as “Instant Racing,” which pools bets on random previously run races. Senator Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, who filed the legislation, said, while it won’t generate any new revenue for the state’s General Fund, it could put millions into Kentucky horse racing purses, providing hope for the horse industry. Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, says the proposal could come up for a vote in the Senate as early as Tuesday.


No Campaign Signs On Roadways

The Kentucky Department of Highways says highway crews have been told to remove campaign signs placed on a state highway right of way. Acting State Highway Engineer Steve Waddle says the signs are hazards for drivers becuase they block the area reserved for motorists who run off the road and are a danger to maintence crews who handle roadside mowing. Signs will be taken to the state highway garage in each corresponding county and kept for two weeks to allow owners time to claim them. Unclaimed signs will be discarded.


Foster Care Volunteers Needed

Citizen Foster Care Review Boards in 19 Kentucky counties are in great need of volunteers to make a difference in the lives of local children in foster care. Volunteers are needed to review cases of children placed in foster care because of abuse, dependency and neglect to ensure these children are placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible. Individuals are not required to reside in the county where a board meets in order to be a volunteer. Citizen Foster Care Review Boards are seeking volunteers in Martin and Pike Counties among others. Volunteers review Cabinet for Health and Family Services files on children placed in out-of-home care and work with the cabinet and the courts on behalf of the state’s foster children. All volunteers must complete a six-hour initial training session and consent to a criminal record and central registry check. A recommendation is then made to the chief judge of the District Court or Family Court for appointment.


Kentucky Supreme Court Lets Verdict Stand

The Kentucky Supreme Court has declined to review a teacher sex-abuse case, letting stand a $3.7 million judgment against the Fayette County public schools. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported Wednesday that the plaintiff in the case, Carol Lynne Maner, said she had been crying tears of relief since hearing the news. Maner sued the Fayette County school district in 2003, saying she was sexually abused by teachers and other staff in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 2007, she was awarded a $3.7 million jury verdict that the school system appealed twice.


Possible Release Of 2,000 Inmates

A House committee has approved a money saving move that would release thousands of state inmates here in Kentucky. Lawmakers say letting as many as 2,000 inmates out of jail early would save $30 million. They're trying to overcome a $1 billion budget shortfall. Part of the plan calls for some non-violent, non-sexual offenders to be considered for early release. Department of Corrections officials say they're still looking over the proposal and are not ready to comment. House Speaker Greg Stumbo's office says many inmates eligible for release under the proposed plan are already up for parole, and the budget bill would just speed up the process.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Mother Pleads Not Guilty

Twenty year-old Ashley Cox of Corbin pleaded not guilty to murder and concealing the birth of an infant during her arraignment Wednesday in Oldham County. Kentucky State Police say, Sunday, while visiting an inmate at the Roederer Correctional Complex in LaGrange, she gave birth in a prison restroom, stuffed toilet paper in the baby's mouth and placed it in a trash can. A preliminary hearing was set for March 17th.


Senate Candidate Withdraws

Republican candidate Bill Johnson announced Wednesday that he has decided to withdraw from the Kentucky U.S. Senate campaign to replace Jim Bunning. Johnson cited a poll in which results were not encouraging for a continued run as basis for the decision. Johnson said he would remain neutral in the Republican primary race, and he considered both GOP candidates, Trey Grayson and Rand Paul, to be good men and would offer his full support to the winner. Johnson says he has no regrets.


Senate Passes Prison Abuse Measure

Under a measure, which passed the Senate 37-0 Tuesday, prison guards having sexual contact with inmates would face felony charges of statutory rape or sodomy. The legislation would apply to workers in state prisons, private prisons contracting with the state, county jails and other detention facilities.


Kentucky Lottery Achieves World Recognition

The Kentucky Lottery Corp. has been recognized as the first lottery in the U.S. to receive a Level 2 Certification for responsibility from the World Lottery Association, a trade group representing hundreds of lotteries in 76 countries. The Kentucky Lottery has several social responsibility programs such as the "Play Responsibly" initiative and the addiction awareness program called "Choices."


Federal Agent Testifies In Clay County Trial

Federal agents testifying Tuesday in the vote-buying trial involving Clay County officials told the court that people who took part in the scheme benefited from the fraud a total of more than $4 million in salaries and contract payments since 2002 while gaining control over jobs. Jeff Sagrecy, an investigative agent with the Internal Revenue Service, said, "These salaries were just fruits of the crime." The eight accused have pleaded not guilty and have strongly denied they took part in vote fraud or money laundering


Poll Gives Lead To Mongiardo

Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo took a huge leap ahead, according to an independent poll released Sunday, as he continues his quest to become Kentucky’s next U.S. Senator. The poll shows Mongiardo with an 18 point lead over his biggest rival in the Democratic Primary, Attorney General Jack Conway. According to the poll, 45 percent of likely Democratic voters would vote for Mongiardo, a Perry County native, were the election held today, to 27 percent for Conway, a Jefferson County native. This latest poll echoes an internal poll released by the Mongiardo campaign in February, also showing Mongiardo with an 18 point lead over Conway. On the Republican side of the race, Bowling Green surgeon Rand Paul has also taken a big lead over his chief rival, Secretary of State Trey Grayson, as both continue to laud themselves as the bigger supporter of coal. According to the poll, Dr. Paul opened a 15 point lead over Grayson, with 42 percent of those polled reporting that they will vote for Paul, while 27 percent preferred Grayson.


PTO Official Arrested

A central Kentucky Parent Teacher Organization treasurer is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the group. A Harrison County grand jury indicted 41-year-old Stacey Harney on charges of unlawful taking and criminal possession of a forged instrument. Harney, of Cynthiana, was arrested Tuesday. She's accused of taking more than $10,000 from the Northside Elementary School PTO by writing checks on the organization's account to herself. The investigation began when school officials contacted police after noticing money was missing.


Superintendents Evaluation Process

The Senate has unanimously passed a bill that would allow school boards to meet privately with superintendents to discuss preliminary job evaluations. Republican state Sen. David Givens of Greensburg is championing the measure, which now goes to the House for consideration. The 38-0 Senate vote came on Tuesday. Givens said the legislation provides for an initial closed-door meeting before the final draft of an evaluation is discussed and voted on publicly. The legislation is Senate Bill 178.


State Budget Heads To Senate

Has the Kentucky General Assembly got the answer to the budget crisis? Wednesday evening, the Kentucky House voted 65-33 to approve a proposed $17.5 billion state budget for the next two years that includes cuts to higher education. It seeks more savings by speeding up parole for some nonviolent criminals. The proposal includes about $1.3 billion in general fund bonding for a flurry of construction projects aimed at creating thousands of jobs at a time of high unemployment. Public universities and colleges would receive a 1 percent spending cut in the first year of the next budget cycle and a 1 percent cut in the second year. The proposal calls for reducing two instructional days in public school districts.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Pike County Awaits FEMA Funding

Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford says some Pike Countians will never fully recover from damages left by the floods of May and June 2009, some of the worst natural calamities in the history of Pike County. Damage was so widespread it prompted a presidential disaster declaration. Rutherford says, as we continue to recover, nearly $5.5 million has been paid to Pike County from FEMA, with $4.9 million toward roads and $500,000 to emergency management. The Pike County government submitted nearly $7 million in claims for reimbursement with FEMA, according to Pike County Purchasing Director Frankie Stacy. The $6,855,004.22 is subject to change. Rutherford says, “The money owed to us by FEMA keeps going up. The county is still owed money from floods that happened years ago. It turns out FEMA is an agency that can’t be trusted when it comes to getting what is rightfully ours.”


MSHA Releases Report Involving Pike County Worker

A final report released Tuesday by the Mine Safety and Health Administration says operator error caused a fatal accident last July 28th at Catenary Coal's Samples Mine in eastern Kanawha County. MSHA officials say 28 year old Mark Allen Gray, who was working for Hawkeye Contracting of Robinson Creek (Pike County), failed to maintain control of the dump truck he was operating when he over-traveled the berm and overturned the truck into a pond, resulting in his drowning. An investigation revealed Gray's blood alcohol level was .08 and he had some marijuana in his system when the accident occurred. Hawkeye Contracting was cited for violations of state rules meant to prevent alcohol use on mine property and for not keeping impaired miners from going to work.


Drug Roundup Targets Martin County

Following a 10 month undercover investigation by Operation UNITE, law enforcement officials with the Martin County Sheriff’s Office and an officer from the Inez Police Department assisted Tuesday with a roundup of suspected drug dealers in the Martin County area of Inez. As of Tuesday evening, eight of 10 people sought for trafficking in prescription drugs had been arrested. UNITE officials say, during the investigation, primarily Hydrocodone and Percocet were purchased.


Corbin Woman Charged With Murder

Kentucky State Police arrested 20 year old Ashley Nicole Cox of Corbin Monday and charged her with first-degree murder and concealing the birth of an infant. Authorities say, while visiting an inmate at Roederer Correctional Complex, a state prison in La Grange Sunday morning, she gave birth to a baby girl in a visitors' restroom, forced toilet paper into the baby's mouth and hid it in a trash bin. Preliminary autopsy results show the baby was alive and healthy when she was born.


House Unveils Proposed Budget

The House version of the two-year state budget unveiled Tuesday would impose deep cuts in postsecondary education, while funding for adult education programs in 2010-11 would be cut by 3%. Kentucky’s Medicaid program would be spared cuts in the next fiscal year as long as Congress extends federal stimulus assistance which is scheduled to end December 31st. Without additional federal funding, the $5.4 billion health plan that serves about 790,000 Kentuckians could face a shortfall of as much as $2 billion in the following fiscal year. The current proposal assumes Congress will extend extra funds for Medicaid at least through June 30, 2011, giving Kentucky an extra $226 million for the fiscal year that begins July 1st. The proposal would add about $2 million each year to the state Department for Aging and Independent Living to provide hot home-delivered meals to the elderly and disabled. It also provides about $10 million a year for social workers for safety and training.


Coal Legislation Wins Senate Committee Approval

Kentucky coal company officials are urging lawmakers to pass legislation to increase the fees for mining permit applications. The legislation, which would cost coal companies an additional $800,000 a year, won approval Tuesday from the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee after clearing the House last month. The legislation would be used to help pay operational costs of the Kentucky Division of Mine Permits. Larry Arnett, Kentucky Natural Resources Deputy Commissioner, says the coal industry recognizes the need to increase staffing to speed up the processing of permits.


Elk Permits Reduction Requested

The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission has requested that the Legislature lower elk hunting permits to 800 for next season, down from 1000 permits last year. The number of permits issued for the special youth-only elk hunt in September would remain at five. The commission is also seeking changes in deer hunting zones in 25 counties and beginning the modern gun deer season on November 13th.


Kentucky Campaign Finance Law Seminars

All candidates running for state office have a chance this month to learn everything they may need to know about the state's campaign finance laws. The Kentucky Registry of Election Finance is offering five free Election Finance Training Seminars. The three-hour seminars are especially designed for candidates and their treasurers, but anyone is welcome. All will be held in Frankfort. You can register online or call the Registry. Find more information on the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance website.


Lethal Injection Being Debated

In November, the Kentucky state Supreme Court ruled to throw out the state's execution protocol, saying the written procedures were improperly adopted. Kentucky is now seeking to reenact the protocol. Monday, a legislative committee heard from the Department of Corrections and raised no objection to the three-drug method used to execute condemned prisoners after being told about changes made to the execution protocol, as well as objections from death penalty opponents. The method must still be reviewed by two more legislative committees before going to Governor Steve Beshear, no later than May 7th, for his approval or rejection.

Monday, March 08, 2010


Census Bureau Sends Letters

The U.S. Census Bureau sent out letters Monday to approximately 120 million addresses across the country to inform people they will soon receive a 2010 census form. The letters are going to 90% of the nation's residential addresses, while census workers began last week visiting the other 10% living along the hurricane-affected Gulf Coast and a few areas where it's easier to visit. The bureau says the advance notice increases the rate of return for the census form, and, if you receive a form in the mail and don't fill it out and send it back, expect a visit.


Fraternity Prank At U.K.

Greg Williamson, the University of Kentucky fire marshal, recommended Monday that the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity suspend its University of Kentucky chapter for the remainder of this semester and through the next semester. Saturday, 19 year old Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity member Shaun Dunn of Hebron wrapped another member in toilet paper and set it on fire, causing the victim to roll in the floor after becoming engulfed in flames. Dunn is charged with first degree arson, first-degree wanton endangerment and tampering with physical evidence. Joseph Henry McKinley III is charged with third-degree assault after allegedly striking a UK police officer. Investigators discovered multiple fire violations at the building


Kentucky Jobless Rate At 26-Year High

Kentucky's jobless rate is out for last year, and it doesn't look good. Kentucky's annual unemployment rate for 2009 jumped to a 26-year high of 10.5 percent. That's the highest annual rate since 1983 when it was 11.3 percent. The 2008 rate was 6.6 percent. The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet announced the rate Thursday. Spokeswoman Kim Brannock says Kentucky tied with Florida and Tennessee for the 8th highest unemployment rate for 2009. The U.S. unemployment rate climbed to 9.3 percent in 2009, also making it the highest annual U.S. unemployment rate since 1983, when it was 9.6 percent.


Charleston "Festivall" Preparations Underway

A star-studded list of performers for Charleston's 6-th annual Festivall was unveiled Monday morning. The Pointer Sisters will feature on Thursday, June 24th. This year's event will highlight singing groups like "Guerrilla Harmony" who will join grammy winners, Joe Lovano and Marc Cohn. A theatrical performance called "Butterflies", a chili cookoff, blues brews and barbeque and several concerts will be included in the ten day event which runs from June 18th through the 27-th. To find a complete list of art, music and other community events, go online at "Festivall - Charleston - dot org.


Chemical Runoff A Problem At Yeager Airport

Rick Atkinson, the director of Charleston's Yeager Airport, says he expects the state Department of Environmental Protection to cite the airport after recently finding that glycol was being allowed to run off the airport site. Assistant airport director Terry Sayre says an extraordinary amount of deicing contributed to the problem, while airlines were deicing their planes on parts of the tarmac that weren't properly equipped to catch the chemicals.


Huntington Water Leak Costly

Huntington officials say an underground water leak discovered in February 2009 cost the city tens of thousands of dollars in utility bills. The 1-inch water line once ran to a drinking water fountain on the west end of Harris Riverfront Park, but, when it was damaged several years ago and taken out of service, the line kept on running.
The park's yearly water bill doubled to nearly $86,000 in 2008.


Big Sandy Regional Jail Has Issues

The Big Sandy Regional Jail in Paintsville is in danger of becoming a political football. Political squabbling is now being investigated by the Kentucky State Police. It is alleged board members from Johnson, Magoffin, Martin and Lawrence Counties are trying to determine why a contract was signed without the board's approval. The state auditor's office is assisting in the investigation.


Florida Crash Involved KY Individuals

Five Kentuckians and a Florida woman are hospitalized following a wrong-way crash in north Florida. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 28-year-old Shana M. Pruitt was driving south in a northbound Interstate 95 lane when the head-on collission occured in Jacksonville. Her Ford Mustang hit an SUV driven by 38-year-old Joseph McGinnis, of Thelma, KY, early Friday morning. McGinnis, Pruitt and two passengers in the SUV suffered serious injuries in the crash. Two other SUV passengers sustained critical injuries.


Body Found In Lake

A woman's body has been discovered in a Richmond Lake. Police Chief Larry Brock says the identity of the individual will remain unannounced until an autopsy has been performed. Preliminary information opens the possibility of the body to be that of 56-year old Tonselara B. Miller. According to Miller's family, she had been missing for a week.


22,000 Seat Arena On Schedule

The facility scheduled to replace Freedom Hall in Louisville as the new home of the Louisville Cardinals is proceeding smoothly. Barring future problems, it is set to open on November 1st. Leases have signed for 90% of the luxury suites, according to Jim Host, Chairman of the Louisville Arena Authority. Meanwhile, officials are evaluating the list of sponsors seeking to lend their names to what is now the Louisville Arena.

Sunday, March 07, 2010


House Fire Kills Clay County Man

Kentucky State Police are investigating a deadly house fire in Clay County which took the life of 23 year old Charles William Smith. Police say Smith died as the result of a house fire which occurred in the Oneida community shortly after 2:30 A.M. Sunday morning.


Police Shoot Jackson County Man

Twenty-six year old Darren Moore of Sand Gap (Jackson County) was transported to University of Kentucky Hospital Saturday night after being shot in the left arm and left leg by Kentucky State Police Trooper Jesse Armstrong and Jackson County Deputy Sheriff Kevin Berry. The officers responded to a home on U.S. 421 in Sand Gap just after 11:00 P.M. after Moore's wife alerted 911 dispatchers her husband had made threats to kill her and any responding law enforcement officers. She said her husband had been drinking. The officers say, when they arrived at the scene, they attempted to make verbal contact with Moore who appeared on the front porch armed with a shotgun. He refused commands to drop the weapon while pointing the shotgun in their direction. Authorities say Moore will be charged with the attempted murder of a police officer.


Drug Symposium Held In Hazard

Those speaking to about 375 medical professionals and others at a drug symposium Saturday in Hazard said attitudes involving pain management and drug addiction need to change. The symposium, sponsored by Operation UNITE, was planned following the fatal shooting of Dr. Dennis Sandlin which occurred inside the Leatherwood Blackey Medical Clinic in Cornettsville (Perry County). In an effort to discourage aggressive patients, presenters encouraged doctors to use a "three strikes" written contract, to screen patients with urine tests and photo identification and to tell patients up front they should expect random drug tests. Danielle Sandlin, the daughter of Dr. Sandlin, says she's shocked to learn only about a third of medical providers use KASPER, the state's prescription-monitoring program. She said she hopes the symposium will encourage providers to use the program.


Drug Related Charges Filed In Pikeville

Two former employees of a pain clinic chain were charged in Pikeville last week with being part of a drug ring that brought Methadone and other prescription drugs from out of state into eastern Kentucky. A complaint filed in federal court charges 45 year old Stephen M. Lyon of Louisiana, former CEO of Urgent Care Services, and 33 year old Tonia Snook of Mississippi, a former employee, recruited people from the Floyd County area to go to company offices in Slidell, Philadelphia and Cincinnati between 2004 to 2007 to obtain Methadone and other prescription drugs. Police raided the Urgent Care Services office in Philadelphia in 2007 and found that more than 100 people had traveled there from eastern Kentucky to get prescriptions. Doctors and others who worked for Urgent Care Services have pleaded guilty to improperly prescribing drugs to people from the Floyd County area.


Arrest Made In Suspected Arson

According to the Kentucky State Police, an arrest has been made related to a series of fires in the Pond Creek area of Pike County. Arrested was 41-year old Carrie Seely of Pinsonfork. The woman was connected to a home fire at Ballfork. Arson investigator Don Park, said, on, or about February 20, the defendant entered a vacant house owned by Glenna Hatfield, at Pinsonfork, and set fire to combustible material inside, resulting in severe damage to the structure. Parker said officers are now looking at other fires in the area to see if Seely had any connection with them. In particular, authorities are looking at the McAndrews Wesleyan Church fire in October. At this time no arrests have been made in that fire.


Three States Get Low Marks On Gun Safety

Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia all get bad marks when it comes to gun safety. The Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence says all three states sell guns without background checks, among other things. There are steps you can take to make sure your guns don't end up in the wrong hands. Contact the KSP or local law enforcement authorities for the protective measures.


Missing Johnson County Man Found Dead

Now that a missing Johnson County man's body was found in a creek, investigators will attempt to determine how he died. 56-year-old Jimmy "Bill Bill" Wells had been missing since February 1st. The coroner says the preliminary autopsy did not reveal how he died. Now they are waiting for other test results. Sheriff Bill Witten says they are not ruling anything out. “The investigation continues. There was nothing visible on the body that would suggest to law enforcement or the coroner to make a determination on his death,” Witten said.


Breast Milk Assault On Jailer

A woman in jail for public intoxication is accused of assaulting a jailer by squirting breast milk at her. 31-year-old Toni Tramel was arrested Thursday on a misdemeanor charge of public intoxication. But as she was changing into an inmate uniform she squirted breast milk into the face of a female deputy who was with her.
Tramel now faces a felony charge of third degree assault on a police officer. Her bond was set at $10,000.


Southern Baptists In Door-to-Door Outreach

Southern Baptists in Kentucky are going door-to-door over the next two weeks in what they call the most ambitious evangelistic outreach in their history. They are placing plastic bags with brochures containing evangelistic messages on door handles. They hope to mobilize as many as 50,000 volunteers for the outreach effort.
The convention is also spending $182,000 on television, radio and billboard ads in and around Kentucky. The goal is to reach as many of the state's estimated 1.5 million households as possible.


Drug Arrests In Pike County

The Florida pill pipeline has been interrupted in Pike County. Four arrests have been made and hundreds of pills confiscted according to the office of Pike County Sheriff Fuzzy Keesee. Pills were seized when deputies raided the homes of Steve Pete Hackney and Anjolique Wilder. The pair were arrested last week along with two others who were at Hackney's home, Joey Hackney and Eddie Ray Hensley. Deputies recovered more than 400 Roxycontin and Xanax pills, $17,000 in cash and guns. Pike County Sheriff Charles "Fuzzy" Keesee said Wilder tried to ingest the pills to prevent officers from seizing them. All four have pleaded not guilty.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?