Saturday, May 15, 2010


Appalachian Power Seeks Additional Rate Hike

On Friday, Appalachian Power filed a 17-percent rate hike request with the West Virginia Public Service Commission, the second rate hike the utility has requested in three months. In March, Appalachian requested a separate 7.4-percent increase. If the requests are approved, West Virginia's residential electricity rates will have jumped 70 percent since 2006. Appalachian says the 17-percent rate hike is needed to recoup higher costs of maintaining and improving power plants, substations and transmission lines and to recover about $22.8 million the company spent during the December 18-19 winter storm that knocked out power to 237,000 customers in West Virginia. Appalachian says the increase would generate an additional $155.5 million a year in revenue.


Expert Calls Mother-And-Son Murder-Suicide Rare

After 56 year old Vickie Tuitt and her son, 26 year old Martin Adams were found dead inside the family's residence near St. Albans on Monday, Police have ruled that Vickie Tuitt fatally shot her son before turning the gun on herself. However, Richard Gelles, a national expert on domestic violence and child welfare at the University of Pennsylvania, says mother-and-son murder-suicides of this type are extremely rare. Gelles says mothers who kill their children usually do so at younger ages and rarely use guns. Angie Rosser, communications coordinator for the West Virginia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, agrees that Monday's incident doesn't fit the usual pattern of murder-suicides.


Storms Create Thousands Of Power Outages

Friday a storm rolled through West Virginia, producing golf-ball sized hail and fears of flash flooding, as well as tornado watches, although no funnel sightings were reported. At 8:00 P.M. Friday night, Appalachian Power reported more than 2,000 outages and Allegheny Power reported more than 400, with the most outages including Kanawha County, Clay County and Wood County. Golf-ball sized hail fell in parts of Roane and Kanawha counties, and a flash-flood warning was issued for Boone County. Floodwaters damaged some cars and homes near Spring Valley Drive in Kenova.


Senate Subcommittee To Meet With Coal Officials

On Thursday, May 20th at 2:00 P.M., the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, lead by senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat from Iowa, will conduct a hearing to discuss the need to provide additional federal funding for mine safety. Testifying will be Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, UMWA President Cecil Roberts, and Joe Main, the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health. Harkin says he's examining possible legislation that would make a number of policy changes in the area of mine safety. But additional Federal appropriations are needed to help prevent mine disasters, particularly when it comes to reducing the backlog of appeals at the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.


Cabell County Judge Considering Fatal Shooting

Teresa Baker appeared in Cabell County Circuit Court Friday morning for another pre-trial hearing after being indicted twice for murder. Baker is accused of fatally shooting Jeffrey Sadler on February 4, 2008 at his Huntington home, after she says police failed to respond to her 911 call about a domestic dispute between Sadler and her daughter who were dating at the time. Baker's attorney, Charlie Hatcher, said Cabell County Prosecutor Chris Chiles gave inappropriate instructions to grand jurors about self defense and how to consider it in this case. However, Chiles says he merely read the definition of self-defense and was granted permission by the judge to do so. The judge delayed ruling upon an argument that prosecution’s definition of self defense was inaccurate. Judge Dan O'Hanlon said he will review the transcript and issue a ruling this coming week. Hatcher says anything less than a dismissal will result in his side appealing the matter to the West Virginia Supreme Court in an effort to prevent the case from going to a trial currently scheduled for August 9th. Hatcher claims his client is not guilty of murder, and this case should be dismissed.


WV Counties Awaiting FEMA Funds

Several West Virginia counties are stuck in limbo waiting to make repairs and pay bills associated with severe storms and flooding that hit the state earlier this year, until money in the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief fund can be replenished. FEMA notified Congress earlier this year that the fund is running low on cash and can only provide for immediate disaster aid at this time, The House agreed in March to put an addition $5.1 million into the fund but the measure has yet to pass in the Senate. As a result, long-term recovery efforts totaling hundreds of millions of dollars are backlogged in more than 40 states,including West Virginia. President Obama declared a major disaster for West Virginia March 29 due to storms, flooding, mudslides and landslides that hit the state between March 12 and April 9. Fayette, Mercer, Raleigh, Summers and Greenbrier counties are counting on help from the disaster relief fund to complete the road to recovery. The disaster relief fund provides for the repair or replacement of public buildings,roads, bridges and utilities. It also covers the costs of temporary housing and counseling for disaster survivors.


Midway College Leases BSCTC Space

Midway College announced it has finalized an agreement with the Big Sandy Community & Technical College to lease space at its Mayo campus in downtown Paintsville for the new School of Pharmacy. The lease agreement is for a two year period and provides Midway College with the necessary classroom and office space it needs to move forward with opening its School of Pharmacy in August 2011.


Flood Control Projects

U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-05) announced today more than $2.18
Million in federal funding is now available for several communities in the Big
Sandy and Cumberland River watersheds for flood control and hazard mitigation
demonstration projects. "The devastating storms that ripped through Kentucky nearly two weeks ago, left behind a grim reminder of the importance of not only creating, but maintaining flood control projects," said Congressman Rogers. "These funds are vital to communities that otherwise cannot afford to meet the costs of repairs, replacements and various compliance issues for flood protection.” Floyd County, Pike County and Pikeville will receive funds.


South Williamson Floodwall

A $350,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for floodwall certification in South Williamson has been allocated. Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford and Pike County Office of Energy and Community Development Director Charles Carlton traveled to the Laurel County Emergency Operations Center to receive the money and attend a briefing. “There is good FEMA work and bad FEMA work,” Rutherford said. “We have seen a lot of bad FEMA work in Pike County, but this is good FEMA work.” FEMA had approved a $351,000 sub-grant to re-certify two floodwalls in South Williamson after a federal mandate threatened their certification.


FEMA Disaster Center Opens

A Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) operated by the Commonwealth
of Kentucky and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is open in Rowan County to assist those affected by severe storms, flooding, mudslides and tornadoes that started on May 1, 2010. The DRC is located at:
Rowan County Rescue Squad building
1350 Divide Hill Rd.
Morehead, KY 40351
The center hours will be 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT, seven days a week,


Energy Grants For Kentucky Schools

First Lady Jane Beshear today announced that more than 120 Kentucky school districts will employ energy managers to create and implement energy efficiency programs over the next two years. Grants totaling $2.5 million, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, have been awarded to 27 districts or multi-district partnerships through the School Energy Managers Program. Kentucky received $5.1 million in federal stimulus funds to support the energy manager program in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 fiscal years. The grants will fund a total of 33 new energy managers. The Kenton County Schools and several districts in the Green River Regional Educational Cooperative that already have energy managers will get funding for energy curriculum coordinator positions. Pike County will receive their share of the grant for the purpose of hiring an energy manager. The position should be filled by July 1.


Autism Death Being Investigated

A state agency is investigating the death of an autistic Lexington man who died after police tried to handcuff him. Kentucky Protection and Advocacy director Marsha Hockensmith says the agency has just begun its review into last month's death of 21-year-old Roland Campbell. Hockensmith also cited a recent case in which a mentally disabled man lost consciousness while police were present. Hockensmith said the agency wants to see if there is a "systematic problem" in how police handle calls involving the mentally disabled. Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn says physical trauma and illness have been ruled out in Campbell's death, but a final autopsy report is pending.


Gov. Beshear Appoints Judge

A Cynthiana lawyer has been appointed judge for the 18th judicial district in Kentucky. Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday that he had appointed Charles W. Kuster Jr. to the bench. The 18th district serves Harrison, Nicholas, Pendleton and Robertson counties. A news release from the governor's office says Kuster will serve until the general election Nov. 2. Kuster's appointment fills the vacancy that was created when Judge Jay Brett Delaney was appointed to Circuit Judge for the 18th Judicial Circuit, Division 1.


Rehearing Denied On Ten Commandments

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has turned down a request for a rehearing of a decision that allowed a Kentucky courthouse to display the Ten Commandments. In the decision Friday, the appeals court said it would not remand the case to the district court for further proceedings, as requested by the American Civil Liberties Union and two residents of Grayson County, KY where the commandments are on display. Grayson County was one of several involved in long-running disputes over whether and how the Ten Commandments can be displayed in public buildings.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Verizon-Frontier Deal Approved By PSC

After months of petitions, protests and public hearings, the Public Service Commission has approved the sale of Verizon's landline business to Frontier Communications, although several customers and the Communications Workers of America Union members were opposed to the plan. Under the deal, Frontier will have to move it's southeast regional headquarters to Charleston, honor all existing obligations Verizon has made, make millions of dollars worth of capitol investments in Verizon, with some of that money being targeted for quality of service and increasing broadband for Internet customers. The deal awaits approval from the Federal Communications Commission.


Funny Bone In Legal Battle

Tom Schaefer, the new owner/operator of the Funny Bone Comedy Club, says a legal battle to reopen his comedy club in Huntington is no joke. Schaefer says he and his employees were locked out of the club, leaving him with no option but to sue. Schaefer says, apparently, his name is not on the lease, but, if he fails to come to an agreement with the owners of Pullman Square, Metropolitan Partners, he will be forced to move his club to a new location. Bill Dargusch, co-owner of Metropolitan Partners that leases space to businesses at Pullman Square, says the company believes it has an obligation to Pullman Square and the legal right to approve any transaction. Dargusch says his company has too much invested in the area, in the project and the space and cannot risk having tenants or prospective tenants and not have a lease with those people.


Secretary of State Warns Nonprofits To File

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant is urging nonprofit groups in West Virginia to file paperwork with the IRS by Monday or risk losing their nonprofit status. In the past, only nonprofits that made more than $25,000 had to file Form 990 every year, reporting what they did with their money. But, three years ago, the Internal Revenue Service changed the rule so all nonprofits have to file the form...a change some nonprofits say they weren't aware of. As of Friday morning, a list of organizations in danger of losing their nonprofit status included dozens of local VFW and American Legion posts, school PTAs, church groups and civic groups.


Former Holiday Inn To House Nonviolent Offenders

The state of West Virginia has acquired the former Holiday Inn property in Parkersburg from Jim Weigle of Vienna for $2.2 million and now has plans to convert the hotel into a work release facility for nonviolent offenders. The state Department of Administration says the 110,000-square-foot building would become a minimum security monitoring facility. Weigle unsuccessfully sued the West Virginia Department of Transportation in 2007, claiming the hotel was successful until Corridor D was built, and the highway changed the traffic pattern in the area.


Greenbrier Resort Owner Selling Coal Securities

According to a recent regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Greenbrier Resort owner James Justice II, a family company and two relatives are selling 30.5 million Mechel OAO securities for $228.75 million, while giving the underwriters an option for another 4.5 million securities, worth another $33.75 million. Justice, who bought The Greenbrier a year ago after the owner filed for bankruptcy, was, at the time, selling a big piece of his coal mining business to Mechel, a Russian mining giant, for $436 million cash, 83.3 million preferred shares of stock, and the assumption of $132 million in debt. Jim Justice says the casino is expected to open July 2nd, three weeks before The Greenbrier hosts a PGA Tour golf tournament. The Greenbrier currently has 400 job openings, and Justice says the number of resort employees would increase from 1,600 to 2,000 by the time the casino opens.


West Virginia To Keep National Guard Aircraft

Thanks to Senators Robert C. Byrd and Jay Rockefeller and Representative Nick Rahall, all D-W.Va., the U.S. Air Force has canceled its plan to transfer two C-130 aircraft from the National Guard's 130th Airlift Wing stationed at Yeager Airport in Charleston to the Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas. Byrd, Rockefeller and Rahall had written letters to the Secretary of the Air Force Michael Donley opposing the move. This is the second time in five years state leaders have thwarted attempts to remove planes from Yeager.


Fleming County Courtroom Evacuated

A district court session was briefly interrupted Thursday morning after a threat was discovered in the Fleming County Courthouse. The threat, which was directed toward the court system, was discovered around 10:30 a.m., according to Fleming County Sheriff Scotty Royse. He didn't go into details about how the threat was administered but said that the courtroom was briefly locked down as soon as the incident was discovered. Judge W. Todd Walton II was presiding over the criminal docket and he was escorted to his chambers where he remained while the courtroom was cleared, Royse said. Because of the large number of cases that go before district court on Thursdays, several law enforcement officers from various agencies were on hand for proceedings and were able to assist with the clearing of the courtroom. The Fleming County Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate the matter and officers are beginning to speak with persons of interest in the case, according to Royse. No charges have been filed in the case yet.


Five Plead Guilty To Teenager Assualt

Five men in western Kentucky have pleaded guilty to assaulting a teenage girl. The Paducah Sun reports the men, who were originally charged with rape, entered the plea Wednesday to lesser charges. Nicholas King, 21, Marcus Mayes, 22, Chase Oakley, 21, Devon Morris, 21, and Christopher Futrell, 21, were accused of raping the girl, then 16, in Trigg County in May 2008. Commonwealth Attorney G.L. Ovey said the plea agreement calls for supervised release. Ovey says the convictions will be vacated if the men don't violate terms of the agreement.


Flood Victims Sue Coal Companies

Two lawsuits have been filed in Breathitt Circuit Court naming coal companies Appalachian Fuels, Lexington Coal, Miller Brothers and ICG (International Coal Group). The suits say surface mining and poor reclamation by at least the four coal companies created more runoff than the creek could handle when heavy rains fell on Mother's Day weekend of last year...damaging homes situated along about 15 miles of Quicksand Creek in Breathitt County. One lawsuit has grown to include 72 plaintiffs, while the second has 15 plaintiffs who allege the rain wouldn't have been so devastating if not for the mining above the homes. The companies have denied the claims in court records.


Kentucky Senate Candidates Gear-Up For Primary

The Kentucky primary is only a few days away, and one of the most hotly contested seats up for grab is the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Jim Bunning. The candidates involved are Attorney General Jack Conway, Lt. Governor and eastern Kentucky physician Dr. Daniel Mongiardo, Army and U.S. Customs drug agent veteran Darlene Price, former banker, current businessman and longtime state cabinet employee Maurice Sweeney and James Buckmaster, a family physician from Henderson, Ky. Mongiardo says he's going to Washington D.C. to be a pro-coal champion. Conway, who spent Wednesday campaigning in Jackson and Hazard, says he supports surface mining if it's environmentally responsible.


Education Commissioner Urging Lawmakers In Special Session

Governor Steve Beshear says he will call a session May 24th to consider the state budget, but he did not include charter schools legislation on the agenda. Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday says he hopes charter schools can be added. Holliday says it will be up to the leadership of the House to get the issue added. Holliday says passing legislation providing for charter schools in Kentucky is essential to the state's chances of winning up to $175 million in the second round of the federal Race To The Top grants program in June. He says he doesn't think there's a problem in the Senate. However, legislative observers doubt charter schools could pass the House unless the Kentucky Education Association and teacher organizations in Jefferson County agree to support the legislation, or at least decided not to actively oppose it.


Barnhart And Calipari Working On Contract

University of Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart says speculation that coach John Calipari is being courted by the NBA is to be expected, but he feels confident Calipari will return for a second season with the Wildcats. Calipari led the Wildcats to a 35-3 record last year...his first season on the job. Calipari and Barnhart are working together on a restructured contract that Barnhart hopes will have Calipari ending his coaching career at U.K. Calipari's friend, Cavaliers star LeBron James will become a free agent this summer. Kentucky assistant coach Rod Strickland, who came to the school with coach Calipari last spring after working with him at Memphis and playing 17 seasons in the NBA, has been voluntarily reassigned to an administrative role to reduce travel requirements... a month after Strickland was charged with drunken driving. He has pleaded not guilty.


Former Thoroughbred Jockey Files Lawsuit

Thoroughbred jockey Rene Douglas, who suffered paralyzing injuries last year when he was spilled from his horse at Arlington Park, is suing the track and the makers of its surface. A lawsuit filed this week in Cook County Circuit Court seeking more than $50,000 in damages claims negligence in both installation and maintenance of the polytrack surface. The lawsuit names Arlington Park, its corporate parent Churchill Downs, U.K.-based Martin Collins Surfaces and Footings and Keeneland Associates.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


KSP Investigating Paintsville Robbery

A one thousand dollar reward is being offered for information after the Paintsville Country Club Pro Shop in Johnson County was robbed this week of more than 20-thousand dollars worth of equipment, including clubs, bags and clothing. Kentucky State Police say someone dismantled the alarm and phone lines and gained entrance by breaking in the back door sometime between closing Monday evening and re-opening Tuesday morning. Police ask if you have any information on the burglary or see anyone suspicious with golf equipment, call KSP in Pikeville at 606-433-7711.


Doctor Sentenced In Floyd County Case

A former Cincinnati doctor with past ties to an eastern Kentucky drug ring has been sentenced to 48 months in prison. Lloyd Stanley Naramore pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute methadone. According to a plea agreement, Naramore admitted to providing prescriptions to more than 100 people from eastern Kentucky, although he didn't think the drugs were medically necessary for many of them. He says he did it so he could hang on to his $3,000-a-week job. Naramore was responsible for distributing 50,000 methadone pills that were returned to Kentucky to either be abused or sold. Naramore, one of 22 people charged as part of a conspiracy headed by Timothy Wayne Hall of Floyd County. is the final person to be sentenced in the case.


Former Perry County Official Going To Prison

Former Perry County Circuit Clerk Chester Jones has been ordered to report to prison on July 13th to begin a 12 months sentence for his role in a vote-buying case. Jones, who served a term as state representative, was sentenced in federal court in London after pleading guilty to mailing false campaign-spending information to Frankfort in an effort to cover up a vote-buying scheme in the November 2008 election. Jones admitted he took $7,500 that was supposed to be used in efforts to boost voter turnout and instead used it to buy votes while running for a seat on the county school board.


Paramedic Guilty Of Manslaughter

A jury has convicted a former paramedic in western Kentucky of manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident in the death of a pedestrian. An Ohio County jury reached its verdict Monday against 31-year-old Brian Bellamy. Prosecutors argued Bellamy was driving drunk when he hit 32-year-old Antone Wilkins, who was walking along the highway. Bellamy's attorneys had argued that another vehicle hit and killed Wilkins. After the jury's verdict, Bellamy entered a plea agreement in which he will serve seven years in prison.


Jobless Benefits Claims

The Labor Department said Thursday that new claims for jobless benefits edged down the previous week, a sign the job market is recovering slowly. However, claims in Kentucky were going in a differnet direction. According to state data for the week ending May 1, one week behind nationwide figures, Kentucky is reporting one of the largest increases in claims... up 1,015, due to more layoffs in the transportation, service, and manufacturing industries. Nationwide, jobless claims are down...not so in Kentucky.


Drug Roundup In Floyd County Continues

A continuing drug roundup has netted 32 year old Bobbie J. Bentley of Old Middle Creek Road who was arrested on Prater Creek Road on May 6th as part of an operation conducted by the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department over the past couple of weeks. Bentley was charged with second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance.
Officials say they conducted a controlled buy from her on April 16th, when she sold to an undercover informant what was thought to be five hydrocodone pills.


Brewery Will Provide Drinking Water

Anheuser-Busch brewery will provide more than 2,100 cases of drinking water to flood-ravaged areas of Kentucky in our region. According to a news release from the St. Louis-based company, more than 51,700 cans of drinking water will help nearly 3,000 families affected by flooding in Greenup and Carter counties in Kentucky. The water arrived Monday at an Anheuser-Busch distributor in Ashland. Since 1988, Anheuser-Busch has donated more than 68.5 million cans of drinking water following natural and other disasters.


Would-Be Robbers Taken To Hospital

Boyd County, Kentucky deputies say two men were taken to the hospital with severe head wounds, after they tried to rob a home in Westwood. According to investigators, Chris Artrip and Randal Artrip entered the home Wednesday armed with a toy gun and a baseball bat. The homeowner hit both men in the head with a machete. Both men were taken to the hospital with head wounds. Department says A third person, Amy Sturgil, will also be charged because she drove the getaway car. The homeowner had minor injuries to his hands.


Children Living In Squalor

A police officer says two children were living in a locked bedroom in Hopkinsville that had fecal material smeared on the walls and carpet. Hopkinsville officer Brian Smith testified that the children's parents monitored them with a wireless camera.
The New Era in Hopkinsville reports that 24-year-old Megan Rae McQuiston and her husband, 22-year-old Andrew McQuiston, face first-degree criminal abuse charges. Smith said the conditions the 2- and 3-year-old children were living in were "absolutely horrendous." District Judge Arnold Lynch added two additional charges of first-degree unlawful imprisonment against the mother after Smith's testimony.


Inmate Does Not Return From Funeral

Lexington Police say an inmate at the Fayette County Detention Center used a funeral to take off. 21-year-old Richard Pollard was supposed to return on the night of May 11 after being released on a court-ordered funeral pass, but he never showed up. Pollard was charged with contempt of court. Anyone with information on the location of Pollard should call police.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Lawmakers Returning To Frankfort

Governor Steve Beshear is calling lawmakers back to Frankfort on May 24th for a special legislative session aimed at coming up with a state budget. Beshear offered a $17.1 billion compromise two-year budget for House and Senate leaders to consider. The governor proposed across-the-board cuts of 3.5 percent for the first year and 4.5 percent in the second year. The plan also includes less severe cuts to key areas of the budget, including K-12 education, higher education, Medicaid, state police and prosecutors and public defenders. The proposal would not cut the main funding formula for schools, but would ask school districts to pick up the cost of one school day. Beshear urged legislators to start negotiations immediately, while warning that failure to pass a budget by July 1st could result in thousands of state employees, including state police troopers, facing layoffs.


Primary Election On Tuesday

Secretary of State Trey Grayson, the chief elections officer of the Commonwealth, is encouraging all registered voters to cast their ballots on Primary Election Day, May 18, 2010 and is encouraging citizens to prepare before doing so. “Voting is an important right and responsibility. I highly encourage voters to research the candidates before they get ready to cast their vote,” noted Grayson. “It is also important that voters determine a time when they can vote and thus prepare appropriately. The polls close at 6:00 p.m., local time, and any voter in line to vote by that time will be allowed to cast a ballot. ”In addition, Grayson reminded voters that no Kentuckian should be prevented from voting in the upcoming election due to his or her work schedule, if he or she requests leave prior to the day in which he or she will cast his or her vote. The Kentucky Constitution provides “that all employers shall allow employees, under reasonable regulations, at least four hours on election days, in which to cast their votes.”
“It is my hope that every Kentuckian who is registered will exercise their right to vote on May 18th,” stated Secretary Grayson. “This section in the Kentucky Constitution helps to ensure that every citizen will have the opportunity to cast a ballot on Election Day regardless of his or her work schedule, so long as the employee requests leave in advance.”
Employees need to request leave from their employer prior to the day in which they will cast their ballots to be eligible for this incentive. Kentucky law provides the employer discretion as to whether the employee will be compensated for that time and at what time the employee may vote. If an employee requests leave to vote and does not do so, state law deems that he or she may be subject to disciplinary action.
Kentuckians who will be working outside their county of residence on Election Day are eligible to vote by absentee ballot. Absentee voting on a voting machine is currently taking place in county clerks’ offices until close of business on Monday, May 17, 2010.
When voters head to the polls on Election Day, they will also be governed by electioneering laws that prohibits electioneering within 300 feet of the polling location. Bumper stickers on cars of voters at a polling location are an exception to the electioneering prohibition. Cars may not be left near polling locations all day with the intent of advocating for a particular candidate.
Voters will have the opportunity to nominate candidates for a number of offices including the following:

• United States Senator
• United States Representative
• State Senator (Even Districts)
• State Representative
• Justice of the Supreme Court, District 3
• District Judge
• County Judge/Executive
• County Attorney
• County Clerk
• Property Valuation Administrator
• Sheriff
• Jailer
• County Commissioner
• Coroner
• Magistrate/Justice of the Peace
• Constable
• Surveyor
• Mayor (if applicable)
• City Legislative Body (if applicable)

The Office of the Secretary of State and State Board of Elections have a number of online services which can help citizens prepare for the election. Voters can view and print sample ballots, determine their polling location, and find pertinent election information by visiting either agency’s website. Grayson encouraged citizens to visit the Voter Information Center to determine whether they are eligible to vote in this year’s primary election. Citizens with general questions about the election are encouraged to visit the Office of the Secretary of State and State Board of Elections’ Vote Kentucky! website at or contact their local county clerk.


Spring Squirrel Hunting Season

Squirrel hunting is a Kentucky tradition that dates back to the pioneer era. But hunting squirrels in the spring is relatively new. The season started as an experiment on four state wildlife management areas in 1994, and went statewide in 1999. While squirrel hunting is typically a fall pursuit – a time when nuts ripen on hickory, oak and walnut trees – wildlife biologists studying the squirrel’s life cycle determined that it makes biological sense to hunt them in the spring, too.
The 2010 spring squirrel season is June 5-18, with a daily bag limit of six squirrels.


Abandoned Mine Lands Project

The Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) announced today the award of contract and start of construction for phase three of the Turners Creek water supply project in Breathitt County, Ky. The contract for the project totals $521,639.36.
Construction of a waterline will be performed by G & W Construction Co. Inc. of Morehead, Ky. The project is expected to be completed by fall.
A groundwater contamination study completed by the division found that AML-eligible mining had impacted much of the groundwater systems in the Turners Creek area of Breathitt County, near the community of Wolfe Coal, making the area eligible for Abandoned Mine Lands waterline assistance.


Major Disaster Declaration In 8 Counties

President Barack Obama has authorized a major disaster declaration for eight counties in Kentucky due to severe storms. The declaration makes federal aid available to affected residents in Casey, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Metcalfe, Rockcastle, Rowan, and Woodford counties. More than 70 counties in Kentucky declared states of emergency and six people died due to flooding, which resulted from fierce storms that began May 1.


Gun Maker To Expand In KY

A well-known gun maker is expanding its western Kentucky plant, doubling the work force. Governor Steve Beshear joined officials of Remington Arms Company in announcing the expansion of Remington's plant in Hickory. The governor's office said the new construction is a $5 million investment in Graves County over the next three years. Remington officials said they will move some rifle production from Connecticut to Hickory and add 100 jobs. The company operates several rifle and shotgun plants in the United States and conducts its research and development in Elizabethtown, Ky. The state provided tax incentives for the expansion.


Budget Deadline Looms

Gov. Steve Beshear has said lawmakers must pass a budget by July 1 or Kentucky could see a partial shutdown of state government impacting thousands of jobs. With the clock ticking legislators still are deadlocked, but the House Speaker says the governor could provide the key. A Beshear spokesperson says the administration is working on some sort of possible proposal. After 60 days of talking the 2010 regular session ended in a stalemate. The House's 367 page budget called for big construction projects to create jobs. The Senate's 265 page document cut costs virtually across the board. House Speaker Greg Stumbo (D-Prestonsburg) predicts the Governor's office may provide the necessary compromise to break the stalemate. Gov. Beshear has set May 24 as the date for the special session.


State Revenue From Tourism Down

State officials say tourism amounted to $10.8 billion last year in Kentucky. The Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet says the figure was down by 1.9 percent from the previous year. The state's tourism fared well during a national downtown thanks to a "great variety of attractions, central location and affordability." The impact figures are based on factors like tourist spending at attractions, overnight hotel stays, campgrounds, tax data, attendance figures and airline business. The analysis was conducted by Certec Inc. of Lexington.


Highway Repairs Underway In Northeast KY

Kentucky road crews are expected to start repairing flood-damaged roads through parts of the northeastern part of the state, prompting lane road closures in spots.
The highway work in Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 comes just a week after heavy rains swept across the region, closing more than 40 roads in the district and causing other flood damage in several communities. The goal is to make sure roads and bridges are in good shape. Highway crews will make sure all pavement breaks, culvert failures, embankment erosion and other flood-related damage along state highways in Bath, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas and Rowan counties are repaired as safely and as quickly possible.


WV Election Results

U.S. House of Representatives - 1st Congressional District - Democrat
% Complete
Precincts Reporting: 670 of 670 100%
D MIKE OLIVERIO 37,504 56%
D (i) ALAN B. MOLLOHAN 29,689 44%
Mike Oliverio leading by 7,815 votes

U.S. House of Representatives - 1st Congressional District - Republican
% Complete
Precincts Reporting: 670 of 670 100%
R DAVID B. MCKINLEY 14,932 35%
R MAC WARNER 11,621 27%
R SARAH MINEAR 9,174 21%
R CINDY HALL 1,544 4%
David B. McKinley leading by 3,311 votes

U.S. House of Representatives - 2nd Congressional District - Democrat
% Complete


U.S. House of Representatives - 2nd Congressional District - Republican
% Complete


U.S. House of Representatives - 3rd Congressional District - Democrat
% Complete
Precincts Reporting: 614 of 614 100%
D (i) NICK JOE RAHALL II 44,544 67%
D BRUCE BARILLA 21,453 33%
Nick Joe Rahall II leading by 23,091 votes

U.S. House of Representatives - 3rd Congressional District - Republican
% Complete
Precincts Reporting: 614 of 614 100%
R CONRAD G. LUCAS II 4,186 25%
R LEE A. BIAS 2,860 17%
Elliott E. "Spike" Maynard leading by 433 votes

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Pikeville College To Expand

Pikeville College President Paul Patton has announced, through the availability of loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's rural development program, Pikeville College will borrow up to $25 million in federal rural development funds to build a nine-story building to expand its School of Osteopathic Medicine. Pikeville College hopes to grow its enrollment from 75 students per class to 125. Groundbreaking is set for September, while construction is expected to be completed by May 2012.


Former State EmployeeTo Be Sentenced

Jan Elizabeth Haynes, who worked for the state Department of Labor from October 1999 to July 2008, pleaded guilty to bank fraud while appearing in U.S. District Court in Frankfort on Tuesday. Authorities say, while Haynes delivered checks to people whose former employers had issued them to settle wage disputes, she took those without contact information, forged endorsements on about 120 checks worth a total of almost $140,000 and deposited the money into her accounts. Haynes faces up to 30 years in prison when sentenced in August.


Obama Signs Disaster Declaration

Following widespread damage from the May 2nd flooding, Tuesday, President Obama declared a major disaster in Kentucky. The president approved individual assistance for people in Casey, Lincoln, Rockcastle, Rowan, Woodford, Lewis, Logan and Metcalfe counties and public assistance for Allen, Hart, Lewis, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe and Rockcastle counties. Public assistance is defined as aid for governments and some non-profit organizations for emergency work and repair or replacement of flooded facilities. The declaration made the state and all counties eligible for aid to reduce or prevent risk from natural disasters.


Police Charge Woman With Mother's Death

Police say a southeastern Kentucky woman was killed by her daughter and granddaughter. Patricia Lawson and Michelle Loy were indicted Monday on charges of murder and criminal abuse in connection to the January death of Lawson's mother, 76 year old Georgia Dotson of Williamsburg in Whitley County. The death was originally investigated as a fall, but an autopsy revealed Dotson had numerous rib fractures, ranging from old to very recent, and a lot of bruising to her head and face, which was covered by makeup.


Voting Machines In KY

Voters in forty-two counties across Kentucky are expected to vote for the first time on new digital scan voting systems in the upcoming primary election. The system provides a voter verified paper record, something Secretary of State Trey Grayson has encouraged counties to consider when they adopt voting systems. Pike County used the machines in past elections. Seven counties first used the new systems during the 2008 primary election with 27 counties following suit in the 2008 general election. The reviews from voters, precinct officials, and county clerks alike were outstanding. The equipment, called eScans, is a precinct-based voting system that digitally captures voter selections on printed ballots and integrates vote totals from absentee-by-mail and electronic voting systems to produce a single set of election reports.


Marked Money Leads To Drug Arrest

A controlled drug buy with marked money led Sheriff's deputies to arrest a Boyd County man and charge him with drug trafficking. Sheriff's deputies say 49-year-old Terry Strong was arrested at a home in Ashland. Deputies say they served a search warrant at a home on Wheatley Road after buying pills from Strong. That's when they found the marked money used during the drug buy. Deputies say two women who lived with Strong gave them information about a pain clinic that Strong was getting drugs from. Strong is charged with trafficking a controlled substance and is in the Boyd County Detention Center.


KY State Revenues Down

Lingering economic problems forced state government revenues lower in April compared to a year ago. State Budget Director Mary Lassiter announced the April receipts on Monday, saying they had fallen to $782 million, down from $826.7 million in April 2009. Lassiter said state revenues haven't grown in 14 of the past 16 months. But she said an 8.5 percent increase in sales tax receipts in April was an encouraging sign that the state economy is improving.


Bears On The Move

A biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife says black bears are spreading across much of Kentucky. Bears have been spotted throughout central Kentucky and there's potential for them to occupy areas of Bernheim Forest and Fort Knox. The bears had kept mostly to areas east of Interstate 75 and south of the Mountain Parkway until recently. He says bear sightings have been reported as far north as Boone and Campbell counties. Bear sightings can be reported to Kentucky's Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources at 564-3402.


Pike County Offers Settlement Figure

An update to the Pike County Fiscal Court concerning a lawsuit filed against Purdue Pharma, pharmaceutical manufacturers of Oxycontin, shows the County offered to settle the multi-million dollar suit for $7.5-million. The case, which was originally filed in Kentucky was later moved to a federal court in New York. The County is represented by Gary Johnson Law Firm.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Beshear Working On State Budget

According to House Speaker Greg Stumbo, the staff of Governor Steve Beshear is working on a new proposal for a two-year spending plan. Beshear spokeswoman Kerri Richardson did not confirm whether Beshear is working on a compromise budget or when such a proposal would be announced, but she did say that staff members continue to work on the budget. Stumbo says a new plan from Beshear would likely help resolve the impasse between the House and the Senate. Stumbo says the legislature typically agrees to about 98 percent of what a governor proposes.


Leslie County Plane Crash Report Released

According to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board, 68 year old Stephen J. Reardon of Woodbine, Md. reported problems with his airspeed indicator before his plane crashed in Leslie County on April 27th. Officials say he told air-traffic controllers he was "dropping like a rock" just before his Hawker Beechcraft 58 came almost straight down, crashing in a remote, heavily wooded area of the Daniel Boone National Forest.


KLC Acting Director To Retire

Sixty-two year old Neil Hackworth, the acting executive director of the Kentucky League of Cities, has announced he will retire at the end of the year. Hackworth, who started at the League in 1995 and served as its deputy executive director and chief operations officer for more than 12 years, has served as acting executive director since January, when Sylvia Lovely stepped down from the job following a state audit revealed questionable spending. At least five KLC member cities called for new leadership at the top of the organization after a state audit criticized Hackworth and Insurance Services Director William Hamilton.


Accident Kills Owsley County Man

Kentucky State Police report 23 year old Justin Thomas of Booneville (Owsley County) died after losing control of his motorcycle while driving on Ky. 30 at 10:52 P.M. Sunday night. The motorcycle went airborne about 78 feet before landing in a field and disintegrating on impact. Thomas was thrown about 250 feet.


Mom Awarded Degree After Her Death

Here's a story that should make us feel good. A Jackson County woman who went back to college so her youngest son would return to classes has been awarded a degree after her death. Union College officials in Barbourville considered Marsha Banks' exemplary grade point average in waiving the final course she needed. Banks already held college degrees when she went back to school in August 2006 after asking her son Aaron what it would take to get him to complete his undergraduate degree. He had dropped out of Eastern Kentucky University in 2005. Marsha Banks died in February after being diagnosed with lung cancer in early 2008. On Saturday, she graduated with a major in sociology and a minor in psychology. Aaron is on track to graduate next May with two majors and a minor.


Grand Ole Opry Hit By Flooding

They're not saying exactly what they saved from the Grand Ole Opry House. But, an Opry executive says several important pieces were moved as flood waters were rising the weekend before last. The Grand Ole Opry House stage eventually was under two feet of water when it was hit by flooding that tore through Tennessee. The stage will have to be replaced. Opry performances are still happening. They're just at other locations.


Gasoline Prices Jump

The average price of regular gasoline in the United States has jumped more than 7 cents over a two-week period to $2.92. That's according to the national Lundberg Survey of fuel prices released Sunday. The average price for a gallon of mid-grade was $3.05. Premium was at $3.16. Denver had the lowest average price among cities surveyed at $2.71 a gallon for regular unleaded. Chicago was highest at $3.22. The average for diesel nationwide was $3.15, up about 7 cents from two weeks ago.


Strawberries Not Badly Hurt By Storms

Strawberries seem to have weathered the storms that came on the first weekend in May.
Steve Wurth of Wurth Farms in Paducah said his farm had a great crop when the storms hit May 1-2, claiming up to 15 percent of his berries. The berries Wurth lost were ripe and the farm didn't likely suffer long-term damage. Wurth is now concerned about prolonged rain and high humidity, which would cause rot, fungus or lower sugar content.


Knott County Trail Ride Turns Violent

Police say one man is in the hospital after he was shot in the hand with his own gun.
By 2:00 a.m. Saturday, most were asleep after a long day of horse riding and fun in the sun. However, police say this was also the time an argument between David Gibson and someone from a neighboring camp took a violent turn. "The victim came into another guys camp, and an altercation ensued which resulted with him getting shot in the hand. With his own firearm," Knott County Police Chief Ken Amburgey said. Gibson, the victim, was rushed to the hospital but police say he did not suffer any life-threatening injuries. He told police he had issues with the camp last year, and went there to talk. Judge-Executive Randy Thompson is furious that a firearm was not only found, but discharged, at the Trail Ride with so many people around. Thompson says this is the first time someone has been shot at the Trail Ride. Police suspect alcohol was involved, which is also prohibited anywhere on the campgrounds. Thompson says the county will continue to investigate the incident and then take steps to try and make sure this does not happen again.

"We will be and discuss to see what we can do to further prevent people from bringing in firearms and alcohol," Thompson said.

Police are still trying to figure out who shot the bullet that struck Gibson's hand. No charges are filed yet.

Police say Gibson has a Durham, NC address. The other camp involved with the altercation left shortly after the incident.


Government Waiting To See If Toyota Makes Safety Progress

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Monday that Washington wants to see results from Toyota's efforts to improve safety, and more fines would be imposed if needed. "If a fine is required, I think everyone recognizes now that safety is our number one priority, and we will do all that we can to uphold the laws in our country," he said. LaHood, speaking at the automaker's headquarters city in central Japan, said he was pleased with measures Toyota Motor Corp. has taken to improve its communication with U.S. regulators, but was waiting to see if they are effective.


Copper Thefts On Rise

One local cable company says that copper theft is now something of an “ongoing battle” as the problem continues to grow. Representatives with Gearheart Communications at Harold say that the rash of thefts from their company has grown worse as the price of precious metals, such as copper, has increased. Since 2008, the company has been the target of numerous copper thefts from telephone lines in the areas of Harold, Wheelwright and Grethel. At this point, the company is asking for help from the community, encouraging anyone who might have information of a past incident or those who might have even witnessed someone in the act of taking the lines, to let them know through an anonymous tip. Those who might have such information can contact either the Kentucky State Police Post 9 in Pikeville at (606) 433-7711 or Gearheart Communications.


Bunning Bows Out

During a recent dinner, U.S. Senator Jim Bunning bid the Kentucky Republican Party farewell, telling supporters that "it's been great" as he watches two contenders vie for the GOP nomination for his seat. Bunning cracked jokes and said he was looking forward to time with his family. U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the minority leader and once Bunning's closest ally, was absent from the dinner. Bunning bowed out of an expected reelection bid in July 2009, citing fundraising difficulties. The two Republicans hoping to nab the GOP nomination on May 18, Secretary of State Trey Grayson and Bowling Green ophthalmologist Rand Paul, attended the dinner, but did not speak.


Residents Upset Over Cemetery Bulldozing

A natural gas company in eastern Kentucky bulldozed an unmarked cemetery in Bell County, upsetting Dorothy Lingar of Fourmile and Bill Dunn of Middlesboro who say they want the graves of family members restored. Vinnland Energy Vice President Scott Gilbert says the company was unaware the graveyard near Fourmile was there before a bulldozer ran through it. Gilbert pointed to maps of Bell County, which don't list the graveyard.

Sunday, May 09, 2010


Officials Assess Flood Damages

County flood damage assessments began Friday morning and continued through the weekend after Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel met for briefings with the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management officials in Frankfort Thursday. Teams began canvassing the state to estimate the extensive damages from last weekend’s devastating storms and flooding.


Kentucky Voters Favor Health Care Repeal

Roughly 620,000 adults and 102,000 children in Kentucky are uninsured. According to a new telephone poll conducted from May 2nd to the 4th, more than half of the 600 likely voters surveyed in Kentucky say the $940 billion health care overhaul should be repealed while nearly two-thirds say it should never have become law. The poll, conducted by Research 2000 of Olney, Md., has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell advocated repealing major portions of the bill just after it was approved. McConnell vowed that Democrats will regret their votes for the bill come fall.


Harris Ad On WYMT-TV Pulled

An advertisement on WYMT-TV depicting Pike County District 6 Magistrate Chris Harris as a part of the KACO exorbinate spending spree exposed earlier by the Lexington Herald-Leader has been pulled from the air. An inquiry by the station has determined Harris was not a part of the lavish spending by the KACO Board of Directors. Harris has suggested possible legal action toward the group who purchased the ad...Citizens For Eastern Kentucky Government.


Floyd County School Recognized

Students at one Floyd County school dressed as pirates to help celebrate a big accomplishment. May Valley Elementary School was recognized as a "Floyd County School of Excellence." Teachers and students earned this after receiving a list of achievements the past few years, including being designated a national blue ribbon school. The pirate party was designed to help students get ready to start testing this week.


Open Letter From KSP

The following is an open letter from the KSP regarding the end of the school year and underage drinking. East Kentucky Broadcasting shares it with you.

Dear Editor,
We are nearing the time where many young people will celebrate a lifetime of accomplishments as they graduate from high school and move toward their life goals. Family and friends will gather together for a festive occasion to commemorate this awesome milestone.
Traditionally, this is also a time when alcohol enters into the mix and brings tragic results for all involved. Alcohol is the most commonly used drug among American youth and it kills 5,000 teens every year.
Some consider underage drinking a ‘Rite of Passage’. In Kentucky, we consider it against the law. Last year 4,014 teenagers under the age of twenty were arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and twenty-two of those were under the age of 14.
750 million dollars. That’s a lot of money. It’s the amount that was offered to purchase the ‘Facebook’ internet domain. It is the amount of funding NASA requested to send a solar probe to the sun. It is the gross domestic product of Turkey.
It is also how much underage drinking costs Kentucky taxpayers every year.
With the continued emphasis on our state budget to conserve every dollar, it is more important than ever to reduce the financial burden that underage drinking places on our stretched-thin state.
As a Trooper, I have seen first-hand the consequences that result from youth alcohol related incidents, including driving under the influence, underage drinking parties and alcohol poisoning. Any law enforcement officer will tell you that notifying a parent that their child has been killed in a senseless accident is one of the hardest things we must do.
As a Father, I implore parents to talk to children about the dangers of underage drinking. Sixty-five percent of kids who drink alcohol say they get it from their own home. As parents, we are the greatest influence in our children’s lives. The more you connect with them, the less likely they will be to give in to peer pressure.
It is my sincere hope that we all will celebrate the achievements of our Kentucky youth during graduation 2010. Please join with me in making every effort to let our children know the dangers of underage drinking and where we stand on this important issue.

Lt. David P. Jude
Kentucky State Police Headquarters
Frankfort, Ky.


Six KY Underground Mines Temporarily Closed

Federal regulators temporarily closed six underground coal mines in Kentucky after turning up hundreds of violations during a mid-April inspection blitz following an explosion that killed 29 miners in West Virginia. The Mine Safety and Health Administration said it has sued two of the operations for tipping off workers that federal inspectors were on the property. Overall, MSHA says it issued more than 1,300 citations during the five-day blitz. MSHA's preliminary report lists methane and coal dust as the cause and the agency focused the blitz on rules covering methane, ventilation and efforts to control coal dust.


Federal Inmates Indicted

Jamel Aleem, Steven Jones, Stanley Obanion and Toriana Phelps, four inmates at the federal prison in Martin County have been indicted by a grand jury. The four are accused of assaulting three correctional officers. If convicted, each could face up to 20 additional years in prison.


Shoplifter Gets Unusual Punishment

One judge is trying to make sure a petty criminal learns his lesson without putting a burden on taxpayers. Casey McGuire was ordered to wear a sign that reads, "I am a shoplifter. I shoplifted from this store.The man was standing on the sidewalk outside of Slone's Signature Market in Rowan County Saturday and Sunday for four hours. McGuire admitted that he stole a $10 bottle of cough syrup from Sloane's in January. The crime violated his probation from an earlier, felony crime.


Execution Protocol Challenged

In November, the Kentucky Supreme Court barred the state from conducting any executions. Kentucky's new method for executing prisoners by lethal injection was set to take effect, but three condemned inmates have asked a judge to stop the state from using it. Death row inmates Ralph Stevens Baze, Thomas Clyde Bowling and Brian Keith Moore filed a motion Friday in Franklin Circuit Court through public defender David Barron. The motion asks a judge to declare the state violated a Kentucky Supreme Court order in the way it adopted the new method. The challenge says the state fails to spell out how the chemicals would be injected, authorizes unqualified people to insert intravenous lines and doesn't allow death row inmates to address a public hearing about the protocol. The challenge is the latest by Baze, who has twice come within weeks of being executed. It is set to be heard May 19th.


UK Graduation

Nearly 7,000 University of Kentucky students have received their degrees. The university honored them in a ceremony Saturday at Rupp Arena that featured a commencement address from David C. Novak, chairman, CEO and president of Yum! Brands.
Architect Daniel Libeskind was one of three given an honorary degree. The UK professor from 1973-75 was honored for his appointment as the first cultural ambassador for architecture by the U.S. Department of State in 2004. Honored all over the world, Libeskind was the winner of the master plan competition for the area where the World Trade Center once stood in New York City. Longtime Kentucky journalist Judith G. Clabes also received an honorary degree.


Test Results On Truck Driver

Tests show a truck driver whose rig crossed the median of Interstate 65 and crashed into a family's van killing 11 people had no trace of drugs or alcohol in his system.
KSP Trooper Charles Swiney said the toxicology tests on the body of driver Kenneth E. Laymon were negative. The 45-year-old Laymon had been sending and receiving calls from his cell phone leading up to the March 26 crash, according to a Kentucky State Police report.


Medically Underserved Areas May Get Funding

Centers that bring doctors to rural, underserved areas may get more funding now that health care reform has passed. In Kentucky, where doctor shortages in rural areas are a continuing problem, those centers operate through a collaborative effort between University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky. Dr. Faye Jones, program director for the U of L education center, said the expected support would be welcomed. She says her center's budget has been decreasing as the problems it faces are increasing. Jones said one way to help produce more doctors for underserved areas is to expose medical students to rural medicine.


New Law Closes Offender Loophole

Kentucky jails will be able to file monthly reports on whether offenders are paying restitution and abiding by parole conditions under a new law taking effect this year.
The law is aimed at closing a loophole that allowed offenders to earn credit toward their total prison sentence for the time they were on the streets. The loophole came about during a push in 2008 to alleviate jail overcrowding. The new provision denies credited time to people who are behind in their restitution until they pay in full.


Kayaker's Body Recovered

Divers have retrieved the body of 18 year old John Tyler Pickerell of Pulaski County, the sixth person in the state to die as a result of last weekend's flooding. Pickerell had gone kayaking Wednesday on Lake Cumberland and had been missing since the kayak he and a friend were in capsized. The friend made it to shore, but Pickerell had last been seen swimming toward a cliff face. Search and rescue crews located his body on sonar off Needle Point. An autopsy confirmed drowning as the cause of death.


Texting Ban Bill Signed

Texting while driving can be deadly, and soon it will also be illegal in Kentucky.
House Bill 415 has been officially signed into law, and beginning in January it will be illegal for drivers to write or send a text message or email while driving.
Democratic Rep. Reggie Meeks said over 200 people in the Commonwealth have been killed on our roads because of distracted driving, and because of cell phone use, and because of texting. Absent from the language of the bill, however, is talking on your phone while driving. Meeks says there will be a provision for people to be able to use hands-free devices to talk while driving.

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