Saturday, May 29, 2010


Cheaper Gas Prices Help Memorial Day Travel

AAA says it expects 1.6 million more Americans will hit the highways this Memorial Day weekend than last year. Gasoline prices tumbled almost every day this month, and, on Friday, crude prices dropped again, bringing the national average price to $2.749 a gallon. A gallon of regular unleaded is 12 cents cheaper than it was a month ago and 8 cents cheaper than just a week ago, making the timing perfect for holiday travelers. If you're traveling to other states or just staying close to home, remember to take your time to be cautious, obey traffic laws and buckle up. Officers are out across the country participating in the national "Click it or Ticket" campaign.


Doctor Loses W V Medical License

A Williamson doctor has lost her West Virginia medical license. Dr. Katherine Hoover who operated Mountain Medical Care Center, which was raided in March, says the Williamson clinic provided excellent care, and that she prescribed drugs only to legitimate patients. No charges have been filed in that case. However, a complaint from the 1990s led the state Board of Medicine to revoke the license because the board faults Hoover for missing a May 8th hearing in a case that alleges she asked a teenage female patient to have sex with her son. In a letter received Friday, Hoover urged the board to reconsider, saying she is in the Bahamas and can not travel because of health issues.


Lawsuit Targets Massey Energy

A lawsuit seeking unspecified damages was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Beckley against Richmond, Va.-based Massey Energy. The Firefighters Retirement System of Louisiana alleges Massey committed securities fraud by lying to investors about the safety of its mines. Attorneys are asking the court to certify the lawsuit as a class action. A similar lawsuit was filed last month in the same court by another investor. Shareholders also have filed lawsuits in Wyoming County Circuit Court, Kanawha County Circuit Court and Delaware's Chancery Court.


Charleston Police Arrest Alleged Gang Members

Charleston Police say 42 year old Earl Moore of South Charleston, 18 year old Telisa McCauley and 20 year old Whitney Avery, both of Charleston, severely beat 53 year old Robert "Jeff" Moore of Charleston who was found in an alley off Fife Street around 11:00 P.M. on Saturday, May 23rd. Police say Earl Moore hit him in the head and knocked him to the ground, while Telisa McCauley then rolled his body over and stole his wallet containing $40 and Earl Moore then punched Jeff in the face while Whitney Avery served as lookout. Police say Moore, McCauley and Avery are part of a gang that hangs out in the area of the Transit Mall and jumps people in order to rob them. Avery and McCauley are also charged with robbing a juvenile male at knifepoint. Moore has been charged with one count of felony first-degree robbery. His cash-only bail was set at $50,000. Avery and McCauley have been charged with two counts each of first-degree robbery and are being held at the South Central Regional Jail on $150,000 bail.


West Virginia Conviction Overturned

A Maryland man who allegedly admitted to a detective that he killed a West Virginia man has had his conviction overturned. Thirty year old Marshall Adams of Hagerstown, Maryland allegedy admitted, during a jailhouse conversation with a detective, that he had fatally stabbed 31 year old Leo Morris of Ranson, West Virginia. Adams, who claimed self-defense, got 40 years for killing Morris during an aborted drug deal in April 2006. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals ruled this week that a Washington County judge improperly allowed testimony about self-incriminating statements Adams allegedly made to police without his attorney's presence, and the judge failed to tell jurors they could consider whether Adams stabbed Morris in a hot-blooded reaction to a surprise robbery attempt.


Mercer County Man Sentenced

Twenty-five year old Terry Allen Blevins of Princeton was sentenced in Mercer Circuit Court this week to life in prison without parole. He was convicted last month of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson. Prosecutors say, in August 2008, Blevins killed James and Delores Barton, who were both 74 years old, and then torched their home on U.S. 19 between Princeton and Kegley in an effort to cover up the crime.


Putnam County Man Sent To Anthony Center

In April, 22 year old Courtney Shelton of Buffalo in Putnam County pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping and three misdemeanors, including battery on a police officer, admitting that, in December, he led police on a high-speed chase that began in North Charleston and ended in Dunbar. Friday, Kanawha Circuit Judge Duke Bloom ordered Shelton to complete a program at the Anthony Center in Greenbrier County, a facility for youthful offenders. The program can take anywhere between nine months and two years. Following completion, Bloom says he would consider placing Shelton on probation. Otherwise, Shelton will likely be headed to prison. Shelton has no criminal record and has been on home confinement without any problems since his arrest.


Marjuana Seized In Raid

Police say information supplied by the Lexington–Fayette Co. Div. of Police led Kentucky State Police troopers and officers of the Nicholasville Police Dept. to a large quantity of marijuana on the site of a Nicholasville business on Thursday. Officers seized 491 lbs. of processed marijuana, packaged for resale in one-pound amounts, from a recreational vehicle belonging to an employee of the business. One female suspect was arrested on charges of trafficking in marijuana over eight ounces. She is being held in the Fayette County Detention Center. Her identity has not yet been released, and additional arrests are pending.


Floyd County Residents Indicted On Drug Charges

Two Floyd County residents have been indicted on charges of conspiring to distribute oxycodone. Angelina Boyd, 31, of Grethel, and Keisha Howard, 20, of Hueysville, were indicted along with Procter Wayne Pennington Sr., 57, of Paintsville, Procter Wayne Pennington Jr., 38, of Paintsville, James R. Pennington, 52, of Flat Gap, Dean Wayne Wright, 38, of Oil Springs, and Sheena Spears, 22, of Paintsville. Pennington Sr. and Pennington Jr. also allegedly conspired to engage in money laundering. If convicted, the group face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.


ARH Lays Off Workers

The South Williamson Appalachian Regional Hospital has eliminated some positions, resulting in layoffs. According to Tim Hatfield, Community CEO, 12 employees lost their jobs. South Williamson Appalachian Regional Hospital employs over 400 people.
The layoffs come on the heels of the news the healthcare chain has been selected as the 2010 Outstanding Rural Health Organization in the nation by the National Rural Health Association. The corporation laid off five steelworkers, and the others were in management.


New Ashland Police Department

The Ashland Police Department now has a new place to call home as dozens of city officials and residents were on hand Friday for the dedication of the new $5 million police department building. Ground was broken in March 2009 for the two-story 17,000-square-foot building across from the Ashland City Building. The move frees up room in the city building which will be dedicated to other city departments. A number of changes, including reopening the Greenup Avenue door to the city building are being planned. The city has about 50 police officers operating out of the new building. They moved from the first, second and fifth floors of the city building in the past few months.


Judge Bars Warning Of Mining Inspectors

A federal judge has ordered an eastern Kentucky mining company to stop alerting miners to surprise inspections by federal regulators. U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove issued the order Friday barring a Pathfork mining company from giving advance notice to underground miners that inspectors are on site, a violation of the federal Mine Safety and Health Act. The order stems from a series of mine inspections around the country last month in the wake of the nation's worst coal mining disaster in 40 years. The blast at Massey Energy Co.'s Upper Big Branch mine in southern West Virginia killed 29 men.


Nursing Home For Veterans

A proposal to build a new nursing home for veterans in Kentucky has cleared its first hurdle. U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie announced Friday a provision has been added to both the House and the Senate version of the Defense Authorization bill. The measure would help Kentucky secure land near Fort Knox to build the facility. McConnell says the Senate Armed Services Committee approved the bill Thursday. A House committee passed its version of the bill on May 20. The bill still has to be considered by the full Senate and House.


Free Fishing Weekend June 5-6

Each year, the celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week includes Free Fishing Weekend. Anglers may fish in Kentucky June 5-6 without a fishing license or a trout permit. All fishing regulations such as minimum size limits and daily creel limits remain in effect during Free Fishing Weekend. This year, National Fishing and Boating Week runs June 5-13. The celebrations aim to bring new people into fishing, boating and other water-related recreation. Kids ages 15 and under may fish without a license or permit year-round. The Free Fishing Weekend allows their parents or family visiting from out of state to join them for free. Participants must bring their own fishing tackle.



The Kentucky Senate has overwhelmingly passed a lean state budget that calls for spending cuts across much of state government. Lawmakers approved a new $17 billion spending plan for the next two years. They came to a final agreement on the fifth day of a special session that started on May 24. The session costs Kentucky taxpayers about $63,000 a day. By approving the budget, lawmakers avoided partial government shut down July 1, the first day of the new fiscal year. With any budget comes cuts, but this budget promises no new taxes. Although it is a Saturday, the House and the Senate will be back in session on May 29at 2 p.m. Lawmakers cannot adjourn before the budget is printed, which takes 12 hours. The House and Senate have yet to vote on a transportation budget or a road plan, but those do not interfere with the new state budget, which will now go to Gov. Steve Beshear.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Commissioners Scold AEP For Requested Rate Hikes

Representatives with Appalachian Power received a stern scolding this week from Cabell County Commissioners Bob Bailey and Scott Bias after requesting support for two rate increases. The Public Service Commission of West Virginia is considering the July 2010 rate increase and will also consider the March 2011 rate increase. The two proposed rate changes would increase the cost of 1,000 kilowatt hours per month from $80.46 to $94.19, a total increase of 17 percent. Bailey read off a list of names and salaries of AEP employees who make more than $1 million while proposing rate increases on people who are already unable to pay their utility bills. He questioned how AEP could ask for higher rates while the president of AEP flies around in a private plane. Bias expressed concerns with power grids being operated by northern states, saying northern states have the ability to decide which states receive power during peak times. He also questioned why AEP in West Virginia did not require regular maintenance and upkeep of its lines. AEP representatives Steve Stewart and Jim Fawcett tried to explain rate increases were to make up for the increased cost of coal and to purchase new equipment that was mandated by the federal government.


Cabell Circuit Judge Sets Bond In Murder Case

Thursday, Cabell Circuit Judge Alfred Ferguson agreed to set a $50,000 bond, with home confinement as a condition of any release, for Jesse Aaron Blevins. Blevins faces a two-count indictment in the July 28, 2009, stabbing death of one-time love interest Elizabeth Cotton whose body was found hidden underneath a cellar's trapdoor in a basement of a home at 728 Jackson Avenue in Huntington. The judge denied a defense effort to toss out evidence in the case. Defense attorney Courtenay Craig plans to appeal that decision to the state Supreme Court. Craig says Blevins acted in self-defense and lacked premeditation, a prerequisite for first-degree murder. Trial is set for later this year.


CONSOL Gives Boy Scouts $15 Million

CONSOL Energy is giving the Boy Scouts of America $15 million to help build a bridge at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve new high adventure camp in Fayette County. The bridge will span 700 feet, will be 200 feet above the ground and will connect the main development center to the eastern end of the camp. It will bare the name of CONSOL. The new camp will be the fourth high adventure facility for the Boy Scouts, joining three in New Mexico, Minnesota, and Florida. The Fayette County camp will have a number of activities, including whitewater rafting, rock climbing, and mountain biking.


EPA Extends Comment Period

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is extending its comment period on the agency's proposal to revoke a permit for the Spruce No. 1 Mine in Logan County to June 4th. The comment period was scheduled to end Tuesday, but the agency says a website used to accept comments will be unavailable through Memorial Day weekend. EPA plans to veto a permit granted in 2007 for the mountaintop removal operation because it says valley fills would bury 7 miles of streams, harm water quality and affect 2,278 acres of forest.


Former Hotel To Become Work-Release Center

What was once a thriving 150 guest rooms hotel with a banquet hall, bar and lounge in Parkersburg is being turned into a state work-release center. The former Holiday Inn near the Seventh Street exit off Interstate 77 closed in 2007. Last year, corrections officials began looking at the facility after a report urged the state to increase the number of work-release programs to help ease prison overcrowding. The state paid about $2.2 million to acquire the property which has 22 acres of land. Contracts have yet to be awarded for architectural and engineering studies to transform the hotel into a minimum-security center, which is expected to house up to 140 inmates.


Police Say Beatings May Be Group Related

Charleston police say the brutal beating that left Jeff Moore in an alley off Fife Street in Charleston may not have been an isolated attack. They believe several other robberies and attacks in the same part of the city may have connections, and they may have been committed by a group of people. On the same night Moore was robbed and beaten, Adam Melton was jumped an hour earlier in front of the main Charleston post office on Lee Street, a few blocks from where Moore was found, but he was not severely injured. Police arrested a 16-year-old in that attack. They have also arrested Todd Woodson and George Hatcher for the attack of Ken Napier which occurred outside of Taylor Books in Charleston about two weeks earlier.


Bill Clinton To Speak In Kentucky

Former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to talk about his personal experience with hearing loss at a central Kentucky private nonprofit agency for children with hearing and speech difficulties. Clinton will be the keynote speaker Aug. 13 as the agency celebrates its 50th anniversary. The celebration is a kickoff for a $2 million fundraising campaign to replace the school. The event is set for the R.J. Corman airplane hanger in Nicholasville. Tickets start at $500 each.


Free Fishing Weekend

Each year, the celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week includes Free Fishing Weekend. Anglers may fish in Kentucky June 5-6 without a fishing license or a trout permit. All fishing regulations such as minimum size limits and daily creel limits remain in effect during Free Fishing Weekend. This year, National Fishing and Boating Week runs June 5-13. The celebrations aim to bring new people into fishing, boating and other water-related recreation.


Ground Breaking For Eastern State Hospital

Last fall, state, city and University of Kentucky leaders unveiled architectural plans for a new $129 million Eastern State Hospital, which was then scheduled to open in 2012. Governor Steve Beshear's chief of staff, Adam Edelen, told a crowd gathered Thursday at the National Alliance on Mental Illness banquet in Lexington that he will soon be scheduling the dedication and ground breaking for the new hospital. Under a land swap, the 300,000-square-foot facility would be built at the University of Kentucky Coldstream Research Campus near Interstate 64/75. The current site, closer to downtown, would become the site for a new campus for the Bluegrass Community and Technical college system. Work on the college is expected to begin in 2011.


Former Corbin Officer Chooses Jail Time

Former Corbin police officer, 36 year old Charlie Bronson Fugate, showed up Tuesday at the Whitley County Detention Center to serve the first day of his court-ordered 14 days in jail for his second DUI in a year's time. He was formally sentenced in Laurel District Court March 23rd. An order entered April 21st allows him to serve those days whenever he chooses with no apparent time limit in which to serve them. Fugate was arrested during a traffic stop in the early-morning hours of February 7th by Kentucky State Police Sgt. Steve Walker for second-offense DUI and for failing to dim his headlights after he was observed crossing the "fog line" of the roadway, and then crossing the centerline into the wrong lane on US 25 while traveling south toward Corbin. An Intoxilizer breath test showed Fugate's blood-alcohol as .260 - more than three times the legal limit of .08. He pleaded guilty to the DUI charge March 23 and was ordered to pay a total of $519 in fines and court costs, his license was suspended for 12 months and he was sentenced to 90 days in jail, 76 days of which was probated.


Grand Jury Indicts Former UK Fraternity Member

This week, a Fayette County grand jury indicted former University of Kentucky fraternity member 20 year old Sean Patrick Dunn from Hebron on a misdemeanor count of second-degree wanton endangerment and a charge of defacing or damaging property at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house which remains closed on the recommendation of the UK fire marshal. Police say Dunn wrapped another member, John Pelosi, in bathroom tissue and set it on fire, causing flames to engulf Pelosi up to his shoulders. Pelosi rolled on the floor to extinguish the flames.


Kentucky Kingdom To Replace Six Flags

The Kentucky State Fair Board has unanimously approved a proposal to reach a deal with Ed Hart and his KK Redevelopment Co. by late July. Hart, who rescued Kentucky Kingdom from bankruptcy more than a decade ago, has been selected to replace Six Flags as operator of the 58-acre theme park after bankrupt Six Flags announced in January it would walk away from its lease for the park. Rehabilitation of the park could cost up to $20 million, with the Fair Board borrowing the money through a bond issue and Hart contributing up to $3 million. The fair board must still negotiate ownership of attractions and rides with bankrupt Six Flags, but officials say those issues should be worked out in the next 30 days. Last year, the park drew 500,000 visitors, down from a peak in the mid-1990s of 1.3 million. Closure of the park this season is expected to cost area hotels roughly 10,000 overnight stays, but park officials say they're committed to reopening in 2011.


Legislators Say They Would Voluntarily Pay For Special Session

Governor Steve Beshear called a special legislative session which began Monday after legislators deadlocked on a budget before adjourning April 15th. Earlier this week, Representative Tom Riner, D-Louisville, offered an amendment to the House budget to cut House legislators' salaries by five percent over the next two years. He said the amount of money from the cut could generate about $750,000, which would pay for the special session and set a good example. House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, ruled the amendment was out of order because it was attached to the executive branch budget but deals with legislators' pay, a separate branch of government. Many legislators say they will voluntarily donate their pay for the special legislative session, which cost about $63,000 a day.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Leaders Confident About State Budget

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, says he talked with Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, Thursday concerning the state budget. Both leaders are confident there will be no need for a conference committee and that a budget agreement will be reached by Friday afternoon. Stumbo says he does not think the Senate would pass a budget bill Friday and then adjourn without knowing what the House does with it. The Senate's budget chairman signaled a willingness Thursday to restore money to help replace Kentucky's most rundown schools.


Whitley County Brothers Plead Guilty

Rather than stand trial Wednesday on a murder charge, two Whitley County brothers, 35 year old James Allen Anderson and 41 year old James W. Anderson, entered guilty pleas to reduced charges. Both were initially indicted for murder and complicity to commit murder in the death of 34 year old Larry Dean Jones who was found lying in a ditch beside Cane Gap Road around 1:30 A.M. on June 20, 2008. Jones had been shot three times in the head. James A. Anderson entered a guilty plea to first-degree manslaughter in exchange for prosecutors recommending a 15-year prison sentence. James W. Anderson pleaded guilty to criminal complicity to commit first-degree manslaughter in exchange for prosecutors recommending a 12-year prison sentence. Both carry a sentencing range between 10 to 20 years in prison, and each man will have to serve 85 percent of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole. Neither defendant is eligible for shock probation.


Former Breathitt County Coach Faces Sex Charges

Sixty-eight year old Dennis Jackson, the former baseball coach at Riverside Christian School in Breathitt County, has been arrested on 14 sex-related charges, including sexual abuse, sodomy and indecent exposure, two charges involving an alleged victim under 12 years of age. Jackson resigned earlier this month. He is being held at Three Forks Regional Jail in Beattyville in lieu of $100,000 cash bond.


Florida Doctor Faces Kentucky Drug Charge

On Monday, federal agents and Kentucky State Police arrested a Boca Raton, Florida doctor and charged him with drug trafficking. Dr. Michael Shook, owner and operator of the Lauderhill Medical Clinic in Oakland Park, Florida, is accused of illegally prescribing tens of thousands of pills to patients in eastern Kentucky, including several in Johnson and Floyd counties. Investigators searched his office and found 1,400 patient files which included names of some of the 500 people arrested during last October's Flamingo Road Roundup. Shook is the second south Florida doctor to face federal charges in eastern Kentucky. Shook is free on $50,000 cash bond.


Letcher County Vows To Keep Juvenile Drug Court

Letcher County officials say, on June 8th, two kids will graduate from their juvenile drug court. Those officials say, although the state's judicial system is losing seven million dollars in budget cuts, and one service being eliminated is the juvenile drug courts program, they're determined to keep their program...even if it means using county money to fund it. The program will cost them about 30 thousand dollars, but they consider the money well spent if it can help save one child from drugs. As a temporary solution, they're using saved money to keep the program going.


Senate Committee Passes Revenue Measure

The Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee voted unanimously Thursday to pass House Bill 2, which, through a series of cost-cutting measures, including caps on state tax incentives, would generate about $88 million over the next two years. The Senate attached four different tax credits to the House version of the revenue measure, including easing requirements on an environmental tax credit targeted at Toyota, although some of those business tax credits will not take effect for the next several years. The bill must be passed in conjunction with the state’s two-year budget.


Unemployment Rates Rise In 69 Kentucky Counties

According to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, between April 2009 and April 2010, unemployment rates rose in 69 Kentucky counties. Fayette County had the lowest jobless rate of 7.7 percent, while Magoffin County recorded the state's highest unemployment rate of 19.2 percent.


KY State Parks Name New Managers

The Kentucky Department of Parks has named new managers at several locations within the state’s system of resort, recreational parks and historic sites. Parks Commissioner Gerry van der Meer said the new managers and other interim assignments assure a smooth transition into the parks’ busy summer season that opens with Memorial Day. Ron Sydnor, previously assistant manager at Lake Barkley State Resort Park, has moved into the top slot at the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site along U.S. 68 near Fairview. Michael Schwendau went to Blue Licks State Resort Park near Carlisle as acting manager of the park and museum following Stephanie Gaither’s naming as a regional manager. His tenure as manager comes after nearly five years as assistant manager at Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park near Gilbertsville.
Kentucky State Parks, regarded as one of the best park systems in the nation, includes 52 locations. Just having celebrated its 85th anniversary last year, the system is an agency in the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet. Kentucky’s state parks boast the most developed parks system in the nation and draw millions of visitors each year and has a major economic impact on Kentucky’s economy.


Teacher Retiree Bill

Governor Steve Beshear signed House Bill 540 establishing a plan for long-term funding of teacher retiree health care. The measure helps ensure that Kentucky’s retired teachers, as well as active teachers once they retire, will continue to receive health benefits. House Bill 540 provides a shared responsibility solution that ends the long history of under-funding of medical benefits for Kentucky’s retired teachers. It calls upon active teachers, retired teachers, school districts and the state to share in a piece of the solution by investing a little now for substantial returns later.


Massey Announces Plans For Mine Reentry

Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship issued a statement Thursday that says, next Wednesday, June 2nd, a 16 member team consisting of Massey Energy, Mine Safety and Health Administration and the state Mine Safety Office officials will re-enter the Upper Big Branch Mine to monitor the air quality inside the mine. Those air monitoring results will determine when more investigators can go underground to work on determining what caused the April 5th explosion which injured two miners and killed 29 others. State Mine Safety Director Ron Wooten says he's looking forward to the reentry at UBB.


Carl D. Perkins Center Graduation

The Carl D. Perkins Vocational Training Center at Thelma will be conducting its commencement ceremony on Friday, June 18, 2010, beginning at 1:00 p.m. The graduation ceremony is held at this time each year to honor and recognize the students who have completed their individual programs over the past year. A reception will be held in honor of the graduates, their families and guests immediately following the graduation ceremony. The staff and students of the Perkins Center would like to invite all interested citizens and program supporters to attend.


Road Striping To Begin

Yellow and white lines on more than 3,000 lane miles of state roads in Highway District 12 will be repainted starting June 1. Doug Wright, PE, Project Manager for Highway District 12, said traffic will be directed using rolling lane closures. $B!H (JA pilot truck with an arrow on the back will slow down traffic while the striping truck moves in front of it. It takes the paint up to five minutes to dry.
Wright said traffic should follow the pilot truck on two-lane roads, although it may
be possible to pass it on four-lane highways. Not every road will have both white and yellow lines painted. Some will have edge lines. All motorists are asked to use caution and respect the workers and the striping equipment. Everyone is asked to stay alert and pay attention all the time, most especially when traveling in a work zone. The routes affected are listed below.

FLOYD COUNTY: US 23, KY 3, 7, 80, 114, 122, 194, 302, 321, 404, 466, 550, 680, 777,
850, 979, 1086, 1091, 1100, 1210, 1426, 1428, 1498, 1750, 2029, 2554, 2555, 3024,
3051, 3188, and 3381.

JOHNSON COUNTY: US 23, US 460, KY 3, 40, 172, 201, 302, 321, 321X, 469, 580, 689,
825, 993, 1092, 1100, 1107, 1409, 1428, 1559, 1596, 1614, 1624, 2333, 2378, 2381,
2560, 3214, and 3388.

KNOTT COUNTY: KY 7, 160, 1087, 1091, 1098, 1393, 1410, 1498, and 3391.

LAWRENCE COUNTY: US 23, KY 1, 3, 3S, 32C, 201, 469, 644, 645, 828, 1185, 1690, 1715,
1760, 2033, 2566, and 3398.

LETCHER COUNTY: KY 7, 15, 15C, 160, 317, 343, 463, 510, 805, 806, 931, 932, 1103,
1148, 1410, 2034, and 3404.

MARTIN COUNTY: KY 3, 40, 292, 645, 908, 1439, 1714, 1884, 2032, and 3412.

PIKE COUNTY: US 23, US 119, US 460, KY 80, 122, 194, 197, 199, 292, 319, 468, 610,
632, 805, 881, 1426, 1441, 1460, 1469, 1789, 2167, 2169, 3218, 3220, 3227, 3417,
3495, and 3501.


Credit Transfer Between KCTCS And 4-Year Colleges

The Council on Postsecondary Education has heard the results of two recent student transfer surveys, both of which will serve as baseline data. The Council is working with the campuses to identify and then eliminate the transfer barriers for students attending the Kentucky Community and Technical College System who seek to transfer to a four-year campus. Council President Bob King said the survey results provide a better understanding of the factors that contribute to the successful transfer of students and their credits.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


KSP Seek Help In Cold Case

Kentucky State Police say 29 year old Gregory Back's disappearance in Magoffin County on December 14, 1988 left them puzzled and searching for him until May of last year when an anonymous tip led police to a pond near Rockhouse Road. Though part of that puzzle has now come together, KSP officials say they want to solve this cold case and bring closure for family members. Trooper Mike Goble says 22 years later there has still been no arrest made, and police need a major break. Police think someone knows who murdered Back and placed his body in the trunk of his car and can help. If you have any information on Gregory Back's murder, you can call state police post in Pikeville at 606-433-7711. Callers can remain anonymous


Rowan County Hit-And-Run Kills Tennessee Man

The Kentucky State Police post in Morehead reports that 47 year old Robert Lee Luther of Dandridge, Tennessee died Wednesday morning as the result of a hit-and-run on Interstate 64 one mile east of Morehead in Rowan County. Police say Luther was struck by a vehicle around 6:15 A.M. after he stepped outside his disabled vehicle. Police say the suspect's vehicle sustained damage after hitting Luther's vehicle and then hitting him.


French Television Filming Eastern Kentucky Drug Problem

It appears the eastern Kentucky drug problem has once again reached national and international media attention. The Current cable TV program Vanguard won a Peabody Award for its documentary called "The OxyContin Express." Tuesday, filmakers spent the day shooting in eastern Kentucky before heading to Florida...producing a documentary for French television. Filmakers say they just want to show the human side of this growing problem of prescription abuse.


Senate Clears Bourbon Bill

The Kentucky state Senate passed a version Wednesday that would allow distilleries and wineries to offer offsite complimentary Kentucky bourbon makers more opportunities to showcase their whiskey. The samplings would have to be done at authorized retail locations, and the alcohol would have to be bought from the retailer. Meanwhile, the House defeated a related bill, voted down 51-43, that would have allowed bourbon distillers to set up sampling booths at conventions and special events, including the World Equestrian Games in Lexington in September.


House Passes State Budget

The House voted 94-4 Wednesday to pass a two-year $17.1 billion budget which includes cuts to most state agencies, limited borrowing, but no cuts for the state's main funding formula for schools although it does require school districts to pay for one school day. The House deleted the measure to provide some state funding for the replacement of Category Five school buildings because there was not enough money to replace all the Category Five schools in the state. There are cuts to education programs such as family resource centers, gifted and talented programs, adult education and programs for the deaf and the blind. Representative Joni Jenkins, D-Shively, one of four who voted against the budget bill, said she could not support the measure because about $100,000 in coal severance money was going to a private Christian school in Breathitt County although a recent state Supreme Court opinion said the state could not give money to private religious institutions. House Budget Chairman Rick Rand, D-Bedford, said the $100,000 appropriation will be taken out of the budget by the Senate and it was an oversight that it was not taken out before Wednesday.


First Lady Promotes Equestrian Games

First Lady Jane Beshear, along with Alltech’s president and founder, Dr. Pearse Lyons, is conducting a three-day tour through Kentucky and five surrounding states to promote the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games which will be held at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington from Sept. 25 – Oct. 10th. The Games will held in the United States for the first time in what will be the largest sporting event in the nation since the 2002 Winter Olympics. World-class athletes and horses will compete in eight world championships at the Kentucky Horse Park.

The three-day tour will include a press conference at each of the nine stops, with the opportunity for media and the public to ask questions about the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Each stop will last approximately one hour and will include a short video about the Games. Stops include:

5/28/10 8:00 a.m. Bowling Green, Ky. National Corvette Museum

5/28/10 10:15 a.m. Paducah, Ky. National Quilt Museum

5/28/10 12:30 p.m. Owensboro, Ky. Riverpark Center


Sypher Turns Down Plea Deals

Karen Cunagin Sypher, the woman accused of trying to extort money from Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino and lying to the FBI, says the thought of going to prison gives her "chills." However, she says she has turned down plea deals from prosecutors. Sypher has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and her trial is set to start July 26th. Earlier this week, a federal judge denied her request to move the trial out of Louisville after her lawyer, James Earhart, claimed extensive publicity would make a fair trial before a Louisville jury impossible. Prosecutors say the publicity wasn't pervasive and a jury can be found in the Louisville area.


"Strangers And Kin" To Show

The Kentucky Historical Society will show “Strangers and Kin” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 10 at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in Frankfort. This is the last film of the KHS summer film series. Directed by Herb E. Smith in 1984, “Strangers and Kin” provides poignant examples to show the development of and the effects of stereotypes in the Southern mountains.“Strangers and Kin” offers suggestions about how contemporary Appalachians can embrace technological innovations and modernity without becoming “strangers to their kin.” Tickets to the film series are $4 for KHS members and $8 for the general public. Admission to “Strangers and Kin” includes popcorn, soda and entrance to the KHS history campus.


Wine Festival Scheduled

Wine enthusiasts later this year will be able to return to the spot where Henry Clay is said to have kept a large wine collection and to have grown white grapes, at his Lexington estate known as Ashland. Officials Monday announced a new wine festival, "Vintage Kentucky: A Toast to Henry Clay," set for Sept. 4 at the estate. Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry says the event will showcase 15 to 20 Kentucky vineyards and will feature the Evening at Ashland Jazz Concert. Newberry's office says besides Clay's wine collection and grape-growing, he was also a stockholder in Kentucky's first vineyard, located in Jessamine County.


Kentucky Medicaid Recipients Could Increase

According to a study released Wednesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the number of Kentucky residents with Medicaid coverage could shoot up by nearly 424,000 patients by 2019, with the federal government covering most of the costs of their treatment. If Kentucky aggressively pursues enrolling new Medicaid patients, the percentage of uninsured low-income adults in the state would drop 77 percent. Kentucky stands to get a slightly larger than average share of its Medicaid expansion paid for by the federal government, 95 percent of the costs of covering newly eligible Kentuckians from 2014 to 2019. The study estimates that, if states actively sought to enroll additional Medicaid patients, the uninsured and those making up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level income, the federal government would pay $531 billion of the additional health care cost, with states picking up $43 billion.


5-Year Old To Represent State

Abby Martin, a 5-year-old Kentucky girl being treated at Kentucky Children's Hospital in Lexington for a complex set of birth defects known as CHARGE syndrome will represent the state as Champions of the Children's Miracle Network. Martin's first stop will be Washington, D.C. in June, where she will join children from the rest of the country who have fought severe medical conditions. The program's goal is to bring attention to work being done in children's hospitals nationwide. The children will also visit Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.


Recycling Plant To Locate In Franklin County

Frankfort officials say more than 350 jobs are expected to be created when a plastic recycling plant opens in the city. Mountain Valley Recycling Corporation will open as soon as possible. The Boca Raton, FL-based company turns plastic waste into reusable resins for manufacturers of plastic products. In a groundbreaking move, the Food and Drug Administration recently approved two types of resins made by Mountain Valley Recycling for food contact.


Prestonsburg Attorney Sues Coal Companies

Prestonsburg attorney Ned Pillersdorf has filed another complaint against Grizzly Processing and Frasure Creek Mining, adding 34 residents to a a list of more than 100 plaintiffs in an original lawsuit who will seek settlements. Those included say coal mining work in the area near their homes at Allen and Banner has adversely affected their quality of life while contaminating their homes with coal dust and other “pollutants.” In the complaint, Pillersdorf states that these pollutants are the result of heavy equipment use. The residents claim assault and battery against the two companies, saying they have been placed in physical contact by inhaling coal particles. The lawsuit also claims a former employee, Lloyd Layne, personally asked the operators to manage environmental control of the work situation. Pillersdorf says numerous attempts were disregarded and rejected. Frasure Creek Mining has agreed to consider using a hood on conveyer belts and using a truck spray system at the railroad in the area near the scale house.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Governor's Budget Plan Includes I-65

Transportation Cabinet spokesman Chuck Wolfe says Governor Steve Beshear's proposed budget includes funds for widening parts of a stretch of Interstate 65 in Hart County. Kentucky State Police in Bowling Green say an accident involving two tractor-trailers which both caught fire occurred Tuesday near the 65 mile maker in Hart County, shutting down all lanes of Interstate 65 for most of the day. The accident occurred when one southbound truck rear-ended the other. One driver was taken to Caverna Hospital by ambulance for treatment while the other suffered burns and was flown by helicopter to University Hospital in Louisville. The crash was about a mile from the site where a tractor-trailer crossed the interstate median on March 26th and smashed into a van carrying 12 Mennonites to an Iowa wedding. The stretch of I-65 has long raised safety concerns because of limited room to maneuver. The 47-mile stretch between Elizabethtown and the Cumberland Parkway is the only remaining section of the highway that narrows to two lanes in each direction.


House Budget Committee Clears State Budget

On a 24-2 vote, the House budget committee overwhelmingly approved a $17 billion, two-year state spending plan Tuesday even though several lawmakers deem it inadequate. House budget committee Chairman Rick Rand said it calls for spending cuts across most of state government but spares the state's main funding formula for elementary and secondary education. Under the plan, most state agencies would face cuts of 3 percent in the first year and 4 percent in the second year of the biennium. Representative Don Pasley, D-Winchester, said, “A bad budget is superior to no budget at all.” Lawmakers say they're attempting to expedite budget work and limit their special session to the minimum of five days.


Thayer Possible Candidate In Governor Race

Todd County businessman Bill Johnson, who garnered about 8,000 votes in last week’s primary election after he withdrew from the race for U.S. Senate in March, and state Senator Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, are considering running as a slate in next year’s race for governor and lieutenant governor. Johnson says he hopes to make a decision by June or July. Johnson says he considers Democratic Governor Steve Beshear, who is running for re-election next year with Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson as his running mate, vulnerable because of his handling of the state budget. Both Johnson and Thayer say Republicans they consider formidable opponents in a primary bid for governor include state Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer of Manchester, who has not yet made any decision about his political plans, Senate President David Williams of Burkesville, who has been frequently mentioned as a possible candidate although he has not publicly announced if he would run and Jess Correll, president of First Southern National Bank in Stanford, another possible candidate. Thayer, who has been a member of the Senate since 2003 and is chairman of the Senate State and Local Government Committee, confirmed he has discussed the race for governor and lieutenant governor with Johnson. Thayer says he may also seek re-election to the state Senate in 2012, or he may run for some other statewide office in 2011.


Knott County To Get New Vehicles

U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-05) announced the U.S.Department of Agriculture Rural Development (USDA-RD) program has approved a $53,660 grant for Knott County to purchase two new 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe 4WD vehicles, one for the Knott County Sheriff’s Department and one for the Hindman Police Department. These vehicles will enhance the response capabilities of local law enforcement and better serve the people of Knott County. Rural Development funds will be combined with $17,887 from the Knott County Fiscal Court, totaling $71,547 in funding, to purchase the two 4WD vehicles. These vehicles will be purchased in order to provide for the most modern and effective protection capabilities for the citizens of Knott County.


Gov. Beshear Announces Grant For Non-Profits

Governor Steve Beshear announced today that the Kentucky Nonprofit Leadership Initiative (NLI) has been awarded a $250,000 federal grant. The grant is designed to help nonprofits continue to provide services through the economic downturn. Funds will be used to build the capacity of nonprofit organizations to address broad economic recovery issues in their communities, including helping low-income individuals secure and retain employment, earn higher wages, obtain better-quality jobs and gain greater access to state and federal benefits and tax credits. Funding was provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’


BSCTC "Ready To Work" Program

Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) recently graduated several students of the BSCTC Ready to Work (RTW) program. The BSCTC RTW program is a partnership between the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. The goal of the BSCTC Ready to Work program is to promote the success of low-income parents attending community and technical colleges in Kentucky. The main premise of the program is to help Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (KTAP) recipients find resources that help them succeed and remain in college. The BSCTC Ready to Work program has offices on the Prestonsburg, Paintsville and Pikeville campuses to ensure that the needs of all students are met while offering as many on/off campus support services as possible.


Restaurant Scam Artists

The Restaurant Scam Artists have entered Kentucky. They are pretending to be from the Health Department and they tell the restaurant owners that they have received numerous complaints and they are coming out to make an investigation. They tell
the restaurant owners that there is a charge and they need to pay over the telephone with a credit or debit card. The Pike County Health Department does not call nor ask for money . If you receive a call or someone stops by your establishment and asks for money,call Ky State Police 606-437-7711.


Hurricane Water Project Underway

Elected officials, local residents and employees of UMG and Summit Engineering officially broke ground on the Hurricane Creek Water Supply Project last week. Funding for Phase 1 of the project was supplied by the Office of Abandoned Mine Lands in the amount of $1.5 million. “Pike County is leaps and bounds ahead of the rest of the state,” Grondall Potter of UMG said, referring to supplying water to rural areas of the county.


Belfry Volunteer Fire Department Busy

Fires in South Williamson and at the Appalachian Plaza kept the Belfry Fire Department busy over the past weekend. Chief Nee Jackson said his department received a call Friday from the home of Jeanette McCoy. The blaze was contained to a bedroom on the rear of the house. The origin of that fire remains under investigation, but appears to have been electrical in nature. The department responded with three trucks and 21 men, the chief said. Saturday night, BVFD was called to the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant at the Appalachian Plaza. Jackson said that fire was a grease fire, and started in a fry vat.


Special Session Could End By Friday

Lawmakers convened a special session Monday to approve a new state budget -- even as protesters gathered at the Capitol to say that it's far from adequate. While differences between the House and Senate remain on some budget details, legislative leaders said they believe they can finish their work by Friday. Gov. Steve Beshear called the session because lawmakers failed to pass a 2010-12 state budget before the regular legislative session adjourned on April 15. The governor said many vital state agencies and services would be forced to shut down if a budget isn't approved before the new fiscal year begins July 1. Among other things, the governor's compromise would cut funding for most agencies by 3.5 percent in 2010-11 and by 4.5 percent in 2011-12. Some priority areas, including education and health care, would face smaller cuts.


Counterfeit Money Used To Purchase ATVs

A Louisville man faces two charges of criminal possession of a forged instrument and two charges of theft by deception after police said he used counterfeit cash to purchase two ATVs. According to the police records, Mark Anthony Badgett was arrested Friday. The report said Badgett was identified by four witnesses who said he used counterfeit money to purchase two ATVs from two separate victims. According to the arrest record, Badgett and another person used $100 bills to buy ATVs valued at $2,000 and $4,000.


Lawnmower Accident Claims Life

A central Kentucky man has died in a lawnmower accident. 70-year-old Joe Todd Hall of Sadieville was killed when a riding mower overturned on an incline Monday evening, pinning him. Scott County Coroner John Goble said Hall died of blunt force trauma. The accident happened at Hall’s home near the Scott-Harrison county line.


Alfalfa Sprouts Recalled

Alfalfa sprouts recalled because of salmonella poisoning were sold to more than 400 Wal-Mart stores in 15 states. including Kentucky. A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart said Monday the raw sprouts were sold by Caldwell Fresh Foods of Maywood, Calif. The federal Centers for Disease Control said last week that the sprouts appear to have sickened at least 22 people in 10 states, including a baby in Oregon. Eleven of those sickened were in California.


Former Supreme Court Justice Dies

Former Kentucky Supreme Court justice and state senator Walter Baker has died at his home in Glasgow. He was 73. Baker died Monday afternoon after a long illness. Baker was a retired lieutenant colonel with the Kentucky Air National Guard and earned his bachelor's degree and law degree at Harvard University. Baker was appointed to the Kentucky Supreme Court in 1996 and retired in 2008.


Highway Fatalitiy Report

Preliminary statistics indicate that nine people died in nine separate crashes on Kentucky roadways last week. One fatal motorcycle involved crash occurred in Jackson County. The victim was wearing a helmet. 240 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2010. This is 66 less fatalities than reported for the same time period in 2009. A total of 52 fatalities have resulted from crashes involving the suspected use of alcohol.

Monday, May 24, 2010


Beshear Holds Ceremonial Signing

Governor Steve Beshear held a ceremonial signing of House Bill 72 Monday, a measure adding to a 2008 statute that established the colon cancer screening and referral program for uninsured individuals. Sponsored by Rep. Tom Burch, the legislation permits the Kentucky Department for Public Health to establish an income-based fee scale for colon cancer screenings if state funding becomes available. The legislation also establishes the Colon Cancer Screening Program Fund that may accept state general fund appropriations, as well as funds from any state, federal or private source. Under the new law, people age 50 to 64 who are uninsured, and others who are uninsured who may have a high risk for colon cancer, are the target populations for screening.


Laurel County Woman Sentenced

Miranda Knowles, a Laurel county woman, was sentenced Monday to 15 years in prison, 10 years for second-degree manslaughter and five years for wanton endangerment, the sentences to served one after the other. She wasalso sentenced to 48 hours for a misdemeanor DUI count to run concurrent with the manslaughter sentence. Knowles will be given credit for 336 days already served. Knowles plead guilty to the charges after Police say she caused a three-car accident in April 2009 that killed her passenger and cousin, 19 year old Courtney Carter.


National "Click It or Ticket" Campaign Kicks Off

The national "Click It or Ticket" campaign kicked off Monday and will run through June 6th as more than 10,000 police agencies around the nation enforce seat belt laws surrounding the Memorial Day holiday. The message to buckle-up will be reinforced with $8 million in national advertising, which began May 17th. The U.S. Transportation Department released its estimate of seat belt use, saying 45 million Americans are not buckling up. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said an average of 38 unbelted people a day are killed in motor vehicle crashes and at least half of those could have been prevented. Transportation officials say Kentucky has made strides in its use of seat belts, improving to 79.7 percent in 2009, compared with 73.3 percent in 2008. According to the estimates, Michigan leads the nation with 98 percent of its motorists buckling, while Wyoming has the lowest rate in the nation with 67.6 percent.


Paintsville Detention Center Hires Interim Administrator

The Big Sandy Regional Detention Center in Paintsville, which serves Johnson, Martin, Magoffin and Lawrence counties, has hired Randy Maden of Whitehouse to be interim administrator. Maden, a former federal Bureau of Prisons employee, was recommended by Johnson County Judge-Executive Tucker Daniel and was interviewed and hired on Friday during a special meeting of the board's personnel committee. Former board Chairman John Harmon, who resigned in January, was indicted last week on a charge of felony theft and is scheduled to be arraigned June 4th, along with former Jail Administrator Henry "Butch" Williams who was indicted on a felony charge of accepting a bribe from an inmate. Former guard Doug Muncy was indicted on a charge of misdemeanor sexual abuse of an inmate and is to be arraigned June 14th.


Kentucky Lawmakers Convene For Special Session

Kentucky lawmakers in the House and Senate convened at midday Monday for a special session aimed at enacting a new state budget before the next fiscal year starts July 1st. Governor Steve Beshear called lawmakers back to the Capitol after floating a $17 billion, two-year budget proposal meant to break a deadlock and avoid a partial government shutdown which could affect thousands of state workers. Differences between House and Senate leaders prevented the General Assembly from passing a new budget during its 60-day regular session, which ended April 15th. Senate President David Williams says the new proposal is backed by the Senate. The special session, which will cost taxpayers about $63,000 a day, is expected to last at least five days. House and Senate leaders pledged to leave Frankfort by week’s end with a state budget for the next two fiscal years, but the fate of a new road-building plan remains uncertain.


Seven Unite Hoops Camps

Seven free basketball camps taught by former University of Kentucky all-star Jeff Sheppard will be held across southern and eastern Kentucky this summer.The camps tip-off in Perry County the first full week of June and continue through a special, expanded camp in Knott County in July. Two of the free camps will be held in Pike County...Tuesday, June 29 at Phelps High School 11a-2p...and, at East Ridge High School 4p-7p. Participants are asked to arrive about 30 minutes prior to the start time of each camp in order to facilitate the registration process.



KSP Will Award Funds For Prevention Of Underage Drinking

KSP will hold a Check Presentation Ceremony to Announce Youth Alcohol Prevention Projects.The ceremony will be held today at the Kentucky State Police Headquarters, in Frankfort, Ky. KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer will conduct the event. The grants will total $356,000.


Coal, Oil, Natural Gas Defended

Whenever you hear about the miracles of wind power, always keep
in mind one thing above all: because the wind blows erratically, and sometimes
doesn'r blow at all, wind power is inherently unreliable, writes Alex
Epstein. "Where coal, oil, and natural gas can be burned whenever power is needed, at the exact quantity needed, wind and sunlight can be harnessed only when the weather cooperates--and electricity cannot be stored in significant quantities for a rainy day. Thus, they are always used as supplemental, not primary, sources of power on electric grids". Epstein is a fellow at the Ayn Rand Center For Individual Rights.


WV Unemployment Rate Improves

West Virginia's improving unemployment rate was felt in 54 of the state's 55 counties in April. Workforce West Virginia reported Monday that only Pocahontas County recorded an increase in unemployment last month. Statewide, unemployment last month fell from 10.1 percent to 8.9 percent in April. In Pocahontas County, unemployment increased from 12.1 percent to 16 percent. At the other end of the unemployment spectrum, Monongalia County continued to boast the state's lowest unemployment rate at 5.5 percent.


Extortion Trial To Remain In Louisville

Last year, Louisville men's basketball coach Rick Pitino told authorities that Karen Cunagin Sypher tried to extort $10 million from him. Lawyers for Sypher had asked the trial, set for July 26th, be moved from Louisville to Bowling Green or Owensboro, saying extensive media coverage had made it difficult to find impartial jurors. Federal prosecutors opposed the move, saying little would be gained by moving the trial 100 miles away. Monday, U.S. District Judge Charles R. Simpson III agreed...denying the request. Simpson ruled that although allegations implicating the personal life of a public figure garnered attention from local and national news media, it had not been excessive. Pitino acknowledged having consensual sex with Sypher in 2003 and giving her money to buy health insurance that she used to have an abortion but denied Sypher's claims that the encounter was not consensual. Sypher pleaded not guilty to several charges, including extortion and lying to FBI agents.


Pikeville Apartment Fire Update

The city of Pikeville is providing accommodations for four families who lost their home and possessions during a fire Thursday night. The apartment blaze completely destroyed the building, located on Third Street in a residential section of Pikeville. A preliminary investigation by the State Fire Marshall has determined the fire was accidental. Eight tenants of the apartment building escaped unharmed. An explosion was heard as the flames began to spread

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Charity Bike Ride Raises Money For Elkhorn City Boy

Sixty-five bikers rode in a charity ride Sunday, raising more than $2,000 for the family of 11 year old Kyle Smith of Elkhorn City who was diagnosed more than a year ago with leukemia. The charity bike ride was organized by Brian Little, a long time friend of the Smith family.


Paul Becomes A Hot Topic

Republican U.S. Senate nominee Dr. Rand Paul, who cancelled his appearance scheduled for Sunday's edition of Meet the Press, ended up becoming the hot topic of discussion. Paul faced intense scrutiny from the national media last week, after questions arose about his views on civil rights. Sunday, host David Gregory talked to Texas and New Jersey senators concerning the criticism of Paul's comments. Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, said that first-time candidates such as Paul occasionally “stumble.” Cornyn noted that Paul clarified his stance on anti-discrimination laws and made clear that he supports the 1964 Civil Rights Act and would not try to repeal portions of it. The New Jersey senator, Robert Menendez, said Rand Paul is an example of what's happening with the Republican party across the nation and that the mainstream is losing to the extreme. Paul had earlier commented that he abhors racial discrimination, but suggests the federal government shouldn't have the power to force restaurants to serve minorities. Last week, Paul also called the Obama administration's criticism of BP "un-American."


Perry County Accident Kills Woman

Kentucky State Police say Jessica Johnson of Bonnyman died at Hazard ARH following a crash along KY Highway 15 in the Grapevine community of Perry County. Johnson was headed southbound and had pulled off the road to turn around. As she pulled back onto the road, her car was hit by a truck. Johnson was taken to a hospital where she later died.


National Historical Park To Host Mile Long Hike

On May 28th, officials with the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park are hosting a one-mile long hike called "Within the Shadows of Cumberland Gap Heritage Walk." The hike will feature tales of a Cherokee warrior and a long-hunter from 1700 and 1780, as well as reenactors telling stories of settlers from the area in the early 1800s. The park lies in parts of Bell and Harlan counties in Kentucky, Claiborne County in Tennessee, and Lee County in Virginia. The park contains the Kentucky-Virginia-Tennessee tri-state area. On May 31st, all fifty state flags will be flown on the visitor center grounds.


KY Receives $4-M In FEMA Funds

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Kentucky Emergency Management have disbursed more than $4 million in Kentucky, through FEMA's Individuals and Households Program. The funds include individual assistance grants for temporary housing, home repairs and other disaster-related needs such as medical and dental costs and personal property losses. Individuals who are eligible can register with FEMA online at anytime or by calling 800-621-FEMA.


Priest Sentenced In Sex Abuse Case

A former priest has been sentenced to prison for his role in a sex abuse case stemming from the 1980s. Rev. Joseph Muench was sentenced Friday in Frankfort. He received one year for unlawful imprisonment and one year for criminal intent to commit sexual abuse. Muench entered an Alford plea in March. He originally faced two counts of first degree sexual assault, but those were amended down. Three men made the allegations against Muench, sparking an internal investigation by the Diocese of Lexington. He was suspended in July 2009 from his duties at Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary. The incidents in question happened when Muench was associate pastor at Good Shepherd in Frankfort between 1984 and 1986.


Pain Clinic CEO Indicted

A federal grand jury in Kentucky has indicted the CEO of a Louisiana-based chain of medical clinics, charging him with conspiring to sell pain pills to eastern Kentucky residents. Michael D. Leman was indicted, charged with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and methadone from January 2005 into autumn 2007. The indictment springs from an investigation into what prosecutors said was a scheme in which people from the Floyd County area went to other states and got prescription painkillers to avoid Kentucky's tracking system for dispensing them. Earlier indictments in the probe have produced guilty pleas by 22 people. Leman was the president of Urgent Care Services of Slidell, LA, according to court documents.


Crime Tracking On Internet

Police in Covington have begun using an online database that allows residents to track crime in the northern Kentucky city. Police Chief Lee Russo says the city started using the system through over the last month. He says it costs the police department about $400 monthly, but is free to the public. The system allows residents to go through and view an online map of Covington with markers showing where crimes happened over a specified time period.
Covington becomes the fifth in the state to use the service.


Gun Thefts

A federal grand jury in Louisville has indicted three men on charges of stealing guns from an Owensboro dealer. 19-year-old Mark Handley, 21-year-old Xavier Barrett and 22-year-old Roderick Dillard are accused of stealing firearms from Whittaker Guns in Owensboro in August 2006. The indictment also says the defendants aided and abetted in the possession of firearms by Handley, a convicted felon.


Republican Unity Rally

Republican U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul was joined at a unity rally in Frankfort on Saturday by his chief primary election rival. The last time Paul and Secretary of State Trey Grayson appeared together publicly they were engaged in a bitter race for the seat of retiring Sen. Jim Bunning. Paul easily won the nomination in last Tuesday's primary. Protesters were demonstrating outside Kentucky's Republican Party headquarters while GOP leaders met inside to pledge their support for U.S. Senate nominee Rand Paul. Paul ruffled feathers earlier this week when he expressed misgivings about the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Fresh off a lopsided victory in the Kentucky's primary election, Paul said he abhors racial discrimination, but suggested the federal government shouldn't have the power to force restaurants to serve minorities. About 20 protesters gathered outside, some with signs accusing Paul of racism.

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