Saturday, July 24, 2010


Motions Filed In Sypher Case

James Earhart, the attorney who represents Karen Cunagin Sypher, filed a motion this week saying prosecutors have turned over about 3,100 pages of evidence since March. He says a large volume, including phone records, photos and medical records, makes it difficult to review all the material so close to the trial date. He has asked that thousands of pages of evidence be excluded from the trial. Pitino's attorney, Steve Pence filed a motion Friday asking U.S. District Judge Charles R. Simpson to throw out the subpoena from Karen Cunagin Sypher. Pence says anything he knows about the case is protected by attorney-client privilege. Sypher has pleaded not guilty to charges of retaliating against a witness, lying to the FBI and of demanding from University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino college tuition for her children, her house to be paid off and $10 million. Opening statements are scheduled for Monday, July 26th, in Louisville.


Former UK Player Faces New Charge

In May, former University of Kentucky basketball star 44 year old Ed Davender of Georgetown pleaded guilty to 19 counts of theft by deception after investigators say he sold nonexistent tickets to 19 people. Friday, his sentencing was was postponed until August 27th, pending new charges accusing him of taking money for tickets he didn't have. Davender is accused of offering Richard Adams of Louisville tickets to the 2010 men's Final Four in Indianapolis in early April. An arrest warrant was filed this week in Fayette District Court charging Davender with theft by deception under $10,000, a felony. The arrest warrant says Adams wired a total of $4,000 to Davender from December 20th through March 15th in exchange for 14 tickets to the tournament, but Davender never produced the tickets and has not returned the money. At the time he allegedly offered Adams the tickets, Davender was free on bond for an earlier charge. Davender says the new charge is a misunderstanding, and he definitely wouldn't do the same thing again. In May, Davender pleaded guilty to 19 counts of theft by deception after investigators say he sold nonexistent tickets to 19 people.


Defense Attorney Urges Kentucky To Adopt One Drug Execution

Ohio and Washington are the only two states to use one drug to execute condemned inmates. Public defender David Barron, a defense attorney representing multiple Kentucky death row inmates, says Ohio's successful use of one dose of sodium thiopental to execute inmates is proof there are safer, quicker and less painful methods of carrying out a death sentence. Barron wants Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd to consider if the state's three-drug protocol is unconstitutionally cruel. Barron filed suit Friday asking Shepherd to reopen an ongoing challenge to Kentucky's method and consider forcing the state to put a one-drug execution protocol in place. If he's successful, Kentucky could be forced to switch to a one-drug execution method. Kentucky has argued against a one-drug protocol, saying it was unproven and could take longer to induce death.


Hearing Set For Man Serving Life Sentence

U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell has set a hearing for the week of February 7th for 27 year old Michael Carneal who is serving a life sentence without chance of parole for at least 25 years for shootings which occurred when he was 14. Carneal pleaded guilty but mentally ill to killing three classmates and shooting five others at Heath High School near Paducah on December 1, 1997. He is currently eligible for parole in 2023, but he will get a hearing in February to determine if a mental illness prevented him from appealing his guilty plea.


Kentucky’s Hate Crime Law Confusing

Kentucky’s hate crime law excludes homicide, manslaughter, reckless homicide and kidnapping from crimes qualifying for enhanced penalties. The exclusion surfaced in the case of Michael Stone, a white man convicted of stabbing to death Lamartez Griffin, a 17-year-old black teenager, in 2004. Senior Judge Geoffrey Morris ruled Stone could not be convicted of a hate crime because of the way Kentucky’s law is written. Morris researched the law and concluded Kentucky may very well stand alone in having those exclusions in the hate crime law. The loophole came to the attention of the Jefferson Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office after Stone was convicted at a retrial in April of killing Griffin in July 2004.


Disabilities Advocates To Meet In Frankfort

Advocates for the Americans with Disabilities Act will have a get-together at the Capitol in Frankfort on Monday, July 26th. The group has held a series of meetings across Kentucky this week to highlight the need for the federal law that has given more accessibility to public buildings. The meetings have been to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the signing of the ADA in 1990.


West Liberty Reaches Agreement With Columbia Gas

West Liberty has reached an agreement with Columbia Gas Transmission Co. to halt a shutoff that was scheduled for Monday. Columbia says Elam Utility, which serves around 450 customers in Wolfe and Morgan counties, owes $644,000 worth of gas that it delivered to customers since at least 2006...the amount revised down from $688,000. West Liberty filed this week to buy Elam Utility, a transaction subject to PSC approval. On Thursday, Columbia and West Liberty agreed to delay the shutoff until August 13th. If approved, West Liberty will have two more weeks to retire the company's debt to Columbia. A PSC hearing is scheduled for Monday.


Rental Property Needed For Displaced Persons

Attention those with rental property. Any person who has available rental property please contact Gaye Newsome at the Pike County Housing Authority by calling 432-4178 ext. 307.


Kentucky Lottery Sales Decline

The Kentucky Lottery reported Friday that it made its largest-ever contribution to the state treasury, despite overall sales slipping by nearly 5 percent. Sales for the fiscal year that ended in June totaled $772.5 million, down from $810.5 million the previous year, a drop of $38 million, or 4.7 percent. But the lottery says its contribution to the state reached a record $214.3 million, up by $9.9 million, or 4.8percent, from the previous year. Lottery President Arch Gleason says instant ticket sales fell for the year, but the more profitable online games increased sales in 2009The lottery says sales were boosted by the addition of the multi-state Mega Millions game, which has generated $9.9 million in sales since January.


Floyd County Inmate Escapes

A Floyd County inmate escaped custody from the Highlands Regional Medical Center on his way back to jail. 23-year-old Benji Samons escaped from a deputy outside of the hospital. Kentucky State Police and the Floyd County sheriff's office have been notified and are searching for Samons. Samons was charged with fleeing and evading police, resisting arrest, three counts of theft and criminal mischief. If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Samons, call Floyd County sheriff's office at 606-886-6171.


Candidate Filing Period Ends

The filing period for West Virginia's candidates for the U.S. Senate seat ended on Friday with eleven Republicans, three Democrats and one Mountain Party candidate looking to win their parties nomination. Governor Joe Manchin was the first candidate to file on July 20th, less than 24 hours after signing a succession bill setting the August 28th primary and the November 2nd special election. His announcement ended weeks of speculation whether he would make an attempt to run.

Here are the candidates:
Joe Manchin III of Charleston
Ken Hechler of Charleston
Sheirl Fletcher of Dellslow, W.Va.

Charles G. "Bud" Railey of Bridgeport, W.Va.
Albert Howard of San Pedro, Calif.
Thomas Ressler of Falling Waters, W.Va.
John R. Raese of Morgantown.
Lynette Kennedy McQuain of Rivesville, W.Va.
Scott H Williams of Buckhannon, W.Va.
Kenneth A. Culp of Summersville, W.Va.
Daniel Scott Rebich of Buckhannon, W.Va.
Mac Warner of Morgantown.
Harry C. Bruner Jr. of Charleston.
Frank T. Kubic of Charles Town, W.Va.

Mountain Party:
Jesse Johnson of Pinch, W.Va.


Martinsburg Physician Charged With Health Care Fraud

Fifty-four year old Danine Rydland, a female Martinsburg obstetrician/gynecologist has been charged with 38 counts of health care fraud. Prosecutors say, between June 2004 and September 2008, Rydland devised a scheme in which she helped prepare and submit inflated claims to defraud Medicare, Medicaid, the Public Employees Insurance Agency and Unicare. In some cases, she allegedly billed for prolonged services that weren't provided or could not document the amount of time spent in direct contact with patients. If convicted, she could face up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines on each count.


Alum Creek Man Arrested

Twenty-nine year old Justin Carrier of Alum Creek was arrested this week and charged him with felony forgery and uttering. Police say he took two forged prescriptions for generic Xanax and Oxycodone to the Rite Aid Pharmacy on MacCorkle Avenue in South Charleston with the last name of the doctor spelled differently on each prescription. After becoming suspicious, the pharmacist called the emergency room at Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital, where Carrier had been the previous day. Records showed the two prescriptions were not in his file. When Carrier returned to the pharmacy to pick up the pills, he was told the pharmacist didn't have clearance from the doctor to fill the prescription. Carrier then allegedly ran out of the store.


Union Accepts Alcan Contract

In a third attempt, United Steelworkers Local 5668 workers at Alcan Rolled Products in Ravenswood have voted 419 to 212 to accept a new two-year contract offer which includes wage and benefit improvements, along with guarantees against layoffs related to a job re-organization plan. But layoffs would be allowed when orders decline. Those same workers overwhelmingly defeated two previous contract proposals in recent weeks.


Police Bust Alleged Copper Thieves

West Virginia State Police say eight people have admitted to their roles in connection with stealing copper from the Hobett Mine in Boone County. Troopers noticed a suspicious looking truck in the Racine area this week, and, while looking in the bed of the truck, they found about $30,000 worth of stolen copper. Anthony Rusnak and Heather Wiblen are charged with transferring and receiving stolen property and conspiracy. Ronald Hicks, Shane Allen Mccomas, Gregory Cooper, Christopher Messer and Renee Garrett are all charged with one count of grand larceny and conspiracy. Dustin Wiblen is charged with two counts of grand larceny and two counts of conspiracy.


Minor Earthquake Hits Central West Virginia

According to the United States Geological Survey, a 2.4 magnitude earthquake struck parts of central West Virginia at at 5:15 A.M. Saturday morning. three miles west of Gassaway. The quake was also six miles from Sutton and 10 miles from Flatwoods. There were no reports of injury or damage. In April and May, multiple quakes around the same magnitude were reported in the area, with the strongest being a 3.4 quake on April 4th.


WVU Basketball Coach Suffers Broken Ribs

West Virginia University basketball coach Bob Huggins was hospitalized and held overnight for observation following a fall in a Las Vegas hotel room Friday night in which he suffered four broken ribs. Huggins was on a Las Vegas recruiting trip.


Goodwin Assigned To Four Committees

West Virginia's new senator, 36 year old Carte Goodwin, has been assigned to serve on the Senate's Budget; Armed Services; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; and Rules and Administration committees. Goodwin was sworn in Tuesday after being appointed by Governor Joe Manchin to fill the seat vacated by the death of Robert C. Byrd. Goodwin says he doesn't plan to run for the U.S. Senate, but he will serve until the results of a special election in November are certified. Goodwin says having the opportunity to work for West Virginia on issues that really matter to the state is a responsibility he takes very seriously.


FiberNet Files Petition Against Frontier

FiberNet filed a petition this week claiming it has experienced "significant and ongoing problems" with Frontier Communications' system since July 1, when the acquisition of Verizon's land line network in West Virginia and 13 other states was completed. FiberNet claims Frontier's operational support system is so bad the state Public Service Commission should re-open the case that allowed Frontier to purchase the network. Frontier says it's been working very hard with FiberNet and all its customers the last three weeks to go through any and all problems, step by step, but there were a lot of issues backlogged by Verizon. Frontier says it values its customers and is committed to doing the right thing for them. FiberNet says Frontier's operational support system as presently constituted is substantially less sophisticated and far less automated than the former Verizon operational support system it was intended to replace.


Public Input Sought For Wind Farm Permit

Rockville, Md.-based Beech Ridge Energy is seeking an incidental take permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for its Beech Ridge Wind Energy Project in Greenbrier and Nicholas counties. Such permits are required for projects that might harm endangered or threatened wildlife. As part of a settlement of a federal lawsuit by environmental groups worried about potential harm to the endangered Indiana bat,
Beech Ridge agreed to apply for the permit. Public input is being sought on the environmental impact of the wind farm. Fish and Wildlife has scheduled an informational meeting on the proposed permit for August 9th at the Community Center in Rupert. Public comments can be submitted through August 23rd.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Calipari Cancels Beshear Fundraiser

Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari has decided against hosting a fundraiser for Gov. Steve Beshear's re-election campaign. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported Calipari changed his mind on Wednesday a few hours after the media began reporting that he planned to hold a $1,000-per-person fundraiser at his home in August. Beshear, a Democrat, is running for re-election along with Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson. No Republicans have announced their intention to run. In the July 19 invitation letter, the coach said Beshear had to "gird for a competitive and costly campaign ahead." But Wednesday night, Calipari posted a message on his Facebook page canceling the event due to "professional and pressing, personal matters." In the message, he said Kentucky is "politically charged" and he realizes that "the Big Blue Nation comes from both sides of the aisle."


UK Scholarships

It can be expensive sending your child to college, but Republic Bank is trying to ease the burden by giving away 20 four-year scholarships to the University of Kentucky. According to a press release from Republic Bank, each Republic Bank Foundation Commonwealth Scholarship will provide $2,500 per year in a renewable annual scholarship; the total assistance for each student is $10,000 toward the cost of a four-year degree program, or just over 12 percent of the cost of the student's education. Republic Bank has made a four year initial commitment. The students picked will come from the 12 Kentucky counties that Republic Bank operates in. The first scholarships will be awarded next fall for the 2011-12 school year.


Papa John Lays Off Workers

Papa John's has laid off 30 employees from their corporate headquarters. A source inside Papa John's says the layoffs are the result of rising costs and the $10 pizza wars between Papa John's, Domino's and Pizza Hut. The layoffs, which included at least one senior vice president, total 4 percent of the workforce at the headquarters. Fifteen employees in the corporate support area, and fifteen in the printing and promotions subsidiary are effected.


Information You Can Use


Your health:
The Pike County Health Department has set up tetanus
clinics at Community Funeral Home in Zebulon, Community Trust Bank at the mouth of Marrowbone at Millard and at Millard Middle School.
Tetanus shots are also available at the health department
in Pikeville and Belfry. Fact sheets on proper clean-up procedures to follow after a flood are also available at these locations.
Tetanus shots are good for at least five years. Contact: 606-437-5500.

Special medical needs:
People who have special medical needs and are in need of shelter or other things, should call the Pike County Health Department at 606-437-5500.

Conserve water:
Flooding affected water service for 25,000 Pike County customers.
Officials are asking local residents whose water service
has not been affected to help alleviate additional service problems by conserving water.

Water distribution points:
Clean water will be distributed from fire departments at
Feds Creek
Ferrells Creek
Johns Creek
Elkhorn City
Pike County Central High School for families and individuals
People with special medical needs should contact the health department.
WestCare Emergency Homeless Shelter
Cedar Bottom Church at Kimper

Shelters for pets:
Members of the Appalachian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals have agreed to temporarily house and care for cats and dogs that have been displaced due to flooding. Contact: 606-213-SPCA.

The Pikeville YMCA, located at Bob Amos Park in Pikeville, is allowing flood victims to take showers at the facility.

To report flood damage to homes, businesses:
•Take pictures of all of the damage
•Take notes about everything damaged, lost
•Call 606-432-0210 or 606-437-4126 to report damage

•The Pike Ministerial Association, Pikeville Medical Center and East Kentucky Broadcasting are hosting the “Flood Aid” radio-thon at 1 p.m. on July 25 to raise funds for flood victims. The radio-thon will be broadcast live on nine East Kentucky Broadcasting stations. All donations will be distributed by the Pike County Ministerial Association to agencies that are helping flood victims. A truck will also be available in the hospital’s parking lot so that people can donate cleaning supplies, non perishable food items and other items needed by flood victims.
Locations that are accepting and have clothes available for flood victims:
•First Presbyterian Church, 508 Cedar Creek Road, Pikeville; 606-437-0229
•Thankful Hearts, 1645 Adams Branch Road, Pikeville; 606-437-6221
•United Helping Hands of Pikeville, 925 North By-Pass Road, Pikeville; 606-432-1349
•Church of Christ Zebulon, 4627 Zebulon Highway, Pikeville; 606-432-3214
•Elkhorn Senior Citizens Center, 1035 West Russell Street, Elkhorn City; 606-754-8936
•Pikeville Senior Citizens Center, 134 Bank Street, Pikeville; 606-432-4250
•Community Closet, 16999 State Route 80 E, Elkhorn
City. Not accepting donations, only distributing clothes. Proof of flooding required.
Families in need of diapers or who wish to donate diapers:
Appalachian Pregnancy Care Center, 193 Main Street, Pikeville; 606-433-0700
Locations that will accept and have non-perishable food items for flood victims:
•Hope of Pikeville, 850 Collins Highway, Pikeville; 606-432-4673 or 606-835-4539
•Thankful Hearts, 1645 Adams Branch Road, Raccoon; 606-437-6221
•First Presbyterian Church, 508 Cedar Creek Road, Pikeville; 606-437-0229
•Donations of non-perishable food items (and foods that don’t require heat to be eaten), cleaning supplies, diapers and other items may be dropped off to the Red Cross’s distribution center at the Pikeville Fire Department Training Center on Chloe Road in Pikeville.
•Carpet World of Pikeville and Belfry accepts non-perishable food items for all flood victims. Donations accepted at both locations and the store will hand-deliver items to flood victims. Contact: 606-437-9969 or 606-437-7383.
•The Big Sandy American Red Cross needs monetary donations to help victims. Contact: 606-339-5911 or drop donations off at the Pikeville Fire Department Training Center on Chloe Road in Pikeville.
•The Christian Appalachian Project is in need of monetary donations to help flood victims. Contact: 606-308-9234.
•Donations of clothing may be taken to Goodwill in Pikeville and designated to the Big Sandy American Red Cross. For every pound of clothing donated, Goodwill will provide the Red Cross with clothing
vouchers that may be supplied to flood victims. Contact: store located in Weddington Plaza at Coal Run, 606-432-3113; contact Red Cross for clothing vouchers: 606-339-5911.
•Donations of food, cleaning supplies, baby supplies, furniture and other items may be sent to UNITE’s regional
offices in Prestonsburg 606-889-0422; Hazard 606-330-1400 and Somerset 606-677-6179.
•Famine Time Ministries, located at 240 East Russell Street in Elkhorn City, is providing free used clothing
to flood victims. Some furniture also available between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact: 606-754-3056

Volunteers needed:
Volunteers are greatly needed to answer phones and provide services with the Emergency Management office. Contact: 432-0210.


‘Tide Loads of Hope’ Coming To Pike County

In times of disaster people turn to the most basic of human needs – and one of those
is clean clothes. The Tide Loads of Hope program provides relief by means of a mobile laundromat. One truck and a fleet of vans house over 32 energy-efficient washers and dryers that are capable of cleaning over 300 loads of laundry every day. They wash, dry and fold the clothes for these families for free. The Tide mobile unit will be at the Food City location on the South Mayo Trail beginning Tuesday.


Reorganization Of Education Department

A reorganization of the education department that would cut four top administrative positions is being proposed. Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said in a statement Thursday that the reorganization is designed to make the agency more efficient and help it provide services more effectively. Department spokeswoman Lisa Gross said the move was spurred by budget cuts. In addition, the newspaper reports Holliday fired two other administrators last week as part of the reorganization. The General Assembly cut funding by 3.5 percent in 2010-11 for the Department of Education and other state agencies.


Murder Conviction For Former Strip Club Owner

A former northern Kentucky strip club owner has been convicted of murder and tampering with physical evidence in the death of a woman and the dismemberment of her body 16 years ago. The Kentucky Enquirer reported Special Judge David Melcher handed down the decision Thursday in the bench trial of 62-year-old Raymond Clutter.
Melcher found Clutter not guilty of rape in the case of Peggy Casey. Parts of Casey's body had been found in three southwestern Ohio counties. Clutter is already serving a 20-year prison term on a sodomy conviction in a separate case. He will be sentenced Aug. 30 in the Casey case.


Unemployment Rate In KY

State figures show the unemployment rate dropped in most Kentucky counties between June 2009 and June 2010. The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training reported in a news release Thursday that the jobless rate fell in 107 counties. Fayette and Woodford counties recorded the lowest jobless rates in June at 7.8 percent each.


Pike County Flood Damage Estimates Being Counted

Officials in Pike County say damage estimates from recent flooding could exceed $10 million. Judge executive Wayne Rutherford said in a statement Thursday that the damage totals would make Pike County eligible for federal disaster assistance.
Officials worried about looting imposed a curfew in the parts of central Pike County that were hit by harsh storms on Saturday. The 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew was started after Pike Sheriff Charles Keesee reported several instances of theft and looting in the Raccoon Creek area. Gov. Steve Beshear planned to tour flood-damage areas in Carter County Thursday after storms struck the day before. State police say a 72-year-old woman, Mary Littleton, is still missing after her mobile home was swept away by flooding in the Fultz community.


Magistrate Cleared Of Sex Charges

A western Kentucky magistrate has been cleared of rape and other sex-related charges.
A Hopkins Circuit Court jury Thursday took about one hour to find county Magistrate Wesley Lynn not guilty on all four sex-related charges against him. The Messenger of Madisonville reported Lynn had been indicted in 2009 on charges of rape, sodomy, and two counts of sexual abuse after two women accused him of assaulting them while they were under his care when he was a paramedic at a local hospital. Lynn had been a paramedic at Regional Medical Center in Madisonville but is no longer employed there.
Lynn took the stand in his own defense Wednesday and denied all the accusations. Jurors also took a tour of the areas of Regional Medical Center where the assaults were alleged to have occurred.


Kentucky Ends With Budget Surplus

Kentucky's top budget official says the state closed the books on the fiscal year 2009-2010 with a $29.7 million surplus. But Budget Director Mary Lassiter told lawmakers Thursday the surplus was only realized after the national recession forced officials to lower revenue projections. The surplus was slightly higher than previously reported. Earlier this month, Lassiter reported that state revenues for the 2009-10 fiscal year came in at $8.225 billion, or $27.2 million more than the lowered revenue forecast made last December. By law, funds in excess of official estimates are limited to use for unbudgeted items such as forest fires, floods, ice storms, tornadoes, National Guard security and disaster assistance and legal judgments.


Tide Offers Free Laundry Services

Tide, in partnership with Food City, will be in Pike County, Kentucky with its “Loads of Hope” team to provide clean clothes to those affected by the recent flooding. The Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program will be providing free laundry services to residents and relief workers who are in need of support.
Beginning Tuesday, July 27th, residents are encouraged to drop off their laundry to be washed, dried and folded by the Tide Loads of Hope team, free of charge. Tide Loads of Hope is committed to helping as many people who have been impacted as possible so we are accepting 2 loads per family per day. No bedding, jackets, or other large pieces will be accepted.

WHERE: Loads of Hope Truck - Laundry Drop-Off Site: Food City 2136 South Mayo Trail
Pikeville, KY 41501

WHEN: Services available Tuesday, July 27 through Monday, August 2
July 27 from 12PM – 6PM
July 28 through August 2 from 8AM – 6PM


Orphaned Containers Dangerous

At the request of the Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection,
the United States Environmental Protection Agency is working in impacted areas of
Pike County to collect orphaned containers. Containers such as drums, totes, tanks and other containers which may contain oil or hazardous materials are being removed. This includes propane tanks. EPA officials are asking people to steer clear of any orphaned containers and to do not touch or open them. Immediately contact the EPA’s National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 and inform them of the location and description of the container. At this time, the EPA will not be collecting household hazardous waste such as
paints or aerosol cans.


Auction Of Movie Lobby Cards

A nonprofit agency in southern Kentucky has begun a weeklong silent auction for movie lobby cards from the 1920s. The Daily News of Bowling Green reports Community Action of Southern Kentucky in Scottsville began the auction Thursday. Bidding will end July 29. The cards, which show scenes from movies and were used for promotion, were found in a former theater building in Scottsville. Community Action CEO Cheryl Allen said in a statement on the organization's website that all proceeds will go to help those in need become more self-reliant.


Mingo County Woman Sentenced To Federal Prison

Forty-one year old Patricia Burton of North Matewan in Mingo County was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Charleston to 30 years in a federal prison. Barton pled guilty in 2005 to helping co-defendant Valerie Friend lure federal drug informant 33 year old Carla Collins to an abandoned mobile home where Collins was beaten and shot to death. Friend pleaded guilty last October to a cocaine conspiracy charge and to witness retaliation by killing. Co-defendant, George “Porgy” Lecco, was convicted in May on three murder-related counts and other charges. Prosecutors said Lecco ordered Collins’ death to protect a drug operation.


Murder Case Goes To Kanawha County Grand Jury

Under the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, 25 year old Timothy Paul Burdette of Charleston was arrested in June and charged with murder after he allegedly punched his pregnant girlfriend who lost the unborn child the following day. Police say Burdette punched her after she refused to give him $10 to buy more crack cocaine. Friday, he waived his preliminary hearing, sending it to the Kanawha County grand jury.


Police Conduct Prostitution Sting

Huntington Police joined operations with the Cabell County Sheriff's Department Thursday night to conduct a prostitution sting in the area of 7th Street and 6th Avenue. Erin M. McComas was arrested for 1st offense soliciting prostitution, Lisa Marie Stone was arrested for 2nd offense soliciting prostitution and Brittany Marie Butcher was arrested for 3rd offense soliciting prostitution.


Man Ordered To Spend Sentence In Jail Full-Time

In 2008, Lawrence Moles was trying to pass a car turning onto Corridor G when he ran through a 4-way intersection and collided with a car driven by Robert Bell, killing Bell. Last year, Moles was found guilty of negligent homicide, appealed the conviction, and then later pleaded guilty. He received a one year sentence, but, as part of the sentence, he was allowed to go to work. This week, Moles found himself in court again. He was ordered to serve the rest of his sentence in jail full-time after his ex-fiance testified that on July 1st, the two got in an argument and Moles threw her up against a wall.


Putnam County Man Charged

Putnam County Sheriff's Deputies have arrested Michael McDonald from St. Albans and have charged him with obtaining money under false pretenses. Deputies say he was contacting business owners and claiming to raise money for the Putnam and Kanawha County Sherriff's Association and the Shop with a Cop Program.


Who Will Pay For Special Election Costs

Originally, the language in the U.S. Senate Succession bill said that the state would pay for the entire $5.9 million related to the costs of the election to choose a replacement for Senator C.Byrd. However, supplemental bills passed in the latter days of the special session capping the initial appropriation at $3 million, $1.5 million from the state general revenue fund and $1.5 million from the Governor's contingency fund. At Thursday's Kanawha County Commission meeting, Commission President Kent Carper said the county would have to pay an additional $360,000 in election costs plus the time-and-a-half factor for people who will be working that day. There are still speculation and questions from officials on who will wind up paying the final costs.


West Virginia Airports Getting Funds

The Department of Transportation's Airport Improvement Program is awarding nearly $1.3 million in the form of Federal Aviation Administration grants to six airports across West Virginia. The largest of the grants, $364,121, is going to the Grant County Airport. Others receiving funds include Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport, $304,000; Elkins-Randoph County-Jennings Randolph Field, $250,000; Mason County Airport, $220,144; Philippi/Barbour County Regional Airport, $100,663; and Mercer County Airport, $52,955. The funds can be used for a variety of projects, including airfield lighting, weather observation stations, land acquisition and environmental studies.


Health Care Authority Approves Smaller Hospital Rate Hike

The West Virginia Health Care Authority issued a ruling this week granting United Hospital Center in Clarksburg an 11.25 percent increase, allowing the hospital to charge $564 for the average outpatient visit and about $13,600 for the average stay. The hospital was seeking a 21 percent rate hike officials said was needed to pay off loans for its new $300 million facility scheduled to open in October, but state regulators said a 21 percent rate increase was excessive and premature. The smaller rate approved by the authority includes a 6.25 percent increase the hospital would have received automatically because of inflation.


West Virginia Lottery Pleased

The West Virginia Lottery Commission says, despite competition from Pennsylvania and the recession, the Lottery finished the 2009-2010 budget year with $1.35 billion in overall sales, 9 percent below the previous fiscal year’s total, but officials say, given the circumstances, it was a great year. The Lottery provided $589 million in total appropriations to the state. There was a drop in video lottery sales at the casinos in Wheeling and Chester, and revenue from table games was also short of estimates, and patrons at the tracks spent less money. However, the year was strong for traditional games and Limited Video Lottery.


State Transportation Studies Route 35 Project

State Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox says the state plans to construct the final 14-miles of the four-lane road in Putnam and Mason counties by the end of 2013 and six construction firms have made the agency's shortlist to be the possible design-build firm on the U.S. Route 35 project. Mattox says those firms will be asked to submit detailed proposals by the middle of next month. During a special meeting Thursday in Beckley, the state Parkways Authority chose its bond underwriters for the project and agreed to the initial phase of a memorandum of understanding with the DOH to make Route 35 a toll road. Plans are to toll a 33-mile section of the highway, most of which has been completed. A toll study is expected to be completed by Labor Day. Mattox says Governor Joe Manchin will soon appoint members to citizens committees in Putnam and Mason counties who will have input on the project, and additional public hearings will be hosted by the Parkways Authority.


'Driving for Quality Care' Bus Visits Charleston

The 'Driving for Quality Care' bus arrived in Charleston Thursday and plans to make stops in 40 states over the next few weeks raising awareness about the need for extended F-MAP or Federal Matching Assistance Program funding. The current funding is stalled in a bill on Capitol Hill. Supporters say on the line for West Virginia is $165 million in Medicaid relief. West Virginia didn't anticipate the money so it's not budgeted in, but officials say the cash could go towards dozens of much needed programs that will benefit many, including senior citizens living in homes and the people who provide their care.

Thursday, July 22, 2010


FEMA Threshold For Assistance Likely Exceeded

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has finished its assessment of damage caused by the weekend flooding. The $5.2 million benchmark needed to qualify as a federal disaster has been reached, and likely doubled. “I predict the total damage assessment will be over $10 million,” Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford said. “I have made over 16 declarations during my career in public office and this one is the worst of them all. We will double what is required.” As soon as President Obama declares the federal disaster a new stage in the process will begin. “The emergency phase of the process will be cranking down and the recovery process will soon begin,” Rutherford said. “There are good and bad parts involved with allf this; the bad part is the devastation and loss and suffering this flood has caused the people of Pike County and the good part is that we have been through this so many times we are able to work swiftly to get things done.” Part of the recovery process that has already begun is Rutherford’s formation of the Pike County Housing Advisory Committee. The purpose of the committee is to find temporary and permanent housing for those displaced by the flood.



Bulletin---Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford announced the completion of the assessment phase required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make the County eligible for federal funds. This process will now go forward as the results of the assessment will be forwarded to Governor Steve Beshear, who in turn will send the data to Washington to be reviewed for President Obama’s action, making the funds officially available. This action by the President should be swift in coming and the next step in getting help for Pike County residents will begin to move forward. Eligibility for reimbursement for government entities and individuals will be determined in the next few days. Pike County now begins the process of recovery.


Summer Discounts For Kentucky State Parks

There’s still plenty of summer left and the Kentucky State Parks would like to invite you to visit before it ends. Several parks are offering special rates during July, August and September 2010. With the kids out of school, this would be a perfect time for a few days to get away to a park for some swimming, boating, fishing, hiking or just some relaxing. Kentucky State Resort Parks offer recreational programming in the summer months and many have marinas. All have restaurants open daily. For more information about Kentucky State Parks, visit Here are the parks and the discount offers:

Carter Caves State Resort Park, Olive Hill: Carter Caves is offering special rates to allow its neighbors a chance to visit and spend a few days exploring caves, walking trails and enjoy some planned recreation activities. Call the park at 1-800-325-0059 and ask for the “Neighbor Special” Sunday through Thursday night good through Aug. 15. This features a lodge room in Lewis Caveland Lodge for $64.95 a night plus tax. If available, you can get a two-bedroom cottage for $99.95 a night plus tax. Rates are subject to availability. Offer is good for a Sunday through Thursday night stay only and cannot be used with any other discount.

Rough River Dam State Resort Park, Falls of Rough: Call the park and ask for the “Neighbor Special” Sunday through Thursday night good through Aug. 15. Get a lodge room for $64.95 a night plus tax. If available, you can get a two bedroom cottage for $99.95 a night plus tax. Rates are subject to availability. Offer is good for a Sunday through Thursday night stay only and cannot be used with any other discount. 800-325-1713

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park, Gilbertsville: Call the park and ask for the “Neighbor Special” Sunday through Thursday night. Get a lodge room for $64.95 a night plus tax. If available, you can get a two-bedroom cottage for $99.95 a night plus tax. Rates are subject to availability. Offer is good for a Sunday through Thursday night stay only and cannot be used with any other discount. Call 800-325-0146.

Cumberland Falls State Resort Park, Corbin: Is offering lodge rooms at $64.95 Sunday through Thursday during July and August as well as offering Woodland rooms at $79.95 during August. Moonbow nights are excluded from this “Neighbor Special.” Call (800) 325-0063 for reservations.

General Butler State Resort Park, Carrollton: The park is offering special rates in August on Sunday through Thursday nights. You can reserve a lodge room for $59.95; a one-bedroom cottage for $79.95; a two-bedroom cottage for $99.95; and a three-bedroom cottage for $119.95 a night. This “Neighbor Special” is available if you call 1-866-462-8853.

Lake Cumberland State Resort Park, Jamestown: During August, the park is offering rooms in the Lure Lodge for $64.95 a night Sunday through Thursday. This “Neighbor Special” also includes two-bedroom cottages for $139.95 on those same days. To get this special, call 800-325-1709

Dale Hollow Lake State Resort Park, Burkesville: On Sunday through Thursday during August, you can reserve a lodge room in the picturesque Oaken Lodge for $64.95 a night. Call for your “Neighbor Special” at (800) 325-2282

Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park, Mount Olivet: The park is offering $10 off accommodations when a guest presents a ticket stub from the Maysville Balloon Race July 30th and 31st. The offer is good on those dates only. Blue Licks Battlefield is also offering a “Neighbor Special” from Aug. 23 to Sept. 30 Sunday through Thursday with a $59 a night lodge room. Call 800-443-7008.

Discount starting in August. The Kentucky State Parks have an online coupon good for a $59.95 lodge room Sunday through Thursdays from Aug. 15-Sept. 30 at selected parks. Get the coupon by visiting The parks where this coupon is good include: Blue Licks Battlefield, Greenbo Lake, Pennyrile Forest, Buckhorn Lake, Jenny Wiley, Rough River, Carter Caves and Kenlake. Call the park or make the reservation online and use the code “BACKYARD.” Holidays are excluded. There are a limited number of rooms for this offer at each park.


Water From Beer Company

People recovering from flooding this past weekend in Pike County received more help Wednesday night. Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company brought a truck full of canned drinking water. The company donated more than 4,300 cases of water and another shipment will arrive soon.


Harless Creek Report

More rain in Pike County is the last thing people needed as they try to clean up from Saturday's flooding. The flood washed away three miles of Harless Creek Road. Dozens of homes are torn apart. Families say they escaped with only the clothes on their backs. Firefighters and other volunteers are delivering food and water to the victims but the washed out road makes it difficult. Vehicles cannot get to some homes...they are using ATV's to reach the victims. Donations are pouring in and volunteers are taking cleaning supplies, clothing, shoes, toothbrushes, and other hygiene products to those who need it.People on Harless Creek say it will be a long road to recovery.


Woman's Body Recovered From Ohio River

A body has been recovered from the Ohio River after someone reported something falling from the Purple People Bridge between Newport and Cincinnati. Newport Police said a body of a woman was recovered beneath the Roebling Suspension Bridge on Tuesday. A boater spotted the body about 45 minutes after police were called. Police Sgt. Robert Auteri said the death appears to be a suicide. The person's name wasn't immediately released.

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