Saturday, August 14, 2010


Kentucky Escaped Convicts Charged With Attempted Murder

A Nashville police officer, shot after a prison escape in Mississippi, has been named Middle Tennessee's Police Officer of the Year by the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police.

Sgt. Mark Chesnut was seriously wounded but has returned to light duty after the shooting in June 2009.

Escaped convicts Joseph Jackson and Cortney Logan of Louisville, Ky., who police said helped in the escape, are charged with attempted murder. Jackson is accused of shooting the officer when he pulled them over in Nashville. The two have pleaded not guilty.


Shooting Incident In Pikeville

(The following is a Press Release from the Kentucky State Police Post9 in Pikeville.)

On Friday August 13, 2010 Pikeville Police Department
responded to a Emergency Protection Order violation at North Mayo Trail
in Pikeville where the suspect was forcibly trying to enter a residence.
The two units were advised by their dispatch that the suspect was
intoxicated and suicidal. As the officers were arriving at the scene
they passed the suspects vehicle coming towards them with no lights on.
Officers turned and pursued the vehicle. The pursuit continued onto
Hurricane Creek road in Pike County where the suspect turned onto a
gravel drive and stopped. As the Police Officers initiated the traffic
stop the suspect immediately reversed his vehicle in a obvious attempt
to strike the officers with his vehicle. At that point the two officers
responded to the threat by firing at the perpetrator striking him
multiple times. The officers removed the suspect from the vehicle and
administered aid until EMS arrived. The suspect was transported to PMC
and then air lifted to Saint Marys Hospital for his injuries.
The names of the two police officers involved and the name of the
suspect is not being released at this time. This incident is still
under investigation by the Kentucky State Police (Post 9).


Airport Director Sentenced

The former executive director of Lexington's Blue Grass Airport has been sentenced to probation in a theft case.

Michael Gobb pleaded guilty in June to two counts of theft by deception after a criminal probe into $500,000 in questionable expenses made by top airport officials.

Gobb was originally indicted on nine theft counts, but the others were dropped as part of his plea deal with prosecutors.

The charges Gobb pleaded guilty to involved buying personal items with his airport credit card. He paid about $41,000 in restitution before he was sentenced Friday by Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine.

He is the last of four former airport officials to be sentenced in connection with the probe that began when the Lexington Herald-Leader published a series of articles detailing lavish spending.


Fatal Accident In Perry County

On Friday, August 13, 2010, at approximately 1:20pm, Kentucky State Police in Hazard received a call advising that a car had been found over an embankment in the Dwarf community of Perry County.

The caller advised that he and another man had come to this location to
work on some equipment at around 1:00 pm, and discovered the car. After
approaching the car, the men located a body inside. Police, EMS, and
Dwarf/Fisty rescue squad responded to the scene, along with the Perry
County Coroners Office. The victim inside the car, 27 year old Shawghn
C. Morgan, of Dwarf, was pronounced deceased at 2:00pm by Deputy Coroner
Jimmy Maggard. The exact date and time of this collision is still
unknown, and remains under investigation by Trooper Billy Pollard of
Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard.


Pikeville Man Appointed To Board

Gov. Beshear has appointed the following member to the Kentucky Emergency Response Commission to serve for terms expiring April 17, 2012: Douglas K. Tackett, of Pikeville, is the director of emergency management for Pike County Fiscal Court. He represents Kentucky Emergency Management Association. The appointment replaces Charlie V. Frazee, whose term has expired.


Kentucky State Parks For Labor Day Holiday

The Kentucky State Parks will be in full swing with events and activities during Labor Day Weekend. All 32 campgrounds will be open and many parks are planning special festivities for guests. The park system’s 17 resort parks – all with lodges, full-service restaurants, hiking trails, playgrounds, picnic areas and other amenities – will be open. The recreational parks and historic sites will also be open. Most have hiking trails, picnic areas, camping, fishing and other recreational opportunities for guests. Golfers have 18 courses across the state from which to choose. Several courses have received national honors for being among the best places to play. The Kentucky State Parks also offer golf packages that include overnight stays. For more information about all 51 state parks and to make lodging or camping reservations, visit Information about lodging discounts and coupons is also available on the website. Below is a listing of events scheduled during Labor Day Weekend 2010:

Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, Prestonsburg
Sept. 3 – 5
Labor Day “Fun in the Sun”
Jenny Wiley State Resort Park will be celebrating Labor Day with several activities. Come build your own “Pine Derby Car” on Saturday morning and then race it Saturday evening. The park will also have a reptile show with the Kentucky Reptile Zoo on Saturday at 5 p.m. Don’t forget to wear your dancing shoes as we will have a “heel-clicking” good time Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights with folk and country line dancing. Other activities include a pet show, tomahawk throwing, arts and crafts, archery, primitive fire starting demonstration, tie-dye t-shirts and much more. 800-325-0142.


Experienced Rider Motorcycle Class Offered

An experienced rider motorcycle class will be offerd on August 28, from 9a-5p on the Prestonsburg campus of BSCTC. Students are encouraged to pre-register for this class due to limited seating. It will be held in Room J153. For more Information or to Register, please contact Brenda Miller at 606-889-4769.


License Plate Design Competition

Gov. Steve Beshear announced an initiative to help raise awareness of the impact of small businesses in Kentucky, launching a design competition for a specialty small business license plate. The competition, which runs through Wednesday, Nov.10, 2010is open to any small Kentucky-based business with 50 or fewer employees, at least one of which must be a Kentucky resident. Kentucky residents not affiliated with a small business can also participate by partnering with a small business willing to sponsor their submission. There is no fee to submit a design, but the design must be submitted by a qualifying small business.

License plate designs must be received no later than Nov. 10, 2010 via CD and mailed to: Commission on Small Business Advocacy, Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, 23rd Floor, Capital Plaza Tower, 500 Mero Street, Frankfort, Ky., 40601 Attn: Small Business License Plate Design Competition.


West Liberty Buys Elam Utility

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) today approved the purchase of Elam Utility Co. by the city of West Liberty. The purchase by the city averts a threatened cutoff of gas service to Elam’s 410 customers in Morgan County. Those customers include a state prison, a nursing home, several businesses and hundreds of residences. Under the terms of the transfer, West Liberty will assume Elam’s disclosed debts in exchange for the company’s assets. Elam’s largest creditor is Columbia Gas Transmission Co., which had planned to discontinue service to Elam last month because of the unpaid debt for natural gas owed to the pipeline company.


Veterans' Convention Held In Louisville

Veterans issues were at the forefront of a national convention meeting in Louisville.

The American Veterans convention focused on such issues affecting veterans as health care, education, employment and homelessness. The 66th annual AMVETS convention was held at a downtown hotel. The event was co-sponsored by Humana Veterans healthcare services.

AMVETS is one of the largest congressionally-chartered veterans organizations in the U.S. Its membership includes veterans from each branch of the military, including the National Guard and reserves.


Adoption Celebration Scheduled

Several Kentucky celebrities from the genres of sports, music and media will help raise funds and awareness of adoption at a celebration later this month.

Thursday’s Child Night with the Stars will be at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 26, at the Crown Plaza Hotel, 1375 S. Broadway in Lexington. The fundraiser is sponsored by the Davis H. Elliot Company, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Thursday’s Child, a nonprofit group that helps promote adoption.

Guests can meet and mingle with these celebrities scheduled to attend the event:

─ Rodger Bingham – “Kentucky Joe” from the reality television series “Survivor”
─ J.D. Crowe – legendary bluegrass musician
─ Jean Cruguet – Triple Crown Winner
─ Lee Cruse – WLEX-TV field anchor and comedian
─ Jason Epperson – television and movie director
─ Joe Federspiel – former football player with the University of Kentucky and the NFL’s New Orleans Saints
─ Ryan Lemond – WKYT-TV sports
─ Kyle Macy – former University of Kentucky basketball star and former NBA player
─ Marty Moore – former football player with the University of Kentucky and the NFL’s New England Patriots
─ Jack Pattie – WVLK-AM radio personality and event emcee
─ Mary Jo Perino – WLEX-TV sports anchor
─ Gen. Donald Storm – former Adjutant General for the Commonwealth of Kentucky

Tickets will only be sold in advance and are $50 each or $320 for a table of eight.

For ticket information, contact Tim Hodge at (859) 245-6834 or Virginia Sturgeon at (859) 489-9024. All contributions are tax deductible


West Virginia State Police Investigate Mall Shooting

According to eyewitnesses, around 1:00 P.M. Saturday, 19 year old Ryan Williams and two other males were in an argument with a black male inside the Mercer Mall when the black man started to fire a weapon. A bullet narrowly missed Williams, leaving bullet holes on his shirt. West Virginia State Police are continuing to investigate the situation.


Barboursville Man Arrested For Stalking WSAZ News Anchor

Chris David Jones, 47, of Barboursville was arrested Wednesday after allegedly stalking WSAZ news anchor Jessica Ralston for three months. A complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court states Jones began contacting Ralston in April with the intention of starting a relationship with her, but, after Ralston told the man she wasn't interested, he continued to persist. She called the State Police for assistance in May when Jones showed up in the parking lot of the television station's Charleston office and refused to leave until he spoke to her. Cpl. S.D. Schoolcraft from the State Police detachment in Quincy responded and found Jones still in the parking lot. Schoolcraft told Jones Ralston was not interested in a relationship and he was frightening her. August 4th, Jones hand-delivered a letter addressed to Ralston at the Charleston news station, again asking Ralston to be in a relationship with him.


Moorefield Police Officer Resigns

Moorefield police officer Galen Reel has resigned after being accused, but found not guilty of sexual assault. Mary Ann Groves alleges that, on December 30, 2006, while she was a 28 year old West Virginia University student, she was driving through Moorefield when Reel conducted a traffic stop. Groves testified Reel asked her to get out of her car to look at his police dog, and then told her to get into his car. After talking a few minutes, she says Reel continued to sexually assault her and then made her masturbate him. On Jan. 9, 2008, Reel pleaded guilty to two counts of sexually motivated battery and agreed to register as a sex offender and to resign as a Moorefield police officer, but, two days later, he revoked his guilty plea and requested reinstatement. In 2008, Reel was acquitted. Attorney Aaron Harrah has sued the town for a second time, and Groves is suing Reel and the insurance company for Moorefield.


Pedestrian Struck By Vehicle

Kanawha County Deputies say a man was struck by a car just before 10:30 A.M. Saturday morning in the parking lot of North Gateway Animal Hospital in Charleston.


Beating Suspect Indicted For Murder

Huntington Police have made an arrest after an indictment charged Clyde Ewing Cooper III with murder. Police say Cooper and a second suspect, who is still at large, beat 22 year old Jeremy Scott Cook of Hurricane on May 14th by striking him in the face, head and torso during a fight which began outside Pecker's Bar along 4th Avenue. Cook, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in December 2009, died days later at Cabell Huntington Hospital.


Alleged Shooter Transferred To Adult Facility

Rajion A. Mayo, 18, of Huntington was transferred Friday to the Western Regional Jail, an adult detention facility. Mayo and a 17 year old suspect, who remains at a juvenile facility, are charged with murder in connection with the July 27th shooting death of Mark Lowry.


Charleston Police Extradite Murder Suspect

Charleston Police extradited Garland Murray back from Virginia Friday to face first degree murder charges in the April 21st shooting death of Gregory Poole, who was found dead in the front yard of a North Charleston residence in April. Murray's brother, DeShawne Taylor was also charged with first degree murder for the crime.


Matoaka Officials Reject Federal Plan

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering to purchase flood-prone property in the southern West Virginia community of Matoaka. Town officials have rejected the federal plan in a move to protect several historical buildings FEMA would demolish. Town Manager Kelly Colonna says the mayor decided not to participate since Matoaka is growing, thanks in part to the Hatfield-McCoys Trail system. Some residents who would like to sell say the decision is leaving them with no options.


City Council Director Rejects Home Rule

Huntington's revised home rule plan that is up for City Council approval next month includes proposals to place a 2 percent tax on bar and restaurant receipts and loosen restrictions on how coal severance taxes are used. However, Friday, members of Mayor Kim Wolfe's administration and two City Council members announced they have no plans of pursuing the proposals. Brandi Jacobs-Jones, director of administration and finance, says there has been absolutely zero discussion into these proposals, and she's not waiting in the wings to enact more taxes and fees on top of the tax reform package in which City Council has already approved a 1 percent occupation tax on the gross pay of all those who work within city limits and a 1 percent city sales tax on all services and goods that are subject to the state sales tax.


Relay for Life Attracts Hundreds

The annual Ohio County Relay for Life kicked off Friday night in Wheeling Park and concluded at 7:00 A.M. Saturday morning, raising $71,102.05 to help those diagnosed with cancer. More than 200 survivors were honored along with those who have passed on from cancer. This year, the event attracted 22 more teams. For the cancer survivors, this event is a reminder of how winning the fight against cancer is the most important thing of all. It does not matter how old or young you are, cancer affects us all.


Court Monitor To Investigate State-Run Psychiatric Facility

David Sudbeck, a court monitor tracking the state's progress at state-run psychiatric facilities, says he's very concerned about the overbedding at William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital in Weston. Records show the facility is consistently overcrowded, and union representatives say working conditions put both employees and patients in danger. Sudbeck says, over the past two weeks, he has heard from eight to 10 Sharpe employees about problems. He plans an investigation later this month, focusing on the hospital's physical condition, patient treatment, staffing levels and other issues.


West Virginia Voter Registration Up

Between June 28th and August 9th, nearly 6,000 people registered to vote in West Virginia...a rate not seen since the 2008 presidential election when 5,876 registered. That number includes 2,062 Democrats, 1,538 Republicans, 2,029 with no party affiliation and 179 who registered as members of the Mountain Party or another political party. West Virginia has about 1.2 million registered voters, and registration applications still are arriving at the Secretary of State's Office time stamped on or before August 9th. A special Senate election is August 28th.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Pike County Man Pleads Guilty To Murder

Police say 49 year old David Joe Ratliff fatally shot his niece, 30 year old Rachel Ratliff, in the face during an argument in January at a home in Regina. Ratliff pleaded guilty to murder this week after pleading not guilty in January. The commonwealth's attorney is recommending a 20-year prison term when Ratliff is sentenced August 24th.


FEMA Assistance Tops $8 Million

FEMA announced Friday that about $8.7 million has been awarded in disaster grants and loans to residents of Carter, Lewis, Madison, Pike and Rowan counties after July 17th flooding. Pike County has received the largest chunk of individual assistance grants, with $5.6 million awarded as of Thursday evening.


Special Grand Jury Investigating Whitley County Sheriff

The special grand jury investigating Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge and his office met for the third time Friday, and several former employees testified. The department is also being investigated by the FBI concerning budget deficits of more than $200,000. More suspicions were raised when a December break-in at the office revealed 80 guns unaccounted for. The jury meets again on September 17th and will likely meet three or four more times. Commonwealth's Attorney Alan Trimble says he expects a decision on whether or not to indict Hodge by mid-October.


iPhone "app" To Help Smokers Quit

Quitting smoking while you’re on the go just got a little easier with the “Become An EX App,” an application for iPhone to help smokers who want to quit to “re-learn” their lives without cigarettes. The “app” allows users to connect directly to the EX plan to help smokers beat their nicotine cravings. App users can play games, watch videos or read top news articles to overcome an urge to smoke by re-focusing their minds on something other than cigarettes.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health’s (DPH) Tobacco Prevention and Smoking Cessation Program partnered with the American Legacy Foundation last year to launch the “Become an EX” campaign in the commonwealth. Smokers interested in kicking the habit are encouraged to utilize this new application.


Alleged Floyd County Shooter Pleads In Court

Michael Nolan Slone, the man accused of shooting and injuring two people on Saturday and then hiding from police for days, pleads not guilty in court. Slone was caught in the Hippo community after a five day manhunt. The judge set Slone's bond at one million dollars. He is charged with two counts of attempted murder, burglary, and harrassing communications.

Police say on Saturday, Slone broke into his ex-girlfriend, Jessica Nelson's home and then when she and her boyfriend came home, he allegedly opened fire, shooting Nelson once and Lee Sammons three times.

Slone was taken into custody peacefully, but police say they found a variety of weapons nearby. Slone will have a preliminary hearing on Monday.

Nelson is out of the hospital and expected to recover. Police say Sammons remains in stable condition at Cabell-Huntington Hospital.


Rand Paul Hires Press Secretary

Kentucky Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul has added a press secretary to his campaign.

The campaign says Gary Howard has been hired as go-between for the media and Paul, a tea party favorite. A campaign statement says Howard previously worked as a staffer in the U.S. Senate and as a political communications professional.

Paul campaign manager Jesse Benton says Howard will be a "great addition" to the campaign team. Benton has doubled as a spokesman for Paul, who caused an uproar in the spring by expressing misgivings about applying part of the Civil Rights Act to private businesses and for calling criticism of BP "un-American" in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill.

Paul's opponent, Democrat Jack Conway, hired John Collins as his communications director last month.


Riverside Days In Whitesburg

Thousands of people are expected to participate in the 16th annual Riverside Days Festival in Whitesburg.

The three-day event will be held Aug. 19-21 at Riverside Park. It began 16 years ago as the Jenkins Days Festival, and festival committee members decided to move to Riverside Park four years ago because it is bigger than the previous venue.

Come out and enjoy the food booths or come and enjoy the climbing wall or bungee jump. There will be plenty of things for the kids to do. It’s a free evening to come out and enjoy good music and friends.

Food and craft booths open each day at the park at 11 a.m. and grand opening ceremonies will be held on Aug. 19 at 5 p.m., followed by numerous local performers who will be singing country, bluegrass, gospel and rock-and-roll music. Several games, including a climbing wall and bungee jump game, will be open in the park.

Admission to all concerts and the festival grounds is free of charge. Headlining the event this year is country music star Daryle Singletary, who will perform Aug. 21 at 9:30 p.m.


Former WV Lawmaker Indicted In Federal Probe

A federal grand jury has slimmed down the gambling case against a former West Virginia lawmaker and added one of his employees as a co-defendant.

The revised indictment against Joe C. Ferrell still alleges he ran an illegal gambling racket in both West Virginia and Kentucky. It also alleges the former Logan County delegate bribed a West Virginia Lottery investigator.

Ferrell's company, Southern Amusement, leases video lottery machines and is also a defendant. The latest indictment adds company employee Mark Anthony Cantrell to its main racketeering and illegal gambling counts. He's also accused of mail fraud.

The revised indictment handed up Tuesday has 11 fewer charges than the previous batch. Most were interstate racketeering counts against Ferrell


Fire Trucks For Fire Boat Trade

A western Kentucky fire department has its first aerial ladder truck plus a pumper in a swap for a fire and rescue boat. The Paducah Sun reported the trucks arrived on Tuesday after the Reidland-Farley Fire Protection District trustees approved the deal. It gave the department a ladder unit with a 50-foot reach and a rescue-pumper truck. Both are 1993 models.

James Wessel, president of Brindlee Mountain Fire Apparatus, told the newspaper he had a buyer for the boat before the truck deal closed. The local department bought the $269,000, 27-foot boat last year and never used it.


Companies Receive Energy-Efficient Funding

Gov. Steve Beshear says three Kentucky companies have been awarded stimulus funding to make energy-efficient upgrades.

Beshear announced that General Electric Co. in Louisville will receive $2.5 million, Arch Chemicals Inc. in Brandenburg will receive $450,000 and International Paper Co. in Henderson will receive $400,000.

The companies were among 13 that sought funding for projects that would save energy and reduce operating costs. Beshear says the projects will serve as an example of how private businesses can reduce energy costs and benefit the environment.


Domestic Violence Funds Made Available

Federal funding to support programs that assist domestic violence victims in Kentucky is expected to amount to $1.2 million. A joint statement from Rep. Ben Chandler and Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo says about $875,000 in funding will help buy GPS monitoring devices for pilot programs in rural and urban areas.

The GPS devices will be used in accordance with Amanda's Law, a state law passed this year in the wake of the slaying of state worker Amanda Ross. Another $325,000 will be devoted to the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Transitional Housing Program, to provide services and shelter to families. The program helps with housing, emergency finances and continuing education.


Kentucky Identified As Prosperity-Challenged

The new chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission says encouraging economic growth throughout its 13-state region remains a priority.

Earl Gohl was in Mississippi for a tour of counties to determine the effectiveness of effort by the ARC to improve the general quality of life in the region.

Gohl had earlier presented a $350,000 grant for infrastructure partnership to a local Mississippi industry. He says Mississippi and Kentucky remain the most prosperity-challenged states in ARC. The commission was founded in 1965 during the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson to improve conditions in the high-poverty Appalachian region.


FEMA Increases Funding For May Flooding

Governor Steve Beshear announced today that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will increase its funding to the Commonwealth in support of the May flooding and severe storms federal disaster.

FEMA is amending the standard cost-share arrangement for disaster assistance Under the new agreement, the Public Assistance Program is expanding to 90 percent of total eligible costs to help pay for emergency measures and to repair, restore or replace public facilities damaged or destroyed by the May severe storms, flooding and mudslides.

Under the typical cost-share program, FEMA Public Assistance funds 75 percent of the cost for eligible work by state and local governments and certain nonprofit organizations that provide public services. The remaining 25 percent non-federal share comes from state and local sources. The state manages the grants for all projects.


MSHA Says UBB Crack Measures 36 Feet Long

This week, the size of a crack found inside the UBB Mine and its potential meaning in the investigation of the April explosion became the focus of the ongoing battle between Massey Energy and MSHA. Massey officials had told the miners families the crack was 100 to 150 feet long and possible evidence that the disaster could not have been prevented. MSHA geologist Sandin Phillipson, who went underground to re-examine and measure the crack, says it measures 36 feet long and appears to be the normal result of the geologic stresses caused by longwall mining. MSHA administrator Kevin Stricklin again disputed Massey's characterization, saying, even if methane escaped from a floor crack, proper safety precautions could have prevented the 29 deaths. Stricklin says steps can be taken and measures can be put in place, and there's no reason for anyone to die because of a methane inundation.


Guilty Murder Pleas Entered

Two men have pleaded guilty in the death of 27 year old Brandon Greene which occurred outside a South Charleston nightclub 5 years ago. Thomas Drew Bess, 29, of Cross Lanes, and Hubert Lee Scruggs, 24, of Charleston, have pleaded guilty to lesser charges after being charged with first-degree murder. Bess pleaded to conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to one to five years in prison. Scruggs pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and will be back in court in October. He could be sentenced to 3-15 years in prison.


Sissonville Man Charged With Wanton Endangerment

Kanawha County Sheriff's Deputies say Benjamin Honaker and his wife, Tiffany, both 26, drove to his parents home in Sissonville on Thursday where, according to Tiffany, they got into an argument in which her husband went into the residence, got a pistol, came back outside and started firing into the air and the ground while threatening her. Benjamin Honaker was charged with wanton endangerment.


Marijuana Eradication Conducted

Thursday, Fayette County Sheriff's Deputies, West Virginia State Troopers, and members of the West Virginia National Guard's RAID unit conducted an aerial marijuana eradication in which more than 500 outdoor plants, with an estimated street value of over one million dollars were located and removed. The plants were found mainly in the Danes-Meadow Bridge area and the Scrabble Creek area near Gauley Bridge and were in addition to a recent seizure of 100 plants in the Danese area.


Criminal Complaints Filed Against Former Marshall Football Players

Criminal complaints were filed Friday charging former Marshall University Football players Michael Fleurizard III and Antwon Chisholm, both 18 years old, of putting a choke hold on a Papa John's Pizza delivery man, then stealing his keys, cell phone, pizza products, and $20. They have been charged with felony 1st degree robbery. This is Fleurizard's second charge. Reports say Chisholm and Fred Pickett have transferred to a 1-AA School, but charges have not been filed against Pickett.


Logan County Man Killed

West Virginia State Police troopers say 57 year old Ralph Greene of Man was pronounced dead at Logan Regional Hospital Friday morning after his SUV collided head-on with a coal truck on Route 44 in the Switzer area of Logan County around 4:00 A.M.


Boone County Deputies Investigating Double Shooting

Boone County Sheriff's Deputies say it appears 36 year old Nathaniel Porter shot his wife and then fatally turned the gun on himself. Thirty-four year old Wendy Porter, is in serious condition. The shooting happened about 2:00 A.M. Friday on Hubert Hill Road in Manila.


Ohio Highway Patrol Arrests Huntington Men

Shawntel Pointer, 27, Rayshawn Wells, 20, and Henry Coleman, 33, all from Huntington, were arrested early Friday morning by the Ohio Highway Patrol. Authorities say they were traveling from Columbus to Huntington when police conducted a traffic stop near Lucasville and confiscated 154 grams of suspected crack cocaine and two small bags of marijuana. The three were taken to the Scioto County Jail and charged with possession and trafficking of crack cocaine.


Sissonville Man Charged With Felony Cultivation Of Marijuana

Christian A. Burdette, 47, of Sissonville, was charged with felony cultivation of marijuana this week after Kanawha County Sheriff's Deputies went to a residence on Grapevine Road and found 95 marijuana plants, estimated at a street value of $190,000, 225 grams of marijuana with a street value of $2,250, numerous pills, growing equipment and fertilizer and a large privacy fence around the yard.


West Virginia Senator Looks At State Workers' Health Care

Kanawha County State Senator Brooks McCabe says a lot of people are not going to like the different steps West Virginia could take to address the estimated $8 billion that will have to be paid for health care benefits for future retired state workers. Benefit cuts and tax increases are among the many options now on the table. McCabe says it could be as much as $50 million a year until a way is figured out to gain control of the situation, but doing nothing is not an option.


U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller Vows Social Security Support

In honor of the 75th birthday of Social Security, U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller released a statement Friday saying Social Security plays an important role in the lives of over 436,000 West Virginians. Rockefeller, a senior member of the Finance Committee, the panel that oversees Social Security, vowed he would never turn his back on the program or the many West Virginians who benefit from its creation each and every day. He says actions must be taken to strengthen and protect Social Security.


Statewide Program To Insure West Virginia Children

A statewide program was announced Friday as an effort to provide insurance for uninsured West Virginia children. Officials estimate nearly 10,000 - 16,000 children participating in sports across the state are eligible for coverage through the West Virginia Children's Health Insurance Program, or Medicaid enrollment. Children 18 years old old or younger, who do not have health insurance, are eligible to qualify through the website

Thursday, August 12, 2010


ACT Scores Show Improvement

The state Department of Education released overall results Thursday from the ACT, which more than 44,000 Kentucky public school juniors took last spring. Results show juniors in Kentucky's public high schools continue to improve their ACT scores, and more of them are ready to tackle college-level work, but there's plenty of room for improvement. Thursday's results show that 49 percent of Kentucky juniors are ready for college-level work in English composition and the percentage ready for college math rose from 21 percent in 2009 to 22 percent in 2010. The percentage prepared for college social science rose from 30 percent in 2009 to 35 percent for 2010. And in biology, the percentage of juniors deemed ready for college work fell from 16 percent in 2009 to 15 percent for 2010. According to education officials, benchmark subject scores on the ACT translate to a 75 percent chance that a student will get a C or higher grade on corresponding credit-bearing college courses.


Corbin Hit-And-Run Victim Released

Twelve year old Meghan Roehrich of Corbin was released from Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital Thursday, more than than two weeks after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver while crossing the Cumberland Falls Highway in Corbin to visit her grandparents on July 26th. Meghan was taken to Baptist Regional Medical Center by ambulance, then airlifted to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital and later taken to Cardinal Hill, where she spent the last week. She injured her shoulder and suffered fractures in her right femur, knee and pelvis. Michael Petery is charged with second-degree assault, leaving the scene of an accident and driving with no license or insurance.


Mercer County Accident Kills Driver

A Mercer County woman was killed as the result of an accident that happened around 2:30 P.M. Thursday afternoon on Highway 33 near Burgin. Police say she was on her way to pick up her children from Burgin Independent School when she lost control of her van, overcorrected, went off the road, hit a pole and flipped over several times. Police say the woman was partially ejected from the vehicle.


Indicted School Board Member Refiles For Seat

A former Breathitt County school board member indicted on thirty counts of criminal charges is filing for office again. Kelly Noble Junior filed for office Tuesday, just a few months after he was indicted on criminal charges.

Noble was charged with one count official misconduct, one count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and 28 counts of second-degree forgery. The Breathitt County School Board removed him from his office in April.

Noble originally refused to resign when first asked by the Kentucky Department of Education.


Son Charged With Death Of Mother

Police have issued a warrant for Earl "Donnie" Knasel for the death of his mother. Covington police said Knasel has been charged with first degree murder. Barbara Knasel, 64, was found dead inside her home after neighbors reported a strong smell of natural gas in the area. Neighbors said the smell was so strong in the area, it could be smelled up to a block and a half away. Part of the neighborhood had to be evacuated for a short time on Tuesday night. Knasel's son, Donnie, was found unconscious and taken to University Hospital for treatment. Knasel is in stable condition. Once Donnie is released from the hospital, he'll be taken to the Hamilton County jail, and then he'll be extradited to Kenton County. Police said Barbara died of blunt force trauma to the head. Police would not comment on whether they believe Knasel attempted suicide or the exact condition of Barbara's body.


Two Die In I-71 Crash

Tragedy struck on I-71 in Boone County. Two people died when their car collided with two tractor trailers. The horrific wreck tied-up the highway for hours near the Walton-Verona exit. This happened during what is being described as a torrential downpour around mile-marker 73 near Verona. It is an area where accidents happen all the time and in the crash Wednesday afternoon, two people died. The collision left behind a hazardous mess of diesel fuel and oil all over the roadway. Crews used a kitty-litter type mixture to soak up what they could and then swept it all to the roadside to be collected by highway crews. North and south-bound traffic was deadlocked for more than four hours. Police have not identified the two people that died, other than to say they are both 53-year-old women from Ohio. They are asking anyone who may have witnessed the accident to contact the Boone County Sheriff's Department at (859) 334-2175.


Credit Card Theft From Relief Effort

A Kentucky man is facing charges after police say he stole money that was supposed to go to Haiti relief. 31-year-old Michael Webb is charged with fraudulent use of a credit card.

Webb was an employee at Cat Fan-Attic, an athletic apparel store in Lexington. Police say Webb had access to credit card numbers from the January "Hoops to Haiti" fundraiser. According to police, Webb used those numbers to make several charges on those victims' credit cards.


Union College Gets Grant Fund$

A college in southeastern Kentucky has received a $500,000 grant to offer scholarships to students interested in studying math, biology or chemistry.

A statement from Union College says it was awarded the grant by the National Science Foundation to support southeastern Kentucky students with academic promise and financial need.

Scholarship applicants must also belong to a demographic group identified as underrepresented - the economically disadvantaged, first-generation college students, women or minorities.

Each student chosen will receive a scholarship in the range of $5,000 - $10,000 per year, which can be combined with other forms of financial aid.

Union College is a private liberal arts college located in Barbourville and associated with the United Methodist Church.


College Credits To Transfer Easier

A new bill is making it easier for thousands of college students to transfer credits.
School counselors say about 90 percent of students attending Western Kentucky University's Owensboro campus are transfer students. Many of them have had to retake courses when credits wouldn't transfer.

Now, students who transfer from Kentucky's technical colleges will get credit for courses they've already taken.

"Sometimes that presents a problem especially when four year colleges say well we don't recognize that course and you have to take it again or a similar course," said State Rep. Jim Glenn (D-Owensboro). "The four year will take courses from a community college and the number of courses needed to graduate dropped from 128 to 120."

The transfer bill goes into effect in 2012.


Kentucky Coal Academy Enrollment

The Kentucky Coal Academy (KCA) of Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC)
at Hager Hill, KY is accepting applications for the Cohort Mining program. If
selected, students will attend thirty (30) weeks of training in underground mining
and receive certifications in specific areas. It is an exciting chance to start a career in mining. Enrollment is limited. Information is available by contacting the Kentucky Coal Academy or you may stop by the BSCTC Hager Hill Campus. Please contact Martha Blair at (606) 788-2940 or (606) 788-2946 for additional information.


School Bus Collision

Officials say no one was injured in a school bus accident in Knott County. The wreck happened around 3:40pm on Wednesday on highway 160 near Hindman. The accident involved a white van and a Knott County school bus. This was the first day of school for students in Knott County. Kentucky State Police continue to investigate the incident.


Beshear Chief Of Staff Resigning

Gubernatorial Chief of Staff Adam Edelen is resigning effective next month after more than two years as Gov. Steve Beshear's right hand man. Beshear praised Edelen's leadership and his passion for Kentucky in announcing his pending departure. Edelen is a potential candidate for state auditor in next year's elections. He declined to say if he's stepping down to begin his campaign.

Beshear said his chief legislative liaison, Mike Haydon, will replace Edelen. Haydon, who formerly served as chief of staff to House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, has held numerous posts in state government and once served as mayor of Springfield.


Cabell County Grand Jury Indictment Unsealed

On Thursday, Cabell County Grand Jury indictments were unsealed charging Teresa Baker, for the third time, for the murder of 29 year old Jeff Sadler which occurred in February of 2008. Baker has appeared in circuit court several times and has threatened to take her case to the Supreme Court. Investigators say
Baker fatally shot Sadler, who lived next door and had been dating her daughter, following a domestic dispute between Sadler and her daughter.


Man To Appear In West Virginia For Marijuana Conspiracy

Thirty-two year old Jay Van Meenen, who was arrested August 9th, made his initial court appearance Monday in Nevada where he was released on a personal recognizance bond and ordered to appear August 30th in West Virginia. Van Meenen is the sixth suspect to be arrested in a $10 million marijuana conspiracy linked to a 682-pound marijuana seizure in Putnam County. The alleged conspiracy began in summer 2002 and ended May 19, 2010. Van Meenen was among eight people named in a federal indictment unsealed late last month charging seven people with conspiracy and an eighth person with aiding and abetting. Van Meenen, the only person charged in multiple counts, faces allegations of conspiracy and possession with intent to distribute. His possession count charges him with moving marijuana through Putnam County on March 5th.

The indictment listed Van Meenen’s alleged co-conspirators as Christopher "Cluck" Clark, 35, and Jeffery Perry, 32, both of Columbus, Ohio; Russell Nelson, 47, and Mark "Chappy" Chappalear, 32, of Zanesville, Ohio; Barry M. Adkins, 48, of South Point; and Rosa Imedla Ledezma, 43, of Denver. Richard Fleming, 48, of Chicago was not named in the in the conspiracy count, but was charged with aiding and abetting in the distribution of marijuana March 12th in Nitro.


Supreme Court Of Appeals Overturns Convictions

Nathaniel Todd Barnett and his brother, Phillip Barnett, met a $100,000 property bond and were released to home confinement Wednesday, pending a trial tentatively set for December 7th. The state Supreme Court of Appeals overturned convictions granting the brothers a new trial after being convicted August 2008 for the August 5, 2002, strangulation of 21 year old Deanna Crawford. Brian Emerson Dement pleaded guilty in October 2007 only to recant his confession two days later. Dement's words and explanation of the event had led to second-degree murder convictions for himself, the brothers and a fourth suspect, Justin Keith Black. The state Supreme Court overturned the Barnetts' conviction last month when it ruled then-Circuit Judge John Cummings erred when he denied the defense a chance to play two recordings of Dement's jailhouse comments, which cleared all of those charged.


State Police Continue To Investigate Fatal Shooting

West Virginia State Police are continuing to investigate in an attempt to determine the motive that led to a trooper in Wirt County fatally shooting 45 year old Joseph Dennis Harrison from Elizabeth. Police say Harrison opened fire on the state police barracks in Elizabeth Wednesday afternoon. State Police Spokesman Mike Baylous says, when a state trooper and a Wirt County Deputy responded to a call of shots fired at the detachment, they encountered Harrison who was inside a UPS truck and were able to make visual contact. Baylous says Harrison presented a weapon in a threatening manner toward the officers.


MSHA Seeking To Have Massey Miner Permanently Rehired

MSHA is asking that Massey Energy be required to permanently rehire Ricky Lee Campbell, a miner who claims he was fired in late April for voicing concerns while talking to reporters about safety issues at Massey's Upper Big Branch Mine, where 29 miners were killed in an explosion on April 5th. Campbell was working at another Massey mine the day of the explosion, but had briefly worked at UBB. Wednesday's action marks the second time MSHA has come to Campbell's defense. In June, an administrative law judge ordered Massey to temporarily rehire Campbell after MSHA filed a complaint, but Massey says Campbell's firing was not related to his comments over safety concerns.


Kanawha County Sheriff's Deputies Continue Search

The search for 29 year old John Reed II is now in its second week. Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies say they've had reports that he has been seen in Clendenin in Kanawha County and Ona in Cabell County. Authorities say, on July 27th, Reed met his ex-wife, Melissa Taylor, on Maywood Avenue in Clendenin and stabbed her several times in front of her seven year old daughter. Taylor was treated at Charleston Area Medical Center. The vehicle Reed allegedly stole from Taylor was found in Ona. Reed, who has a teardrop tattoo under his left eye, is considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information about his location is asked to contact the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department at 304-357-0169.


Mayor Steps Down

Bridgeport Mayor Jim Christie, who had served as secretary with the West Virginia Municipal League, has stepped down from the position after being under scrutiny since one of his companies, Comvest Limited Inc., filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. Christie says he doesn't want issues with Comvest to distract from the municipal league's work and agenda. After Comvest's bankruptcy filing, it was learned that the Municipal League had sponsored a marketing agreement with the company under which the League steered its member cities to do business with Comvest and received a fee in exchange. Comvest facilitated lease purchase agreements for public agencies and served as a middleman between lenders and city or county government agencies looking to buy equipment. Comvest set up the tax-free leases and then sold the paperwork to lenders at a markup. The public agency then appropriated money each year to the lender to pay for its equipment.


State DEP Creates Guidelines For Water Quality Permits

The state Department of Environmental Protection says it has created a document that lists conditions permit writers will follow when considering water quality permits for surface coal mines. The document focuses on the potential harm a mining project could have on a stream's water quality and aquatic life. DEP Secretary Randy Huffman says he hopes the federal Environmental Protection Agency will give deference to the state now that it has guidelines.


Gubernatorial Succession Laws Could Face Lawsuit

Charleston attorney Thornton Cooper, a Democratic candidate for Kanawha County Clerk, has notified state officials he plans to sue if they don't clean up the state's gubernatorial succession laws. If the governor's seat becomes vacant, the president of the state Senate immediately becomes acting governor.
But, what should happen if Governor Joe Manchin wins the November 2nd election? Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin says state law does not mandate sending voters to the polls until the next regular election in 2012. Cooper argues the constitution says the state is supposed to have an election when you have a vacancy. State House Speaker Rick Thompson says the constitution demands an election soon after the vacancy occurs. Cooper proposes lawmakers have an election within five months of the vacancy and suggests a candidate filing begin immediately, lasting a month, and a special primary election two months after the filing period ends and a general election three months after the primary.


Marathon Urging Lawmakers To Change Price-Gouging Law

West Virginia has a law which forbids raising prices of necessary goods and services by more than 10 percent of what they were 10 days before an emergency. When President Barack Obama declared a national emergency last year because of swine flu, the Marathon Petroleum Co. was forced to hold the line on gas prices in West Virginia. Thirty-nine states have price-gouging laws, but West Virginia's law is one of the few that carry potential criminal and civil penalties. Marathon officials have several suggestions, including some sort of mechanism to ensure businesses are not punished for price increases inside an emergency area if they are consistent with those outside the area, giving the governor the authority to enact price controls, having a list of goods affected by the order which should expire after 30 days unless the governor renews it, and decriminalize the law because it creates uncertainty, particularly for small business owners. Marathon is urging lawmakers to change the law.


Stimulus Funds For Child Support Arrearages

According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, the state has received money from the federal economic stimulus funds to provide families that qualify with a one-time payment of $500 which will be applied to the balance of any unpaid child support. The DHHR will mail letters later this month to those families who qualify.


Some Want High-Speed Internet To Be Competitive

Bridgeport-based Citynet hopes state lawmakers will sign off on a plan to give small Internet providers an affordable way to provide service in some of the most remote places in West Virginia, bringing high-speed services at competitive prices. However, the state has committed more than $126 million to Frontier Communications to provide broadband Internet services to schools, libraries and other government facilities, and the company itself is investing hundreds of millions in the state to improve broadband access. Some lawmakers fear the lack of competition could translate into higher rates and poor service for customers. They question why the state is spending $126 million in federal money for what appears to only benefit Frontier. They argues that, if that were the case, competitors should be allowed to access the company’s network under reasonable terms. Lawmakers on the infrastructure committee question whether broadband Internet should be regulated by the state Public Service Commission.


Police Arrest Floyd County Alleged Shooter

After several days on the run, police arrested 24 year old Michael Nolan Slone just after 7:00 P.M. Wednesday night. Several police agencies combed the hills around Highway 850 in Floyd County and found him in the Hippo community about three to four miles from where police say he shot his former girlfriend and her boyfriend on Saturday. Police say they found Slone walking between two vacant houses and approached him, taking him into custody without incident, although police say he had a hidden stash of weapons. Slone was treated at the scene for potential dehydration. From there, he was transported to the Floyd County Detention Center where he was lodged. After the arrest was made, a variety of weapons was located near the scene. Slone is charged with two counts of attempted murder, burglary, and harassing communications. Police say one victim, Lee Sammons, is in stable condition at Cabell-Huntington Hospital, while Jessica Nelson has been released from the hospital.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Prestonsburg High School Student Killed In Car Wreck

Lakyn Pennington, who turned 18 on Sunday and then died late Monday night, was supposed to start her junior year Wednesday at Prestonsburg High School. Friends and teachers started the school year grieving her loss after police say she lost control of her SUV, causing it to crash and eject her from the vehicle while traveling on Route 1428 in Floyd County. Another family member in the car, 12 year old Brittany Pennington was treated and released from the hospital. Pennington's funeral will be Thursday at 1:00 P.M. at the Nelson-Frazier Funeral Home in Martin.


Harless Creek Sees Minor Flooding

According to the National Weather Service, residents along Harless Creek in Regina reported minor flooding Wednesday afternoon after a rain storm dumped about 1.5 inches of rain in about an hour. Around 5:15 P.M., Pike County emergency officials said water was flowing from Harless Creek into the road and residents' yards. Southern Pike County was under a flash flood warning until 9:30 P.M. Harless Creek was among the hardest hit by floods on July 17th.

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