Saturday, August 21, 2010


BSCTC Grill Opens On Mayo Campus

Students on the Mayo Campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical were delighted at the reopening of the Mayo Campus Café and Grill.

Students' staff and faculty members meander in and out enjoying the special of the day. A variety of other menu items are available, including but not limited to burgers, hot dogs, salads, fries and grilled chicken.

The Mayo Campus Café and Grill affords students the feasibility of remaining on
Campus for dining, thus making it easier for students to obtain healthy meals and
refreshments as they traverse back and forth to classes.

Cosmetology students, Amanda Clark, Kayla Collins, Amy Music, Jessica Potter and
Allie Shepherd appreciate the idea of having a dining area on Campus. Clark
remarked, "The food is delicious and very affordable."

Students, Mallory Lewis and Kyle Sammons felt the Mayo Café and Grill was a good
addition because of its convenience, ease of use and the fact that it would save
students fuel money because they would not have to drive to other restaurants to

For more information about the BSCTC Mayo Café and Grill, contact Nellie Baldwin,
coordinator of food preparation. The Café is located in Building E, second
floor--room 200. Hours of operation are Monday thru Thursday from 7:30 a.m. until
2:30 p.m. The telephone number is (606)789-5321, ext. 82803 and the e-mail address.


Workshops On Applying To College

A new program to help people apply to college will set up workshops at more than 50 locations around the state. The program from the state Education and Workforce Development Cabinet is being called "Close the Deal."

The sessions will cover issues such as applying to college, college costs and using financial aid.

Cabinet secretary Joseph Meyer says the "sessions will provide a roadmap for students and parents to help chart the path to higher learning."

Several kick-off events in Paducah, Hazard, Bowling Green, Shelbyville and other cities will be held in August and September.


Woman Charged With DUI And Dragging Dog Behind A Van

With her family watching, Kristy Nelson went before a judge..on charges that while she was the driver of a van, she was drunk, and a dog named “Luke” was being dragged helplessly behind her. They are crimes her father says she must live up to, but he says she never knew the dog was tied to the bumper.

Nelson is facing a felony though called torture of a dog or cat, also Romeo’s Law, which means if convicted she could serve one to five years in prison. A Taylor County deputy sheriff captured the dog being dragged on his cruiser camera Monday night on Broadway street near Campbellsville. She stopped the van and while the dog was still alive, it died before animal control officials arrived.

According to court records, Kristy Nelson has several issues with drunk driving. She was given a DUI in November 2006, and a second one in May 2008. The citation says that she paid a fine for the 2006 offense and spent 7 days in jail.

This would then make her third DUI, and police say she told them she had 5 glasses of wine before she borrowed a friend’s van, with his dog tied to the bumper.

Nelson pleaded not guilty to her charges and she was ordered to be back in court on Wednesday, August 25.


Natural Resources Conservation Service Assists Pike County

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is providing
financial and technical assistance to the Pike County Fiscal Court in removing
debris and repairing stream banks damaged by the storm event that occurred on July
17, 2010. After receiving a request for assistance from the Pike County Fiscal
Court, NRCS began accessing damage from this event on Sunday July 18, 2010.

As of Aug. 18, 2010, the Natural Resources Conservation Service has provided
technical assistance in the reconstruction of streams and has provided 90 percent
funding to repair the damages to 12 creeks. The financial assistance provided by
NRCS for repair of these streams as of today is $2,974,762.

NRCS continues to evaluate and access the damages from this storm event and is
presently accessing other streams with an anticipated added cost of $1 to $1.2


Caregiver Charged With Wanton Endangerment

A former caregiver at Community Alternatives of Kentucky (CAKY) in Louisville is facing wanton endangerment charges for her treatment of two physically handicapped residents.

Sherray Medious, 48, of Louisville, was charged with two counts of Wanton Endangerment I in Bullitt County District Court.

The charges are a result of two separate incidents from June of this year when Medious was a van driver for CAKY. It is alleged that on June 14, 2010, Medious did not strap-in the wheelchair of a physically handicapped resident to the floor of the van. During the transport, the resident’s wheelchair rolled causing her to sustain a broken left foot. It is also alleged that on June 16, 2010, Medious pushed another physically handicapped resident in a wheelchair against a seat causing the resident’s left toenail to be ripped off.

This case was referred to the Office of the Attorney General from the Kentucky Department of Community Based Services. An investigator from General Conway’s Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control investigated the allegation from a criminal perspective. The Bullitt County Attorney’s Office is handling the prosecution of this case in District Court.

Summonses were issued for Medious and she is required to appear in Bullitt District Court on August 30, 2010 at 1:30 p.m.

A criminal charge is an allegation only. All defendants are innocent until proven guilty.


Retired Teachers' Benefits

Gov. Steve Beshear today announced that the Kentucky Asset/Liability Commission (ALCo) has sold $468 million in taxable notes this week to refinance obligations that will help protect health care benefits for Kentucky’s retired teachers. The bond sale will refinance loans the state obtained beginning in 2005 from the Kentucky Teacher’s Retirement System (KTRS) Pension Fund to pay the KTRS Medical Insurance Fund at a total savings to the Commonwealth of $87.7 million over the next 10 years.

Through this refinancing, the interest on the notes was reduced by more than half to 3.304 percent. Most of the savings for the current biennium had already been included in the existing biennial budget.

“I am very pleased with the significant savings to the General Fund resulting from the refinancing of these loans, said Gov. Beshear. “This is good news in this economic environment where my administration continues to seek every opportunity to save money and run the most efficient government possible.”


Attempt At Reducing Citations Backlog

Federal regulators say they're going to try meeting with mine operators accused of breaking health and safety rules earlier in the appeals process in hopes of reducing a backlog of 89,000 citations.

The pilot program announced Friday by the Mine Safety and Health Administration starts Aug. 31 and runs through November in three of the agency's districts. The agency says it chose offices that cover coal companies in Pennsylvania and Kentucky and metal and non-metal mines in Alabama to test the approach.

MSHA says it has been meeting with mine operators after they've been fined and contested citations. The pilot program will move those meetings to before penalties are assessed and operators have contested citations.

Congress recently appropriated $22 million to address the backlog.


Layoffs Of Political Appointees Begins

Gov. Steve Beshear's administration has started laying off political appointees as part of a budget-balancing plan for Kentucky's government.

Beshear said Friday that the plan is to reduce non-merit personnel costs by $5 million.

The governor's spokesperson, Kerri Richardson, said layoff notices started going out Friday, but she did not know how many were delivered. She said the various state agencies were given targeted amounts in non-merit personnel reductions, and the agency heads were given the flexibility to decide how to make the cutbacks.

Beshear said in a statement that the cuts were unfortunate and were caused by the weak economy.


KY 15 Reopens In Breathitt County

Kentucky Rt. 15 is again open in Breathitt County.

The highway had been closed near Jackson after heavy rain fell, causing concerns about a potential mud slide.

The road was closed by a slide about a month ago and workers have been blasting rock and removing it. Heavy rain early Thursday caused worry that another slide could occur.

Transportation officials caution drivers to be aware traffic delays are still possible because the area is still a work zone.


Land Between The Lakes Tree Thining

Federal forest managers at Land Between the Lakes want to remove hardwood trees significantly damaged in the 2009 ice storm.

The U.S. Forest Service is seeking public comment on a plan to cut damaged trees at two places in the recreation area. The aim is to improve wildlife habitat.

LBL forester Dennis Wilson says the plan calls for removing about 40 percent of the hardwood trees in the areas.

The locations are about 250 acres each. One is along the northern side of Road 118 near Craven's Bay. The other is several spots along Jenny Ridge Road, Ironton Road and The Trace in Trigg County.

Wilson said hardwoods that lost most of their canopy to the freezing rain would be taken down


Strip Club Owner Gets Life

A one-time strip club owner from northern Kentucky has been sentenced to life in prison for the 1994 slaying and dismemberment of a woman.

Special Judge David Melcher on Friday sentenced 62-year-old Raymond Clutter in the death of Peggy Casey of Covington. Melcher found Clutter guilty of murder, but acquitted him of rape, after a bench trial in July.

Clutter declined to make a statement at the hearing. His attorney, Jason Gilbert, said his client plans to appeal.

Parts of Casey's body had been found in three southwestern Ohio counties. Casey was the daughter of Clutter's ex-girlfriend.

Clutter is already serving a 20-year prison term on a sodomy conviction in a separate case.


Two Principals Set To Return To Work

A pair of Jefferson County Public School principals suspended in the aftermath of busing problems on the first day of school are set to return to work Monday.

King Elementary principal Julia Lewis and Lincoln Elementary principal Sonya Unseld received written reprimands for failing to take "significant action" to prepare for the school district's new transportation plan.

Both were suspended with pay while the school district investigated.

First day problems resulted in hundreds of students from their schools being improperly tagged to return home on buses.

About a dozen students from those schools didn't arrive home until after 9 p.m. Tuesday.


Man Killed By Falling Tree

Authorities say a 72-year-old Pulaski County man was killed when he was struck by a falling tree.

Deputy Coroner Jim McWhorter said Norman Mounce was visiting a friend on a farm in the Nancy area around 2 p.m. Friday when the tree suddenly fell and one of its branches struck Mounce in the back of the head.

Mounce was pronounced dead at the scene about an hour later.

McWhorter said the operation of heavy machinery on the site, coupled with the week's rains, may have softened up the ground enough to cause the tree to fall.


Charleston Couple Accused Of Using Children To Shoplift

Ross and Lisa Knotts of Charleston are accused of using their children in a shoplifting scheme that involved stealing goods from stores in four states, then selling the merchandise through an online eBay account. The couple is charged with mail fraud after prosecutors say they stole and resold about $80,000 worth of items including computer printers and video games over a period which started in the spring of 2009. The couple used their three children to shoplift from Target stores in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.


West Virginia State Police Investigating Inmate Death

West Virginia State Police are investigating the death of an inmate at the Western Regional Jail in Barboursville. Fifty year old John Charles Justice of Lavalette was buried Thursday after correctional staff found him unresponsive inside a holding cell during a routine check Sunday night. Justice had been incarcerated one day earlier on charges of providing false information to state police and false reporting of an emergency incident. An internal investigation by the Jail Authority is also being conducted.


Resigned Moorefield Officer Hired By Petersburg Police

Galen Reel, the former Moorefield police officer who resigned on August 4th after being found not guilty of sexually assaulting a woman, has been hired by the Petersburg Police Department. Aaron Harrah, the lawyer for Mary Ann Groves, the woman Reel is accused of assaulting says he doesn't see how Reel can take an oath of office to serve and protect. Groves says, when she was a 28 year old West Virginia University student, Reel sexually assaulted her and made her masturbate him on December 30, 2006.


West Virginia Customers To Receive Insurance Refunds

About 500 West Virginia customers of two insurance companies will receive refunds following an audit of the firms' loss ratio experiences. John Alden Insurance Co. will refund a total of $69,689, while Time Insurance Co. will refund a total of $145,450. The first refund checks are expected to be mailed around September 1st. In West Virginia, insurers can file for state approval of individual sickness and accident products on a guaranteed loss ratio basis. An independent audit is then required, and refunds are required if the audit indicates the actual loss ratio is less than the insurer anticipated.


Prevention Resource Center To Make Cuts

The Prevention Resource Center that coordinates West Virginia's efforts to prevent drug and alcohol abuse will lay off about a dozen people, roughly a third of its staff, when it loses about half of its funding in October. About half of the center's $3 million annual budget comes from a federal grant that helps states fund substance abuse treatment and prevention services. That money goes through the state's Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities. Earlier this year, DHHR officials decided to open the grant up for bid to various groups around the state, rather than awarding it all to the center.


Charleston Mayor Backs Out Of Play

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones is dropping out of the title role of a local production of "Li'l Abner," saying the script has changed significantly since he played the role in 1986 in a Kanawha Players production. He was going to reprise it in a show opening September 24th to help out the financially struggling theater. Jones says, although he plans to donate about $20,000, he thinks someone younger should play L'il Abner.


Fundraiser Set For Paul Ambrose Trail For Health

Errin Jewell, the public affairs specialist for the Rahall Transportation Institute, says most of the work on the Paul Ambrose Trail for Health is being constructed through federal grants. But donations and other money raised at various local fundraisers do help with the construction. Jewell says eighty percent of every dollar donated goes directly for construction, and the remaining 20 percent is designated for maintenance. The next fundraiser is the second annual FitFest, scheduled from 3:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. Saturday, September 11th, at Ritter Park. The event will include a 5K run and walk, a kids' fun run and health screenings. For information about sponsorships or about signing up for any of the events, call 304-696-7098.


McDowell County Officials Hope New Prison Will Draw Entities

McDowell County officials are hoping a new $224 million federal prison will draw other entities to the Indian Ridge Industrial Park. County Manager Clif Moore says the Federal Correction Institution McDowell is the park's anchor. The county is developing a marketing plan to attract businesses, industries and other entities to the park. Moore says the county also is working on a proposal to locate a wellness and educational center at the park. Inmates are scheduled to begin arriving at the prison in the fall.


Solid Waste Funding For Wayne, Lincoln And Mason

Three counties were awarded a portion of $300,000 from the West Virginia Solid Waste Management Board on Friday. The program is designed to assist local Solid Waste Authorities in properly managing solid waste within their counties or regions. Wayne County received more than $16,000 to go toward operating expenses like insurance, fuel, utilities and wages. In Lincoln County, $16,000 will go toward transportation of recyclables and wages, and Mason County Solid Waste Authority will use $6,700 for fuel, maintenance costs and educational conference expenses.


Unemployment Rates Down In West Virginia Counties

Workforce West Virginia announced Friday that 27 of West Virginia's 55 counties reported lower unemployment rates in July compared to the previous month. Twenty-four counties reported higher unemployment rates, while jobless rates in four counties were unchanged. Monongalia County continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the state, holding at 5.1 percent. Brooke County's 13.3 percent unemployment rate was the highest.


Six West Virginia Counties Receive Energy Funding

Through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, more than $600,000 will go toward energy efficiency projects for six West Virginia counties, Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln, Logan, Mason and Mingo. The city of Milton was granted more than $31,000 to replace the current HVAC system and existing windows and doors in City Hall. The Wayne County Commission received $200,000 to replace the HVAC system in the Wayne County Courthouse.


Kanawha County Schools Get Federal "Turnaround" Money

It's a new beginning for five schools in Kanawha County whose principals stepped aside so that their school could receive up to $2 million in federal "turnaround" money. The schools were listed among the lowest performing schools in the state. Riverside's former principal Paula Potter chose to step aside. In return, the school received $444,000 of federal School Improvement Grant money. That money goes towards professional development for the teachers and finding a math and english intervention specialist who will be able to work with individual students to really focus on their needs. The school also is pushing for more parental involvement and will hire a community school liaison to visit students and their parents at home. Other schools whose principals stepped aside so the school could receive federal "turnaround" money include Stonewall Jackson Middle, Cedar Grove Middle, East Bank Middle and Malden Elementary.

Friday, August 20, 2010


Kentucky Refuses To Consider One Drug Executions

Kentucky's law allows lethal injection to be carried out by injection of a substance or a combination of substances. Kentucky death row inmates Ralph Baze and Thomas Clyde Bowling challenged lethal injection as cruel and unusual punishment, but the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Kentucky's use of the three-drug protocol in 2008. Baze and Bowling say Ohio's use of a single drug to execute eight inmates since December shows there's a safer way to carry out executions. The state refuses to consider using one drug instead of three to execute condemned inmates, even though state law allows it. Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd said during a hearing in Frankfort Friday that he may order Kentucky corrections officials to explain why the state is sticking with three drugs and apparently hasn't explored other options.


WestCare Homeless Shelter Needs Funding

Funding for the WestCare Homeless Shelter in Pikeville has run out, and officials say they have no money and need $160,000 to continue operating. WestCare officials say the funding from the city of Pikeville has ended, and several grants ran out. Since it opened in 2006, at least 1,500 people have stayed at the shelter which provides beds, three meals per day and other assistance to people in five counties. This year, nearly 50 percent more people are using the shelter than last year, but it is at risk to close. Judi Patton, the wife of former Governor Paul Patton, says the shelter will take any donation. Shelter directors will send brochures with a donation form in the mail in Pike County next week.


Beshear Reducing Politically Appointed Jobs

In an effort to save $5 million, Governor Steve Beshear has started reducing politically appointed “non-merit” jobs in his administration. The cost-cutting measure is part of a $131 million reduction plan this year’s General Assembly mandated for the state’s executive branch. Beshear says he's committed to maintaining a balanced budget while keeping critical services functioning for the good of all the state’s citizens. Beshear’s press secretary, Kerri Richardson, said the administration does not yet know how many non-merit employees will be affected. The state House contends there are about 3,400 full-time political appointee workers in the executive branch, but Beshear’s office says there are 826 full-time political appointees.


Disaster Grants And Loans Top $11.3 Million

More than $11.3 million has been approved in federal disaster grants and loans since the July 23rd disaster declaration was approved for Kentucky residents in Carter, Lewis, Madison, Mason, Pike and Rowan counties. The approval includes more than $7.8 million in Housing Assistance grants from FEMA's Individuals and Households Program for temporary housing and home repairs, more than $648,000 in Other Needs Assistance, a joint state-federal program that helps homeowners and renters replace personal property and pay for medical, dental, funeral, transportation and other serious disaster-related needs not covered by insurance or other federal, state and charitable aid programs and more than $2.8 million in U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) low-interest disaster home loans. More than 3,300 people have talked with FEMA mitigation specialists staffing displays at Lowe's in Pikeville and at Farmers True Value Hardware Store in Grayson.


Animal Control Officer Kills Stray Dog

Breanna Rhoades says a dog called Bugsy befriended her and other workers around the Whitley Pharmacy, and, when it rained recently, they saw him hunched near a dumpster for cover, so they called animal control, assuming an officer would take the dog to the shelter. Instead, the officer pulled out a .22 rifle and shot the dog twice, killing it. County officials claim other people called saying they were afraid of the dog, and it had nearly caused car accidents on a busy nearby highway. The county judge executive says the officer's poor judgement is clearly not the protocol of his office, and the officer will be disciplined.


Lexington Herald-Leader Offers Reward

The Lexington Herald-Leader announced Friday that it is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the persons involved in the May 31st shooting of Don Silvestri, a contract carrier. Silvestri was delivering papers when he was shot in the neck on Greenwood Avenue near New Circle Road in Lexington.


Federal Regulators Hope To Reduce Citations Backlog

MSHA announced a pilot program Friday that will be tested in three of its agency's districts. The agency chose offices that cover coal companies in Pennsylvania and Kentucky and metal and non-metal mines in Alabama to test an approach aimed at trying to reduce a backlog of 89,000 citations. MSHA plans to meet with mine operators accused of breaking health and safety rules earlier in the appeals process before they've been fined and contested citations. The program starts August 31st and runs through November. Congress recently appropriated $22 million to address the backlog.


Kentucky Awarded More Than $1.3 Million

Governor Steve Beshear has announced that Kentucky has been awarded more than $1.3 million as part of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives. The funding will be used to expand the number of public computer workstations available at local public libraries and to greatly increase access to training courses for residents, while helping people search for jobs, write resumes and learn computer skills.


Flood-Inspired Lawsuit At Harless Creek

State officials say inspectors have cited coal companies for alleged
violations at mine sites near Harless Creek in Pike County.

Now more than 100 people who live in that area have filed a lawsuit against
the two coal companies claiming they are responsible for last month's
devastating flood.

126 people are suing Cambrian Coal and AEP Kentucky Coal, asking for
compensation for everything they lost in the flood.

They have filed a lawsuit against Cambrian Coal and AEP Kentucky Coal who
were mining on the nearby mountains.

State inspectors cited Cambrian Coal the week after the flood for having too
much sediment in one pond and allegedly mining more acres than a runoff pond
could handle, causing excessive runoff that damaged a home.

Cambrian Coal Officials listed in the lawsuit were unavailable to comment
and we could not reach AEP Kentucky Coal officials.

Neither company has been served with the lawsuit yet.

State inspectors did fly over the mine sites and Harless Creek in a
helicopter last week.


Open Alcoholic Beverages At Equestrian Games

Open alcoholic beverage containers will be allowed in large parts of downtown Lexington as the city celebrates the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

Lexington Special Events Coordinator Penny Ebel said the festival zone designation will be in effect for 17 days, starting Sept. 24 -- the day before the Games begin --and lasting through Oct. 10.

The festival will bring entertainment, arts and crafts and other activities to three downtown locations each day.

Alcohol will also be for sale at the Kentucky Horse Park during the games.

National federations from 58 countries have submitted nominations for the games, scheduled for the Kentucky Horse Park Sept. 25-Oct. 10.


Two-wheeled Transporters Manned By Police

Campus police at Morehead State University now have two Segway Personal Transporters to use to patrol the grounds.

The Center for Rural Development in Somerset presented the Segways to the eastern Kentucky college earlier this week.

Segway Personal Transporters are two-wheeled, battery-powered vehicles that riders stand on to move about.

Officers riding them will be about 8 inches above any crowd, while still allowing face-to-face contact with students, faculty and staff during patrols.

Several Kentucky law enforcement agencies have received Segways from a special program within the rural development center, including police at Western Kentucky University, the City of Morehead, and Pike County, as well as Somerset, Erlanger, Manchester, Taylor Mill, Taylorsville, Alexandria and London.


Charleston Police Arrest Detroit Man

Charleston Police officers with the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Task Unit arrested a Detroit man who allegedly had four stolen handguns in his possession as he tried to leave Charleston Thursday night on a Greyhound bus. Donovan E. Lyles, 21, faces misdemeanor charges of carrying a concealed deadly and dangerous weapon and transferring and receiving stolen property. He was arraigned and taken to South Central Regional Jail where he was being held Friday on $50,000 bail.


Rawl Lawsuit Set For Trial

Hundreds of Rawl, West Virginia residents claim Massey Energy subsidiary Rawl Sales & Processing poisoned their wells and made them sick by pumping coal slurry underground. A mass litigation panel handling the lawsuit against Massey and Rawl Sales has set a trial date of Aug. 1, 2011, in Wheeling and warned dozens of attorneys involved to clear their schedules for two months. The five-judge panel will hold a mediation on November 15th in Charleston, when two of the judges will try to broker a settlement between Massey, the plaintiffs and dozens of insurance company lawyers.


Mingo County Getting Help To Extend Water Service

Senators Jay Rockefeller and Carte Goodwin and Representative Nick Rahall has announced an Appalachian Regional Commission grant in which Mingo County is getting $1.25 million to help pay to extend water service to an estimated 108 customers. They say the money will pay for a water line extension to Marrowbone Creek, a community near Kermit. The project has already raised the rest of its estimated $2.9 million price.


Former Police Captain Faces More Sex Charges

Foster G. "Pete" Bowen, 80, of Barboursville, a former Huntington Police Department captain charged with sexual assault this week, may face additional charges in Webster County. Two men, who were juveniles at the time, say he repeatedly assaulted them between 1986 and 1992 at his home on Shaw Street. People involved in the case told police some of the abuse happened at Bowen's camp in Bergoo, Webster County. When troopers searched the camp, they found various evidence, including pornographic material. Bowen faces two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual assault by a guardian, two counts of displaying obscene material to a minor and two counts of using obscene material to seduce a minor in Cabell County. West Virginia State Police say there may be more charges.


China And West Virginia Working On Coal Partnership

Eighteen professors and officials from the China University of Mining and Technology were in West Virginia this week to form a new partnership. The school signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday afternoon to collaborate with West Virginia University on mining research. West Virginia, the second-largest coal-producing state, has been working hard to forge ties with China. In March, Governor Joe Manchin offered technical help when 150 Chinese miners were trapped in a flooded underground operation. And last fall, 13 West Virginia companies that supply the mining industry went to China with the hopes of landing contracts there.


Early Voting Turnout Strong

Officials from the office of Secretary of State Natalie Tennant say more than 5,000 voters cast early ballots Friday in the special election to fill the vacant Senate seat left by Senator Robert C. Byrd. The turnout is a a sharp jump from the 1,977 votes cast on the first day of early voting in the May primary election.


Mercer County Man Convicted Of interstate Stalking

Thomas C. Shrader, 55, of Duhring in Mercer County is scheduled to be sentenced November 18th after being convicted Friday on two counts of interstate stalking. According to evidence presented at his trial, Shrader murdered the mother and a friend of his high school ex-girlfriend, known as DS, in July 1975. The murders occurred in DS's presence at her home in McDowell County after she tried to end the relationship. Although he pled guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, Shrader continued to stalk DS from prison. After his released in 1993, he tracked DS and her family down in Sugarland, Texas, where he continued to harass her and her family. A 32-page ultimatum sent by UPS included statements such as it was time for DS to "face the piper" and she was going to be "Scottie Peterson famous." Shrader was arrested in November 2009 in connection with the interstate stalking. He faces life in prison and a $750,000 fine.


UBB Investigation Continues

As the investigation into the cause of the Upper Big Branch mine explosion continued this week, a federal official says a 36-foot long crack in the mine floor didn't contribute to the blast. That's contrary to a Massey Energy claim that the crack may have caused the disaster. Massey board member Bobby Inman says MSHA is interested in protecting its own theories and not about letting the facts tell the story. MSHA's Kevin Stricklin says a geologist found the crack does not lead to a coal seam and is not venting methane. Massey argues the crack could have allowed a sudden flood of methane gas into the mine on April 5th, but Stricklin says the victims' families shouldn't believe that. Stricklin says if other mandatory safety measures were in place, an outburst of methane would not result in a massive explosion. But Massey contends that with the investigation still going on and about half of the mine still to be checked, drawing any conclusion about the cause...or ruling anything premature.


Settlement Reached With West Virginia DEP

A settlement has been reached with the West Virginia State Department of Environmental Protection in which PPG will pay a fine of $1.3 million, in four installments. Court documents say PPG was in violation of the water pollution control act when it released pollutants into the Ohio River. However, PPG doesn't admit to any wrongdoing or agree with the penalties.


Officials Nearing Toll Road Agreement

Officials with the state Division of Highways and the West Virginia Parkways Authority are nearing an agreement for toll collection along parts of U.S. Route 35 and the Mon/Fayette Expressway. The tolls would help pay off the cost of completing the projects. If approved, the highways would become the only roads in the state outside the West Virginia Turnpike where tolls are collected. State Secretary of Transportation Paul Mattox acknowledged that reaction from residents in Mason and Putnam counties have been “mixed” about the idea of turning part of U.S. 35 into a toll road, but the money to complete the roughly 14-mile gap in the four-lane road simply isn’t there since Congress recently rescinded $22.5 million in highway money that had been budgeted for the state.


Police Say Convicted Felon Was Carrying Concealed Weapon

Charleston police arrested 36 year old Alishia K. Phillips and charged her with being a convicted felon carrying a concealed weapon. Police say she was trying to break into cars in Kanawha City while carrying a concealed Smith & Wesson .38 Special handgun. Phillips is a convicted felon on fraudulent prescription drug charges and is not allowed to own a firearm. The case has been forwarded to the U.S. Attorney's Office.


FCC Grant For Schools And Libraries

Cabell, Jefferson, Lincoln, Logan and Ohio counties are getting $785,000 from the Federal Communications Commission to help pay for telephone and Internet access in schools and libraries. In the past, West Virginia has received more than $131 million from the same program.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Flood Jam Postponed

The Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center has announced a benefit concert for victims of Pike County flooding to be held on August 29th. Due to a conflict of artists schedules, that show has been postponed until further notice.

We will announce artists, ticket prices and more at a later date. Visit us on the web at or by calling 606-444-5506


Lucky Blood Donor Has $5000 For Dream Vacation

Randi Herbst of Richmond donated blood at her company’s blood drive last month and because of that generous gesture she can now start planning a dream vacation.
As the second winner of Kentucky Blood Center’s Give & Go! summer promotion, Herbst, 27, receives a $5,000 AAA travel voucher that she can use for one big vacation or several smaller trips.

The lucky donor was one of more than 8,100 people who registered to give blood in July. “When I donated at our blood drive I remember wondering who wins these things,” said Herbst, who works at L-3 Communications and has given blood 10 times. Although she hasn’t had much time to dream about her upcoming vacation, Herbst thinks Australia, Hawaii or Europe sound quite inviting.

KBC is rewarding volunteer blood donors with a chance to enjoy a dream vacation while helping to save lives. Everyone who registers to give blood at a Kentucky Blood Center donor center or mobile donation location through Aug. 31 will be automatically entered into the Give & Go! summer promotion for a chance to win a $5,000 vacation package.

The third and final lucky winner will be selected on Sept. 1.


Nunn Could Face Death Penalty

Pamela Goodwine, the judge in the Steve Nunn murder case rejected a defense motion Thursday to have the capital murder charge against him thrown out, meaning he can face the death penalty when the case goes to trial. Nunn is accused of fatally shooting his former fiancee, 29 year old Amanda Ross, last September 11th outside her home in Lexington. A Lexington detective testified that Nunn's friends and his ex-wife said he was angry, bitter and depressed after losing his job in the wake of a domestic protection order filed against him by Ross, and Nunn made the statement that he couldn't decide whether to murder someone or get a job. In a hearing in July, Nunn's attorneys argued that child pornography and other evidence found on a computer hard drive should be disallowed because it was obtained through an improper police search. Nunn has pleaded not guilty to murder and wanton endangerment for allegedly brandishing a firearm when approached by police at a cemetery hours after Ross was gunned down.


Women Join Suit Against Laurel County Doctor

Fifteen more women have been added to a potential class action lawsuit against Laurel County Dr. Jackie Maxey. Twenty-five women say Maxey crossed the line when he performed unnecessary pelvic and vaginal exams and allegedly made sexual remarks to them. The lawsuit is the first in a series filed against Maxey, owner of Parkway Medical Center, who is scheduled to appear before a medical board in Louisville for six separate hearings in October.


Charges Dismissed Against Jackson County Teens

All charges were dismissed without prejudice Thursday against Corinne Schwab and Ashley Sams, both 18 year old girls from Jackson County. Schwab, Sams and a 17 year old juvenile, who had her charges dismissed earlier this week, had been accused of kidnapping, assaulting and attempting to kill classmate Cheyenne Williams who they allegedly tried to push over a cliff in the Flat Lick Falls area in Jackson County. Charges had previously been reduced from attempted murder and kidnapping to fourth-degree assault and menacing, all misdemeanors. Williams and her mother say they believe the trio attacked Williams because she is openly gay. In dismissing the charges, the judge cited lack of evidence. Without prejudice means the charges could be reinstated.


Judicial Center Update

By Brandon Roberts:
Some people around Pikeville may have felt the ground shake a bit the
past few days.

Several pieces of large equipment have been moved onto the site of what will be the
new Pike County Judicial Center.

One piece of equipment, a multipurpose vibratory hammer, made its way to Pike County
from Houston, Texas, and its sole purpose is to improve subsurface foundation for
the new building.

“This particular site had poor subsurface conditions,” Jim King, Project Coordinator
for the Administrative Office of the Courts said. “As a result, it requires
extensive preparation and soil stabilization.”

That’s where the large machines come into the picture.

The 180,000 pound multipurpose vibrating hammer’s sole purpose is soil improvement.

Tom Ewalt of Bauer/Pile Coal is an expert in regard to this machine.

“What this machine does is send down another machine that digs and loosens up the
soil on its way down,” Ewalt said. “On its way back up, it shoots concrete slurry
back into the loose soil, which creates a very solid foundation.”
According to Ewalt, the machine will be here until the entire foundation is
completely stable.


Louisville Fugitive Arrested In Nashville

Authorities say 30 year old Bobby L. White had cut off his home monitoring device and fled Louisville while awaiting trial on charges of first-degree rape, three counts of sodomy, and two counts of sexual abuse, all with a victim under the age of 12. White was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Nashville Wednesday night after he was tracked to a relative's mobile home, where he surrendered. He is awaiting extradition to Kentucky.


Murder Trial For Former Ft. Campbell Sergeant Continues

Two Kentucky State Police Troopers testified Thursday in the double murder trial of Brent Burke, the former Ft. Campbell sergeant accused of killing his estranged wife, Tracy Burke, and her former mother-in-law, Karen Comer, in their Rineyville home in 2007. Jurors watched an edited video of the crime scene made by police on Sept. 11, 2007, that included footage of the victims' bodies. Tracy Burke, who was shot in her head and arm, was on the floor just inside a bedroom, while Karen Comer was found on the floor in the kitchen with fatal gunshot wounds. Trooper Eric Hines testified he noticed a dead dog laying just outside of the back door. Tracy Burke's three children had spent the night hiding upstairs.


Former Lt. Governor Supports Beshear

Former Republican Lt. Governor Steve Pence, who served under former Governor Ernie Fletcher from 2003 to 2007, will co-host a September 9th fund-raiser in Jefferson County for the election campaign for Democratic Governor Steve Beshear and his running mate, Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson. Pence says he believes Beshear has done a good job, while making some very tough decisions, and has earned a second four-year term. Asked if his support for Beshear is related to any efforts by him to get legal contracts with the state, Pence, who is in the Louisville law firm of Pence & Ogburn, said his firm does no business with the state, nor has it asked to do business with the state.


Kentucky Ranks Fourth In Medicated States

According to a list compiled by Forbes, of the most medicated states, Kentucky ranks fourth after the top three, West Virginia, Tennessee and Alabama. The list is based in part on the number of prescriptions per person filled in a retail pharmacy. Kentucky has 16.5 presecriptions per person, while West Virginia has 18.4.


Tolls Could Finance New Bridges

At Thursday's meeting of the Louisville and Southern Indiana Bridges Authority, consultant Wilbur Smith Associates pitched a proposal suggesting tolls along parts of Interstate 64 and 71 in Louisville that don't cross the Ohio River as a way to finance new bridges over the waterway. The authority has asked the Federal Highway Administration to clarify whether the I-65 Kennedy bridge and a span planned next to it could be tolled as well as a bridge that would connect Prospect, Ky., and Utica, Ind. The authority has until the end of the year to complete a financing plan for the $4.1 billion project.


Kentucky's Jobless Rate Drops

The state Office of Employment and Training says Kentucky's jobless rate dropped to 9.9 percent last month, down slightly from a revised rate of 10 percent in June. The rate marks the lowest unemployment level in Kentucky since February 2009, when the rate was 9.6 percent. The lower rate is due to a drop in the state's civilian labor force because people have become discouraged in their job search. Those who haven't looked for a job in the last four weeks are no longer counted in the labor force.


Beshear To Keep Contract With Climate Consultant

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear's administration says it will keep in place a $200,000 contract with Washington, D.C., climate consultant Center for Climate Strategies to do work and research in developing a Kentucky Climate Action Plan. Finance and Administration Secretary Jonathan Miller says "the contract does have merit and will benefit the commonwealth." The Government Contract Review Committee voted last week to disapprove the contract, but the vote was nonbinding. Some committee members say the group has a liberal bias against the role of the Kentucky coal industry in America's energy future.


Store Manager Charged With Embezzlement

According to a criminal complaint filed in Putnam County Magistrate Court, 32 year old John A. Watts of Ashland, Ky., a manager at the Teays Valley Big Sandy Superstore, allegedly applied several customers' cash purchases directly to his Fifth-Third debit card. He faces embezzlement charges after allegedly stealing almost $10,000 worth of cash purchases.


Scott Depot Man Threatens To Blow Up Store

Thursday evening, Timothy M. Chapman, 34, of Scott Depot, walked up to the service desk at the Kroger on MacCorkle Avenue in St. Albans and demanded money from the clerk. Chapman allegedly threatened to "blow the place up," and shoot everyone in the store unless they handed over the money, but police say he did not have a weapon. Chapman has been charged with second-degree robbery and making a false bomb report.


Man Struck By Pickup

A small pickup truck backed over a man on the Clean Coal Mine property in Dry Branch of Kanawha County Thursday afternoon. The victim was transported to the hospital via HealthNet.


Patriot Coal Corp. Announces Subpoenae

St. Louis-based Patriot Coal Corp. has revealed that federal investigators have demanded information about methane gas detectors as they investigate questionable safety records at the Federal No. 2 mine in Northern West Virginia. In late April, investigators subpoenaed information about what kind of gas-detecting equipment has used at the mine near Fairview since July 2008. The subpoena also demanded the results of tests on that equipment.


Former Huntington Police Captain Arrested

Foster “Pete” Bowen, 80, of Barboursville, a former Huntington police captain, was arrested Thursday in Lesage, W.Va. He was placed on a $400,000 cash only bond and charged with sexually assaulting two boys multiple times from January 1986 - January 1992. The alleged victims were between the ages of 8 and 13. West Virginia State Police say they believe there are more victims, and it is possible more charges are pending.


Manchin Declines To Debate

Governor Joe Manchin was the only one of the 14 candidates for a seat in the U.S. Senate that declined to take part in a debate Thursday night at Jefferson High School in Shenandoah Junction. The event was hosted by the League of American Voters and was moderated by Heather Goodwin Henline, editor of The Journal of Martinsburg.


Murder Suspect Appears In Court

Teresa Baker was in court Thursday morning after being arraigned a third time on a charge of murder. Prosecutors say, in February of 2008, Baker shot and killed 29 year old Jeff Sadler. Baker is scheduled to be back in court September 20th.


Male Suspect Breaks Into Kanawha County Home

Kanawha County Sheriff's Deputies say, around 6:30 A.M. Thursday, a male suspect broke into a home along Lens Creek Road in Hernshaw and robbed a man at gunpoint, stealing his medication and wallet, before fleeing in a car.


Early Senate Voting Begins

Starting Friday morning, West Virginia voters will cast ballots for the U.S. Senate Primary Election to fill the vacancyleft by Senator Robert C. Byrd. Early voting will be an option on Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. There are ten Republican candidates, three Democrats and one Mountain Party candidate. If you are registered with no party affiliation, you can request a ballot from any of the parties. Secretary of State Natalie Tennant says you need to double check on the location of your voting precinct because some precincts have been moved because the regular polling places were not available.
The election will be held on August 28th, when polls will be open from 6:30 A.M. until 7:30 P.M.


Funding Authorized For New Stadium

The West Virginia Economic Development Authority has authorized Brad Burgess, a Lexington, Ky., developer to issue up to $26.5 million in tax-exempt bonds to help finance the first phase of a $250 million project that would include a 2,500-seat baseball stadium, 110-room hotel, retail shops and a restaurant in downtown Huntington. The project, called RiverPlace, would create 750 full-time jobs and generate $3 million in state and local tax revenues. The facility would be leased by Marshall University's baseball team and a summer collegiate wooden-bat league. Burgess is expected to request state approval to issue an additional $13.5 million in tax-exempt bonds next month, if additional state bonding capacity is available.


Kenyan Nationals Sentenced

Three Kenyan nationals were sentenced Thursday for their part in a scheme in which the defendants defrauded $3.379 million from four states. Robert M. Otiso, 36, of Elk River, Minn., Paramena J. Shikanda, 35, of Minneapolis, and Collins K. Masese, 21, of St. Paul, Minn. were sentenced to prison for their roles in a money laundering scheme that targeted vendors of state governments from West Virginia, Kansas, and Ohio and Massachusetts. Otiso was sentenced to 72 months in prison for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Shikanda was sentenced to 46 months in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering. Masese was sentenced to 9 months in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering.


City Council Reads Ordinance On Holiday Pay

South Charleston City Council passed the first reading of an ordinance Thursday that will pay police and fire employees both the holiday pay provided by the city, as well as time and a half pay, if the employee is scheduled to work that day. Under the current system, employees who are scheduled to work on holidays are paid time and a half for that day and given the option to take their holiday on a different day. The city's Personnel Board will hold a public meeting before the second reading of the ordinance at the council's next meeting on September 3rd.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Pike County Residents File Suit

A group of 126 eastern Kentucky residents have sued Cambrian Coal Corporation and AEP Kentucky Coal Inc., saying improper surface mining and reclamation caused or worsened flooding that destroyed dozens of homes in Pike County last month.

The lawsuit accuses Cambrian and AEP of violations that played a substantial role in "massive amounts of water" running off the mine sites, turning Harless Creek into a "raging river" that washed away homes and vehicles.


Harlan County Town Supports Mining

The Benham City Council in Harlan County recently passed a resolution supporting mining within 100 feet of the city's current water supply. City officials say the coal industry is believed to benefit everyone in the former coal camp town of 600, and Benham can't afford to lose it. At the meeting, Black Mountain Resources explained what would happen if they disturbed the city's water supply. The company says it would furnish the city with water.


Coal Operation Fined $410K

Kentucky natural resources officials have fined a subsidiary of Alliance Coal $410,000 for mining land not covered by a permit issued last year.

The fine against Warrior Coal LLC is over an underground mine in Webster County.

Rusty Ashcraft, manager of environmental affairs and permitting for Alliance, said the company will appeal the fine to a cabinet hearing, as it has the citations.

Central to the issue is a state policy that allows mining where at least two-thirds of the property owners have given a coal operator legal authorization. The policy allows mining to begin, but only on land for which permission has been given.

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