Saturday, August 28, 2010


"Over The Limit..Under Arrest"

The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) is joining law enforcement and highway safety agencies across the nation to take part in the “Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest” crackdown on impaired driving.

KOHS officials, along with the Lexington Division of Police and former University of Kentucky head football coach Rich Brooks, promoted the campaign during a news conference at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington. The campaign began Aug. 20 and runs through Labor Day.

Drunken driving is one of America’s deadliest crimes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2008 alone, nearly 12,000 people were killed in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. Also according to NHTSA, young people age 21 to 24 account for the highest percentage of impaired drivers in fatal crashes.

Brooks frequently speaks to young people about the responsibility that comes with the freedom to make choices in life, and warns of the negative consequences that could follow.

Last year, Kentucky recorded over 5,400 alcohol-related crashes, resulting in 203 deaths and over 2,600 injuries. Fayette County ranked No. 2, with 475 such collisions, which caused 208 injuries and six fatalities.

During the 2009 Labor Day holiday weekend, 10 people were killed and over 340 were injured on Kentucky roadways. Six of those deaths involved alcohol.

Brooks warned everyone to think before getting behind the wheel. “A BAC of 0.08 is the legal limit, but that doesn’t mean you can safely drive at 0.07,” said Brooks. “Impairment begins as soon as you take that first drink, affecting your reaction time and ability to think clearly.”

Driving with a BAC of 0.08 or higher is illegal in every state. All states also have zero tolerance laws, which means it is illegal for anyone under 21 to drive after drinking any amount of alcohol.
The national crackdown, led by NHTSA, combines high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity.

“The message is clear and simple,” said Blanton. “If you are over the limit, you will be under arrest.”


95 Counts Of Possession Of Child Pornography

Attorney General Jack Conway and his Cybercrimes Unit announced the indictment and arrest of a Berea man for possession of child pornography. A Madison County grand jury indicted 42-year-old Ricky L. Fansler on 95 counts of possession of matter portraying a sexual performance by a minor, a Class D felony.

He was lodged in the Madison County jail on a $50,000 full cash bond.

Fansler’s arrest and indictment follow an investigation by General Conway’s Cybercrimes Unit that began in December of 2009. A search warrant was executed at Fansler’s residence in March of 2010, with the assistance of the Madison County Sheriff’s Department. The office of David Smith, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the 25th Judicial Circuit, will handle the prosecution of the case.


Small Plane Crashes In Bullitt County

Police say a plane crashed in a small community about 17 miles south of Louisville, but no one was injured.

The aircraft went down at 2:50 p.m. EDT Friday in Hillview in Bullitt County with two people on board.

Officer Roy Raines with the Hillview Police Department said the names of the people on board were not being immediately released.

Raines said crews were cleaning up a small fuel leak stemming from the crash.


KSP Post 9 In Pikeville Has New Commander

On August 16, 2010 Captain John McMahan, a 17 year veteran, assumed
command of the Pikeville Post of the Kentucky State Police. Captain
McMahan is a native of Knott County.

After graduating the KSP Academy in 1993 Captain McMahan began his
career working at the Pikeville Post. He has had a wide variety of
assignments throughout his career. He has worked as a Trooper,
Sergeant, and now Captain at Post 9. He has also been the commander at
the Inspections and Evaluations Branch in Frankfort, and has served at
Post 6 Dry Ridge, Post 14-Ashland and Post 13-Hazard.

Captain McMahan has a vested interest in the Pikeville Post community.
He has worked at Pikeville Post for 12 years of his 17 year career. His
wife Georgie is a Pike County native and is from the Upper Chloe area.
He and his wife have four children ranging in ages from 13 to 27. He is
a member of the Black Gold Detachment of the Marine Corps League, a
member of Krypton Masonic Lodge #905, and is a 2009 graduate of the FBI
National Academy. Captain McMahan is also a 2LT in the Ky National
Guard serving with the 617th MP Company- Detachment 1 at Prestonsburg.

East Kentucky Broadcasting welcomes Captain McMahan to Pikeville in his new command position.


Statement by Governor Beshear on Bob Sexton


“Jane and I were very sad to learn of Bob Sexton's passing. I have known Bob for years, and working with him on the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence gave me the opportunity to see firsthand how deeply he valued Kentucky and how committed he was to improving education for all our students. His passing leaves an enormous void in our state.

Many Kentuckians may not realize the revolutionary impact Bob had on shaping our state's education practices, but it is not an exaggeration to say that Bob Sexton has influenced and enriched the education experience for generations of students. Our thoughts and prayers remain with his wife Pam and their family.

The most fitting memorial to Bob Sexton will be for us to continue to build on the enduring legacy of quality education he has left us.”


Missing Woman In Knox County

Police are trying to find a Knox County woman who's been missing for more than one month.

30-year old Eliza Faith Oaks of Heidrick was last seen July 25th when she walked to a store and disappeared.

Police say they do not suspect foul play.

Oaks is white, about five foot four and she weighs 115 pounds.

She has blonde hair, blue eyes and a thin build, with scars above her left eye and the center of her neck.

If you have any information, call the Knox County sheriff's department.


Education Leader In Kentucky Dies

Robert F. Sexton, who led Kentucky's Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, died after a long battle with cancer. He was 68. Sexton had been executive director of the committee since 1983, when it began as a grass roots organization focusing on improving education at all levels.

A statement from the Prichard Committee on Friday said Sexton, a Louisville native, served on the board that created the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning in Lexington and on the boards of the Kentucky Long-Term Policy Research Center and the New Opportunity School for Women. He also was a founder of Kentucky's Governor's Scholars Program and of the Kentucky Center for Public Issues.

Sexton died Thursday night at the University of Kentucky Medical
Center. The statement says plans for a memorial were pending.


Former Wildcat Goes To Prison

Former University of Kentucky basketball star 44 year old Ed Davender of Georgetown has been sentenced to eight years in prison on numerous charges related to a UK basketball ticket scam in which victims lost tens of thousands of dollars. Davender was indicted in Fayette County in November on 23 theft by deception counts in connection with the ticket scam and two drug-related charges, but he pleaded guilty to 20 charges, many of which were amended down, while five counts were dropped, including one of the drug-related charges. He will be eligible for parole after serving 20 percent of his sentence. He was taken into custody Friday afternoon.


French Maker Considering Louisville As New Site

Faurecia Interior Systems, a maker of auto interiors and components based in a suburb of Paris, France, is considering Louisville, as well as Alabama and Tennessee, for a 425 job factory. Should it select Louisville as the location, Faurecia would invest $33.6 million, pay between $10.88 and $12.51 hourly at a 158,000-square-foot new facility in Louisville. The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority gave preliminary approval for $11.5 million in tax incentives if the company hires the workers.


Beshear Seeks Audit Of Kentucky Retirement Systems

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has asked State Auditor Crit Luallen to examine the investment practices of the Kentucky Retirement Systems. Beshear sent a letter to the retirement system’s board recommending an outside audit to delve into the nearly $13 million in fees paid since 2004 to “placement agents,” the middlemen who bring private investment deals to the KRS, a public agency that provides benefits to state and county retirees. The board released an internal audit on August 12th that disclosed the names of placement agents and their fees but identified no serious problems.


Louisville Lawyer Recommends Permanently Disbarring Judge

Louisville lawyer Susan Phillips has recommended that the Kentucky Bar Association and state Supreme Court permanently disbar 68 year old Judge Joseph “Jay” Bamberger, who presided in Kentucky's scandalous fen-phen case. Phillips found that Bamberger approved fees of $98 million for attorneys William Gallion, Shirley Cunningham Jr. and Melbourne Mills Jr. from a $200 million settlement of the case without reviewing or requesting any documentation. Bamberger resigned from the bench in 2006 rather than being removed when the state Judicial Conduct Commission publicly reprimanded him for misconduct. Phillips says it is “inconceivable” that Bamberger,who once was named Kentucky's co-judge of the year, did not know what he was doing in allowing and covering up the largest scale fraud in the history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Another trial commissioner has recommended that Gallion's former associate, attorney David Helmers, be suspended for five years.


Law Judge Rules In Favor Of Letcher County Miner

Letcher County Administrative Law Judge T. Todd Hodgdon ruled this week that a coal company improperly disciplined Letcher County miner Charles Scott Howard who used a video camera to document leaking seals at Cumberland River Coal Co. Band Mill No. 2 mine and played the video for officials at a meeting in Lexington in July 2007. Hodgdon ordered Cumberland River, a division of Arch Coal, to expunge all references to a discipline letter from his file; reimburse Howard for costs associated with his complaint, including attorney fees; and post the decision at all its mining properties in Letcher County for 60 days.


Manchin, Raese And Johnson Claim Victory

As voters went to the polls Saturday to take the first step in choosing a replacement for Senator Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant says the special primary election was pulled off with few problems. Governor Joe Manchin and Republican John Raese claimed victory in securing their parties' nominations. Both candidates defeated their primary challengers by healthy double-digit margins, and will now advance to the November elections. Also advancing to November is Jesse Johnson, the sole candidate for the Mountain Party. Manchin fended off Democratic candidates Sheirl Fletcher and Ken Hechler, while Raese had to defeat nine challengers.


Former West Virginia Governor Recuperating

U.S. Representative Shelley Moore Capito issued a statement Saturday that her father, former West Virginia Governor 87 year old Arch Moore, was back in Glen Dale, resting and continuing his recuperation after being admitted to the hospital earlier this month for an undisclosed illness. Doctors evaluated Moore and ran tests, but officials did not provide other details. Moore was in Congress before serving three terms as governor between the late 1960s and the late 1980s. But he pleaded guilty to five corruption-related felonies in 1990 and spent 33 months in federal confinement and lost his license to practice law.


University Of Charleston Athletes Charged

Andrew Armstrong, 22; Andrew Pagan, 19; Matt Maus, 22; and Jamin Smith, 19, four University of Charleston athletes, were arrested Friday and charged with destruction of property and battery after police say they dropped bolts, a fence post cap and other objects from the school's parking garage roof onto vehicles passing along MacCorkle Avenue on August 23rd. Armstrong and Pagan are baseball players, while Smith and Moss are golf team members. The students also face disciplinary action from UC.


USDA Offering Buyouts Along Dunloup Creek

The area around Dunloup Creek, a tributary of the New River, has suffered repeated flooding. The USDA wants to relocate landowners to areas outside the floodplain, and then convert yards along the stream to more natural streambank vegetation. About 255 parcels of land in the area have been repeatedly flooded. About 70 percent of those who were offered voluntary buyouts have signed up.


Charleston Police Present $25,000 Check

During Saturday's second annual Police and Fire Personnel Appreciation Day at the Second Avenue Neighborhood Center, Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster presented the city's Youth Sports Enrichment Program with a $25,000 check which will go toward updating and purchasing new equipment for the organization's football, basketball and track teams and will help expand the police department's new Project Gun Safe to reach out to the city's youth. As part of the partnership, members of the police department will meet with students involved in the athletic program for one hour a week to talk about gang violence, drug abuse, gun responsibility and safety, and a variety of other issues.


Brooks McCabe Plans To Run For Governor

Brooks McCabe, the state senator for Kanawha County announced plans earlier in the week to run for governor, if Governor Joe Manchin wins the U.S. Senate seat in the special election. McCabe says he plans to be in a position, after November 2nd, to throw his hat into the ring if Manchin wins. Hewas first elected in 1998 and has served 8 years as chairman of the Senate Committee on Economic Development and urrently serves as vice-chair of the Senate Finance Committee and represents the 17th District, Kanawha County, as a West Virginia state senator.


Kenyan Nationals Sentenced

Friday, Kenyan nationals, 30 year old Albert Gunga and 33 year old Michael Ochenge were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Charleston. Both men pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder proceeds from an international scam that targeted agencies in West Virginia and other states. Both men helped scam state agencies which owed legitimate government vendors and then transferred the funds, while around $772,000 scammed from the West Virginia's auditor's office ended up in Kenya. Gunga received a 10-month prison term while Ochenge was sentenced to four years.


West Virginia Ginseng Season Begins

Ginseng root is thought to have medicinal properties, and has sold for hundreds of dollars a pound. West Virginia ginseng hunters can head to the hills this week as the state's ginseng season starts September 1st and ends on November 30th. The Division of Forestry cautions hunters that ginseng root cannot be harvest from public lands, and the plant must be at least five years old. Only plants with three or more prongs are considered old enough to harvest. State law requires ginseng hunters to replant the seeds from the parent plant in the spot where it was harvested. Collectors have until next March 31st to sell their harvest to a registered ginseng dealer.


Meeting Set To Discuss Huntington Dog Park

Those interested in helping to establish Huntington's first dog park will meet at 5:30 p.m. Monday, August 30th in the tennis clubhouse building at Ritter Park. The group already has received a $5,000 donation from Help for Animals animal clinic in Barboursville. Supporters need to raise $133,000 to open the park which will be built above the tennis courts and across from the DAR cabin in an area known as the Lion's Den. Tax-deductible contributions can be made with checks payable to "Foundation for the Tri-State Community" with "Huntington Dog Park Fund" on the memo line. The donations should be mailed to Foundation for the Tri-State Community, P.O. Box 7932, Huntington, WV 25779-7932.


WVU Foundation Donations Up

The WVU Foundation says nearly $15 million worth of in-kind gifts helped boost fundraising at West Virginia University 38 percent over last fiscal year. One of those donations, valued at $11.8 million, was software from Landmark Graphics. In all, donors gave WVU a total of $80 million in cash, pledges and in-kind gifts during the year that ended June 30th...that’s up from $58 million from the previous fiscal year. The $80 million is the second-highest total in the foundation’s history.


Wind Farm Comment Period Extended

Maryland-based Beech Ridge Energy LLC is seeking an incidental take permit for its Beech Ridge Wind Energy Project. Such permits are required for projects that might harm endangered or threatened wildlife.
In this case, environmental groups are worried about the endangered Indiana bat and the Virginia big-eared bat. Beech Ridge had built 40 turbines before a federal judge ruled it had failed to obtain the necessary permit. Beech Ridge agreed to seek the permit to end a lawsuit brought by the Washington, D.C.-based Animal Welfare Institute and the Williamsburg-based Mountain Communities for Responsible Energy. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is giving the public an extra month to comment on the environmental impact of a wind farm in Greenbrier and Nicholas counties. The comment period ended Monday but was reopened Friday and will now last through September 23rd.


Manchin Names New Executive Director

Governor Joe Manchin Friday named Julie Alston executive director of the Governor's Office of Economic Opportunity. Alston, the co-CEO of the Roark-Sullivan Lifeway Center in Charleston, has more than 10 years of experience working in social services, which includes grant writing and managing grant programs. She will succeed Kelly C. Davis, who has served as acting director since January, and she will return to her position as deputy director and program manager.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Pike County Officials Search For Solution

Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford says the housing shortage in the county is serious, and something must be done to help those displaced by recent flooding. He says some who have worked hard all their lives lost almost everything they had when tremendous flooding swept across the region in July. He says Pike County has given us much to be proud of, and, now, it's time for us to give something back while helping our neighbors get back on their feet. A forum was held at the Expo Center in Pikeville Friday to look for solutions to a housing shortage left by recent flooding in Pike County. Two floods in 13 months have destroyed hundreds of homes. Local leaders and TECO coal officials are discussing using reclaimed mine land to build permanent homes, but that could take years. Representatives from HUD, the USDA, Kentucky Housing Corporation, and the Department for Local Government have pledged to help. County officials are talking with Pikeville College officials to renovate the old Days Inn Motel and turn it into temporary housing until permanent solutions are found.


Pike County Woman Leads Matewan Police On Wild Chase

When West Virginia State police pulled over Jennie Baldridge of Pike County, Kentucky for driving with an expired MVI sticker on her license plate Thursday night in Matewan, they were not fully prepared for the chase that followed. While the trooper was writing up the paperwork, Baldridge sped away, stopping after she wrecked her vehicle. Once in custody, she managed to climb over the back seat of the cruiser, get behind the wheel and put the car in drive. A trooper leaned into the passenger side window to try and put the car in park before shooting out the front tire and being thrown from the cruiser. Baldridge continued to drive away and ended up wrecking about a mile away where she hit a guardrail and a steep embankment. After finally being arrested, she is charged with two counts of unlawful assault, DUI, Fleeing DUI with property damage, grand larceny for stealing the cruiser and driving revoked for a DUI.


Recalled Eggs Sold In Ashland

According to a news release issued Friday by the Ashland-Boyd County Health Department, recalled eggs have been found at some stores in the Ashland area. Anyone who purchased Sunny Farms eggs is urged to return them to the store where they were sold.


Law Enforcement Grants Announced

Gov. Steve Beshear announced the award of 70 federal and state grants totaling nearly $4 million to police departments, sheriffs’ departments and other criminal justice agencies across the Commonwealth. The grant money will help police officers and criminal justice professionals protect citizens against drunken driving, drugs and other crimes. All grant awards run July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2011.

In all, 54 Byrne/Justice Assistance Grants were awarded for 2010. This federal money will help law enforcement agencies, drug task forces and other criminal justice programs stop the spread of drugs and improve the quality of life in Kentucky communities.

In addition, 16 grants were awarded through the Law Enforcement Service Fee program. This state money will help officers target drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

The awards were presented to agencies benefiting communities and programs statewide.


Getting Ready For Modern Gun Deer Season

Picking the right entry and exit route to your treestand or ground blind might be more important to success in deer hunting than where you actually hunt.

Traveling undetected when entering and exiting a hunting area is the real secret to whitetail success. Stay hidden from the keen eyes, ears and noses of deer. If a big buck knows he’s being hunted, you can forget it,” . Chances are you’ll never see him again during the season from that stand. He uses gullies, creeks, standing corn and fencerows to shield his movement.

If downed timber or brush clutters a route, he often goes in before the season and clears the way with a chainsaw. However, mowing paths to treestands with a tractor can cause problems.

Stands should be approached from down wind, or cross wind, as long as the hunter’s scent is not being blown in the direction deer are expected to approach.

Driving tractors and trucks around a hunting area mimics normal farm traffic, and doesn’t alert deer to danger, like a human on foot does. He encourages hunters to set their stands and trim the trees well in advance of the season opening day.

Modern gun deer season opens Nov. 13 statewide. The season runs until Nov. 28 for Zone 1 and Zone 2 counties and until Nov. 22 for Zone 3 and Zone 4 counties.


Horseflies In The Reelfoot Region

Perhaps a swat team of a different nature is needed in the Reelfoot Lake region of West Tennessee and western Kentucky after clouds of horseflies emerged.

Nobody's counting the pests, but University of Tennessee at Martin biology chairman Dr. Jack Grubaugh says when he first arrived in July from the University of Memphis, he thought, "Wow, Martin has a lot of horseflies."

Down at the Obion County Farmers Cooperative, Hunter Stephens told the Union City Daily Messenger pesticide sales are brisk in a season that has produced more horseflies than Stephens has ever seen before.

Back at the university, Grubaugh says the reason horsefly bites sting so much is that the pests slice you open with swordlike mouth parts and lap up the blood that pools.

File this away: only female flies bite. Males eat only plants.


UK Fraternity Suspended

The University of Kentucky chapter of Lamba Chi Alpha fraternity has been suspended by its national headquarters.

Campus police found minors drinking early Sunday at the fraternity house after a noise complaint.

Officers issued eight citations for minors in possession of alcohol.

In a statement from the Indianapolis national headquarters, spokesman Tad Lichtenauer said the suspension will last until fraternity officials and the university complete investigations into the incident.


Federal Judge Dismisses Suit Against Churchill Downs

A federal judge has dismissed a Maryland racetrack's lawsuit against Churchill Downs.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Bennett rejected Rosecroft Raceway's allegations that officials at the famous Kentucky track and a firm that enables races to be broadcast elsewhere broke a contract when they eliminated Rosecroft's ability to air Churchill Downs races.

Rosecroft's parent Cloverleaf Enterprises said the defendants and other groups conspired to prevent Rosecroft from airing offsite horse races. Bennett ruled the defendants would have violated the Interstate Horseracing Act if they'd enabled Rosecroft to broadcast the races because the Maryland Jockey Club and nearby horse tracks did not approve of Rosecroft doing so.

Cloverleaf, based in Fort Washington, Md., closed Rosecroft Raceway in July.


Trails Grants Awarded

More than $1 million in grants is being handed out across the state for trails that will be used for recreational hiking, biking and horseback riding.

First lady Jane Beshear announced the grants Thursday.

The grant money is from the Federal Highway Administration's Trails Program. Winners of the grants must match the amount requested to receive a 50 percent reimbursement on approved projects.

Among the projects being funded are trails in Pine Mountain State Resort Park; Pennyrile State Forest; Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill; and Red River Gorge.


Inmate Found Dead In Jail Cell

An inmate has been found dead in a western Kentucky jail.

Kentucky State Police are investigating after James Ray Wilson was discovered dead Thursday night at the Muhlenberg County Detention Center in Greenville.

The report by KSP Detective Dan Morck said foul play is not suspected and an autopsy would be performed to determine how Wilson died.


Woman Killed When Stepping In Front Of Tractor-Trailer

Kentucky State Police say a woman has been killed when she stepped in front of a tractor-trailer truck on Interstate 65.

A news release from the agency said 36-year-old Marion C. Dickerson of Shepherdsville was standing on the shoulder of the highway near Elizabethtown when she walked into a southbound traffic lane and was struck late Thursday night.

Police say the rig was operated by 31-year-old Max A. Miller of Montpelier, Ohio.

No charges have been filed and the accident remains under investigation.


Limited Exemptions To Required State Furloughs

The commonwealth has approved limited exemptions to required state employee furloughs needed to help balance the budget.

A news release issued Thursday night said Personnel Cabinet Secretary Nikki Jackson approved exemptions for some public safety and mental health workers.

The commonwealth is requiring state workers to take six furlough days during the current fiscal year to save $24 million.

Jackson said employees in critical public safety and mental health care positions won't be required to take the unpaid days off.


Hearing Continued For Former Huntington Police Captain

Friday, a preliminary hearing was continued until September 24th for former Huntington Police Captain 80 year old Foster “Pete” Bowen of Barboursville. Bowen was arrested last Friday at a Cabell County golf course and charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse. The hearing was continued when only three of the five alleged victims showed up. The men, all now grown, claim Bowen sexually abused them in the 1980s and 1990s. Bowen's attorney filed a motion to have his client's bond reduced.


Woman Sentenced

Mary Strojia was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison. Police say, on May 21, 2009, Strojia ran over 54 year old Robert Richardson during an argument over drugs, dragging him 34 feet. She pleaded guilty to second degree murder in May of this year and blamed the incident on her addiction to drugs and alcohol. Witnesses say Strojia aimed the truck at Richardson and hit him. He tried to grab on to the hood of the truck but was thrown off and run over before Strojia stopped the truck, got out and cursed at him and then left the scene.


South Charleston Man Pleads Guilty To Aiding A Fugitive

Donald King of South Charleston pleaded guilty Friday to obstructing an officer and is facing one year in prison and a $100,000 fine when sentenced on November 30th. U.S. Deputy Marshals say, on April 9, 2010, they went to King's apartment building in Cross Lanes to arrest Jeremy Kiser for failing to appear for a supervised release hearing. When officers knocked on the door of the apartment, Kiser tried to act like he was a pizza delivery person. King slammed the door and told Kiser to run. Both men were arrested.


Charleston Man Charged With Solicitation

Jodi Cunningham, 45, of Charleston, has been arrested and charged with trying to solicit sex from a teenage boy. Police say the 16 year-old was the only customer inside the Marathon gas station on Oakridge Drive in Charleston when Cunningham asked if he was interested in guys. Cunningham admitted he offered the teen money for sex, but said he was doing it for a friend.


Clarksburg Man Sentenced

A Harrison County Circuit Judge has sentenced 28 year old William Echard of Clarksburg to 40 years for the 2009 death of his 4-month-old daughter, Emily, plus another 11 to 49 years for seven counts of child abuse and neglect resulting in injury. Although Echard continues to proclaim his innocence, he was convicted of repeatedly injuring and ultimately shaking his daughter to death. Emily’s mother, 22 year old Amber Messenger, will be sentenced September 15th for child neglect resulting in death. Judge Thomas Bedell called Emily’s abuse as disturbing as any case he’s handled in more than three decades of practicing law and serving as a judge.


Senate Candidates Amass Campaign Funding

The last time West Virginia had a Saturday statewide election was June 25, 2005. Heading into Saturday's special primary, Governor Joe Manchin attracted most of the nearly $2 million amassed by the 14 candidates seeking the late Robert C. Byrd's U.S. Senate seat. Manchin raised nearly $1.2 million since entering the race July 20th. The energy sector, particularly coal and coal-burning utilities, provided close to 30 percent of those funds. The GOP's John Raese had the next-largest amount overall. The wealthy business owner had given his campaign $520,000 as of Wednesday. Individuals provided another $190,000. About a fourth of that came from Raese employees: his holdings range from steel and limestone companies to a newspaper and radio network. Construction interests provided another 14 percent.


Dominion Transmission Suing Landowners

Dominion Transmission is suing nine landowners in West Virginia, Ohio, Texas, Louisiana and Alabama who refuse to sell oil and gas rights the company says it needs to protect natural gas stored in a large underground reservoir. The defendants have minority interests in the gas under 136 acres in Lewis County. Spokesman Dan Donovan says it's rare for Dominion to sue under federal condemnation laws, but it had no choice: It's been negotiating for 10 years and has deals with more than 99 percent of the other property owners. Dominion Transmission is owned by Virginia-based Dominion Resources Inc., which has the nation's largest natural gas storage system.


West Virginia Gets Funding To Make Homes More Energy Efficient

The U.S. Energy Department has approved more than $500,000 to help low-income West Virginia residents make their homes more energy efficient. The new round of funding will build on weatherization efforts that already have helped the owners of more than 1,600 West Virginia homes add insulation, upgrade appliances and improve heating and cooling systems. According to the Energy Department, the weatherization program has created more than 150 jobs in West Virginia. The agency handles federal funds that are distributed to community action agencies for weatherizing homes, literacy programs and help for the elderly, among other things.


Police Chief Files Criminal Complaint

Cedar Grove Police Chief Johnny Walls, who has been placed on paid leave after being accused of using excessive force against an elderly ATV rider, has filed a criminal complaint in Kanawha County Magistrate Court. The FBI is investigating the conduct of Walls, who is accused of throwing 80 year old Bob McComb face-first into the pavement, causing him to suffer a concussion, scrapes and bruises. Walls, however, alleges McComb is guilty of a one-way violation, fleeing an officer in a vehicle or ATV and obstructing an officer and that he tripped and fell while getting off his vehicle.


"Secret Pleasures" To Open In Jefferson

Kenneth Holliday has entered into an agreement with the Kanawha County Planning Commission allowing him to open "Secret Pleasures" in Jefferson. The commission previously obtained a temporary restraining order barring the store's opening because of a 2003 ordinance prohibiting any "adults only" store within 2,000 feet of a church or school. The store location is within 2,000 feet of McKinley Middle and Weimer Elementary and the Landmark and Pilgrim Baptist churches. As part of the agreement, Holliday will be allowed to operate provided that no more than 30 percent of his merchandise consists of adult material, merchandise must not be visible through the store's windows or doors, and no minors are to be allowed inside. The store is prohibited from offering any type of exotic entertainment conducted by nude or semi-nude individuals, and no illegal activity is allowed on the store's premises.


MSHA Attempts To Stop Advance Notices

MSHA director Joe Main says mine companies are tipping off underground workers before federal officials make surprise inspections, an illegal practice that has become more prevalent since the April 5th explosion at the UBB Mine.The government has stepped up surprise inspections nationwide, but advance notice gives miners from 10 minutes to more than an hour to hide safety problems. MSHA has turned to more aggressive tactics like commandeering phones as soon as inspectors arrive or driving up in cars the mine company won't immediately recognize, but, some mines post lookouts or install infrared beams that alert them when anyone enters the property. Current law provides for up to a $1,000 fine and imprisonment up to six months for anyone giving advance notice. A mine safety bill working its way through the House would boost the prison term up to five years and raise the fine up to $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for corporations that knowingly give advance notice.


Kanawha School Officials Consider Condemnation

Kanawha school officials have become concerned that a proposed land swap with the city of Charleston concerning property at Cato Park might not work out. The school district risks losing $8.5 million in state School Building Authority money for a second new West Side elementary school, if it doesn't own the site by November 1st. Officials say they might consider taking part of Cato Park through condemnation proceedings, but Charleston Mayor Danny Jones doesn't think the school board has the legal right to take city property through the condemnation process as it does from other types of landowners. He wants the school district to continue working toward a swap. Jones says he supports the construction of another West Side elementary school, but condemning city property is the wrong way to get property for a school.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Oklahoma Doctor...Recipient Of Double Hand Transplant

Fifty-five year old Dr. Richard Edwards, of Edmond, Oklahoma, has been identified as the recipient of a double hand transplant during a 17 1/2 hour surgery Tuesday and Wednesday at Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center in Louisville. Dr. Edwards was a chiropractor who'd practiced for 24 years before he sustained second and third degree burns on his body while he was trapped in a fire in February 2006. Edwards was severely burned on his face, back, arms and hands. He was left with very little tissue on both hands. The fire disfigured his hands and surgeons were forced to remove a major portion of seven fingers. Edwards had several reconstructive surgeries and skin grafts and spent several months in a burn center. Before the transplant, he had very little hand function and was dependent on his wife and others.


Couple Arrested In Johnson County

Johnson County sheriff's deputies have arrested William and Laura Howard and charged them with drug possession and promoting contraband. A deputy says he saw them drive up and put two cigarette cartons underneath a trailer next to the Big Sandy Detention Center. Deputies found drugs inside the cigarette cartons and inside their car.


Beshear Announces New Jobs

Governor Steve Beshear on Thursday announced Remington Arms Company Inc., the nation’s oldest continuously operating manufacturer of shotguns, rifles and ammunition, will invest $1.5 million to locate part of its firearms research and development into its Elizabethtown facility. The expansion will create 15 new jobs, 13 of which are considered high-tech and technical support jobs with an average annual salary of approximately $59,500, exclusive of benefits. Pure Power Technologies LLC, a company formed in January 2010, will start up operations in Bowling Green. The new company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Navistar Inc., which manufactures MaxxForce® diesel engines and medium and heavy-duty trucks bearing the International brand, was established to facilitate the development of next-generation clean engine controls and emissions management solutions. A client of the Bowling Green Innovation and Commercialization Center, the start-up company will create 10 new, high-tech and technical support jobs.


Attorney Suspended For Mishandling Client Funds

A one-time attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union in Kentucky has been suspended from legal practice while the Kentucky Bar Association investigates his handling of client funds.

The Kentucky Supreme Court handed down the suspension Thursday of David Alan Friedman of Louisville, saying his handling of client funds in a civil case warrant a suspension while the investigation is completed.

Friedman's suspension doesn't stem from any work he did for the ACLU, which included cases involving the posting of the Ten Commandments in courthouses. Instead, the high court said, Friedman was suspended for withholding a $115,000 judgment from two clients and using the money for personal expenses.


Animal Control Ordinance


WHEREAS, the Pike County Fiscal Court has previously adopted an Animal Control Ordinance, but said Ordinance did not specifically address the sale of animals at festivals; and,
WHEREAS, the sale of animals at festivals has caused the introduction of diseased animals into Pike County; and,
WHEREAS, the inspection and regulation of itinerant sellers is difficult because of the short duration of the festival,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Fiscal Court of Pike County, Kentucky:
Section 107 of the Animal Control Ordinance is hereby amended to add Section 107(h) to read as follows:
Section 107:
Minimum Standards Section 107(h):
The sale of animals at a festival or event of less than five (5) days is prohibited and presumed to not meet minimum standards unless an inspection has been conducted pursuant to Section 108 and a licensed issued by the Animal Control Officer. Any person violating this provision shall be fined a sum not to exceed Five Hundred ($500) Dollars or up to twelve (12) months in the County Jail or both.
Approved by the Pike County Fiscal Court this 20th day of July, 2010.
Adopted by the Pike County Fiscal Court this 17th day of August, 2010.


Blackmail Ale A Winner At State Fair

Blackmail Ale, accompanied by a photo of Karen Sypher, has won a blue ribbon at the Kentucky State Fair. It won the top award in the home brew category, humor/satirical

Sypher was convicted earlier this month of extortion, lying to the FBI and retaliating against a witness. The charges stemmed from a sexual encounter with Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino. According to The Courier-Journal, label creator Greg Rosenberger said he came up with the idea after media coverage of Sypher's trial. The label said the ale was "0 percent Dignity by Volume.


Death Row Inmate Seeks Mental Exam

Fifty-one year old Karu Gene White, the state's longest-serving death row inmate, had sought to use $5,000 in taxpayer funds to hire a doctor to determine if he's mentally retarded and ineligible for lethal injection. Special Judge Gary D. Payne rejected that request and ordered the exam be done at the state facility. The Kentucky Supreme Court unanimously ruled Thursday that he could be sent to the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center for an exam to see if he's mentally retarded. White was sentenced to death in 1980 in Powell County for the murders of three people. Prosecutors said White and two companions robbed a store in 1979 and bludgeoned to death Charles Gross, his wife Lula Gross and Sam Chaney, three Breathitt County residents.


Arizona-Based Website Hit With $11 Million Judgment

Arizona-based Dirty World Entertainment Recordings has been hit with an $11 million judgment for libel and slander after posting false accusations about Sarah Jones, a northern Kentucky teacher who sidelines as a Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader, on its gossip website, The judgment came Thursday after the site declined to answer a lawsuit brought by Jones, whose picture was posted on the site along with an accusation she had been exposed to two venereal diseases. U.S. District Judge William O. Bertelsman added an annual interest rate of 0.25 percent to the $1 million in compensatory damages and $10 million in punitive damages.


Former Radio Personality Granted Shock Probation

Former 98.1 The Bull radio (Lexington) personality Roy Daniel "Dusty Dan" Baldridge, who was sentenced in April to five years in prison for having child pornography was granted shock probation Thursday morning. Judge James Ishmael gave Baldridge five years probation and ordered him to attend and complete a Lexington Sex Addicts program, attend a recovery group with his place of worship, attend an alcoholics anonymous program and avoid owning and having access to a computer. As a condition of his probation, Baldridge has to be productive for 40 hours a week, possibly attending school or working.


Kentucky Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence

The Kentucky Supreme Court has upheld the guilty plea and death sentence for 46 year old Shawn Windsor who has asked to be executed after admitting to fatally beating and stabbing his wife and son who were found in 2003 in the Louisville apartment they shared. After police launched a seven months search for Windsor, his disappearance drew the attention of the television show "America's Most Wanted" and he was captured in North Carolina. Windsor's public defenders pursued the mandatory appeal on his behalf. Windsor previously sued the attorneys in an attempt to stop all appeals, but dropped the litigation earlier this year. The high court on Thursday ruled that there is "no circumstance that would require reversal" of his death sentence.


Doomed Bears Get New Home In Louisville

Three grizzly bears which had been identified and trapped as “nuisance bears” and faced an uncertain future have a new home at the Louisville Zoo. A statement from the zoo says a mother and her two cubs are still in quarantine after arriving earlier this month from Polson, Montana. The zoo was looking for a species of brown bear to exhibit, although the grizzlies likely won’t be exhibited until the Glacier Run Village and Bear Habitat opens in the spring. Polar bears also will live in Glacier Run, but they will be exhibited separately.


New Health Center In Eastern Kentucky

The Center for Health, Education and Research in Morehead will be dedicated Friday afternoon. The new $30 million, 90,000-square-foot health center was constructed on land provided by St. Claire Regional Medical Center with funding from the state and federal governments It is one of the first such partnerships involving a regional public university, a land grant university and a private, nonprofit hospital corporation. St. Claire Regional CEO Mark J. Neff says the facility will allow students and residents to train and care for patients in a modern facility. It is expected to create new jobs and increase the number of health care professionals serving the area.


Highway Fatality At Harold On US 23

Wednesday night Post 9 received several calls advising a pedestrian had been struck by at least one vehicle on US 23 at Harold in Floyd County. KSP Reconstructionist Tpr. Eddie Crum responded and determined Randall G. Boyd II had walked onto the roadway into the path of a vehicle. Mr. Boyd was struck by this vehicle and came to rest in the Northbound slow lane where he was struck by another vehicle.

Mr. Boyd was pronounced deceased on scene by Floyd County Coroner Greg Nelson. The acciddent is being investigated by Tpr. Crum who was assisted on scene by KSP Sgt. Randy McCarty, Sgt. Ronald Peppi, Tpr. Chris Hicks, Tpr. Ryan Hamilton, Tpr. William Petry, Tpr. Jay Perkins, DHP Ambulance Service, Betsy Layne Fire Department and Coroner Greg Nelson.


Voters Head To Polls

Several West Virginia voters are preparing for Saturday's U.S. Senate primary election. Polls open in West Virginia at 6:30 Saturday morning and close at 7:30 Saturday night. Wednesday was the last day to cast an early vote for the special primary election for the U.S. Senate Seat left vacant by the death of Senator Robert C. Byrd.


Manchin Plane Goes Off Runway

Governor Joe Manchin, first lady Gayle Manchin and a State Police trooper were aboard Manchin's personal Piper Sarotoga Thursday afternoon on their way to a campaign event in the northern part of the state when the plane blew a tire on takeoff and went off a runway at Charleston's Yeager Airport. Manchin flies the plane himself. The governor has been flying for more than 25 years. There were no injuries.


MSHA Says Meter Detected Explosive Methane Levels

Mine Safety and Health Administration official Kevin Stricklin says a handheld meter found deep inside the Upper Big Branch mine detected explosive 5 percent levels of methane before a blast killed 29 miners -- the first concrete evidence of dangerous concentrations of gas ahead of the April 5th disaster. Methane isn't explosive unless it makes up 5 percent to 15 percent of the atmosphere. While a preliminary report issued by MSHA in April blamed methane and coal dust for the explosion, investigators continue to scour the underground mine to find where the blast started and what may have caused it. Massey general counsel Shane Harvey says the monitor shows the mine's methane level going from zero to 5 percent in 3 minutes, and that's why Massey believes there was a sudden inundation of methane.


Recalled Eggs Found In West Virginia

Wright Egg Farms and Hillandale Farms recalled 500 million eggs from two Iowa farms earlier this month after at least 2,000 people became sick from salmonella. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration told state officials Monday they didn’t believe any of the recalled eggs had reached West Virginia. However, state inspectors have found recalled Hillandale eggs in warehouses and stores in Scott Depot, Milton, Barboursville and Huntington. Consumers can identify recalled eggs by looking at plant numbers and Julian dates on the sides of the carton. Those numbers let people know when and where the eggs were produced. Both numbers are located underneath the expiration date. Consumers should look for plant number P1860, Julian dates 099-230; plant number P1663, Julian dates 137-230; plant numbers P1026, P1413 and P1946, Julian dates 136-225. Officials want consumers and stores to report recalled eggs to the Agriculture Department at 304-558-2208.


West Virginia Inmate Convicted In South Dakota

While 38 year old Joseph Young, "the plaid shirt robber" of Rogersville, Missouri is already serving a 20-year sentence for a bank robbery in West Virginia, a federal court jury in Sioux Falls has convicted him. After 2 1/2 days of testimony, Young has been convicted of robbing three South Dakota banks, two in Sioux Falls and one in Mitchell in 2007. He could get up to 60 years in prison for the three South Dakota robberies when sentenced November 5th. Prosecutors say Young also is wanted in at least five other states.


Sissonville Couple Found Guilty

Raymond D'Arco and his niece, Shawnette Lovejoy, have been found guilty of meth charges after police found a lab in a secret room in a house in Sissonville in 2008. D'Arco was found guilty of operating a meth lab, conspiracy to operate a meth lab, and possession of materials to make meth. Lovejoy was found guilty of conspiracy.


Mother Charged With Neglect

Huntington Police have charged 25 year old Alissa Nicohole Swiger with two counts of felony child neglect. Police say Swiger admitted to smoking crack cocaine, allowing the delivery of drugs and letting a registered sex offender live at her home in Huntington while her 3 year old daughter and 1 year old son were present. Prior to her arrest, police found a loaded .40 caliber pistol at ground level within reach of the children. She was detained on a $100,000 bond.


FBI Investigating Cedar Grove Police Chief

The FBI is investigating the conduct of Cedar Grove Police Chief Johnny Walls who allegedly used excessive force on an 80-year-old ATV rider. Cedar Grove Mayor Jim Hudnall says Walls is on paid leave until August 30th, but he would not be returning to his job when his paid leave ends. Hudnall says he's not basing that on whether he's guilty or not guilty, but on what he thinks is best for the town. Bob McComb was riding his ATV on August 16th with two friends when Walls approached and initiated a traffic stop. The men apparently emerged from the woods and were traversing a roadway off limits to ATVs. Witnesses say Walls grabbed McComb and threw him face first onto the pavement, and McComb was bleeding when Walls handcuffed him.


Drugs Confiscated And Arrests Made In Guyandotte

Acting on a tip, officers with the Huntington Police Department, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives went to an apartment in the 500 block of Bridge Street in Guyandotte Thursday morning where they were allowed inside. There they confiscated approximately 1,000 OxyContin pills, about 5 grams of heroin, more than $40,000 cash and drug paraphernalia. They also found evidence marijuana had been smoked in the apartment. They arrested James Anthony Mitchell, Simon Lee Connor, Harry Matthew Rood and Jerome Edward Norman and charged each with felony possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Matthew Rood is a former police officer who spent three years on the Proctorville police department, worked as a special deputy with the Lawrence County, Ohio Sheriffs Department and was an auxiliary officer with the South Point Police.


PSC Wants PATH Changes Advertised

The state Public Service Commission has asked the developers of the planned multistate Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline, or PATH, power line to advertise proposed changes to the line's route. PSC says the notification is necessary because proposed modifications could involve property not in the original proposal. The proposed 765-kilovolt power line would run from American Electric Power's John Amos plant in West Virginia, across parts of northern Virginia, to a substation near Kemptown, Md.
Developers want to change the route in Hampshire County near Delray. Also a proposed change in Grant and Tucker counties would allow the line to run more parallel to a separate transmission line now under construction.


Beckley Man Sentenced

Forty-three year old Rodney T. Hoffman of Beckley has been sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution totaling $133,819 to the Environmental Protection Agency. Hoffman admitted in April he cleaned out plating tanks and stored hazardous waste materials, including sulfuric acid and chromic acid, on a plating shop site without a permit. Hoffman's business partner, Christopher Shawn Mills, pleaded guilty in June to similar environmental counts. Sentencing is set for September 22nd.


Climate Ground Zero Protesters Arrested

Two protesters, Joseph Hamsher of Charleston and Sarah Willner of Oakland, Calif., associated with Climate Ground Zero were arrested Thursday morning after they chained themselves to a concrete filled barrel with the slogan "Dept of Easy Permits" at the entrance of the parking lot to the state Department of Environmental Protection's headquarters in Charleston. They were charged with trespassing, obstruction and disrupting government processes. Climate Ground Zero says the two activists were protesting what they believe is the DEP's failure to enforce the Clean Water Act by permitting mountaintop removal mining in West Virginia.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Beshear Signs Execution Warrant

Wednesday, Governor Steve Beshear set a September 16th execution date for 53 year old Gregory L. Wilson who was sentenced October 31, 1988, to death for his part in the 1987 kidnapping, rape and murder of Deborah Pooley in Kenton County in Northern Kentucky. Investigators say Wilson and Brenda Humphrey forced Pooley, a Hamilton, Ohio, native who was living in Northern Kentucky, into the back seat of her car on May 29, 1987. Wilson raped and later strangled her while Humphrey drove. Brenda Humphrey, is serving a life sentence. Requests for execution dates are pending for Ralph Baze, convicted of killing a Powell County sheriff and deputy in 1992, and Robert Carl Foley of Laurel County, convicted in 1993 and 1994 of killing six people in two incidents. Beshear said he signed only one warrant because the state has enough sodium thiopental for just one execution. Kentucky's stock expires October 1st, and a new supply of the drug is not expected until early in 2011. The Cabinet's repeated attempts to obtain additional thiopental have so far been unsuccessful.


Martin County Deputies Conduct Meth Bust

Martin County Sheriff Deputies searching for stolen property found a big surprise when they went to a home on Wooten Road and found an active meth lab. Thirty-five year old Christopher Mollette's freedom was short lived after being released from jail a few days before after a jury found him not guilty of meth charges. Martin County Sheriff Garmon Preece says the door was open, fumes were coming out the doors and windows and three people were hiding in the bedroom. Deputies arrested Mollette, 25 year old Travis Blair and 47 year old Carl Daniels. All three men face meth charges and are being held on a $10,000 bond.


Double Hand Transplant Performed In Louisville

A team of surgeons from Kleinert Kutz and Associates and the University of Louisville began performing a complex double hand transplant Tuesday evening at the Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center, the first in the region and third in the nation. Lead surgeon Dr. Warren Breidenbach said doctors were able to put some of the patient's existing nerves into hands from a donor. The first two U.S. double hand transplants were performed at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Doctors said the patient is expected to spend about three months in Louisville recovering and undergoing extensive rehabilitation.


Lawmakers Seek To Clarify State School Law

Kentucky Senate President David Williams and state Senator Dan Seum of Louisville say they will pre-file a bill that would clarify language in a state law, allowing children to attend the school closest to their homes. In a ruling earlier this month, Circuit Judge Irv Maze said state law allows parents to register their children with the school closest to their home but doesn't guarantee their children a spot at that school. Maze says state law clearly reserves for school boards the right to determine what schools the students within the district attend. Williams and Seum are seeking to rectify the language by adding enrolled-for-attendance children back into the statute, with an exception that says except in cases where the school nearest the home has academic or skilled prerequisites for attending the school.


Jobless Rates Fall in 111 Kentucky Counties

The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training released information on Wednesday showing jobless rates fell in 111 Kentucky counties over a 12 month period ending in July. Boyd County's rate of 7.7 percent was the lowest in the state, while Calloway, Clinton, Fayette and Oldham counties each had jobless rates of 8 percent or less. Magoffin County reported the highest unemployment rate, 18.1 percent. Jackson, Menifee and Metcalfe counties each had unemployment rates of 15 percent or higher.


Labor Day Holiday Travel

AAA has projected the number of Americans traveling this Labor Day holiday weekend will increase 9.9 percent from 2009, with approximately 34.4 million travelers taking a trip at least 50 miles away from home. Last year, 31.3 million Americans traveled during the Labor Day holiday. The 2010 Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, September 2 to Monday, September 6.


Pike County Dive Team Unveiled

Few people know what lies beneath the surface of the lake at Grants Branch Park, but Chuck May and Danny Smith can now be added to that short list.

May and Smith are certified divers and members of the Pike County Sheriff’s
Department Diving Team, established by Sheriff Charles “Fuzzy” Keesee. The team’s
main responsibility will be evidence recovery according to May, who has been a
certified diver for over 30 years.

“Our main focus will be evidence recovery,” May said. “We will work in conjunction
with rescue squads, fire departments and anyone who needs our services to conduct an

The search and recovery efforts of the diving team were evident when in a matter of
minutes, they recovered a toy gun from the bottom of the lake, which was tossed in
earlier by a Pike County Sheriff’s Deputy.

“We have the two certified divers and are close to having a third,” Keesee said.
“The two divers who are already certified will be taking swift water training so
they can add that to their search and recovery efforts.”

Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford says the diving team shows yet
another situation in which several facets of county government work together.


Health Insurance Premiums Dropped On Childrens' Coverage

Kentucky families enrolled in a program that offers free or low-cost health insurance to eligible children will no longer have to pay monthly premiums for the coverage.

Some families involved in the Kentucky Children's Health Insurance Program had been required to pay a $20 monthly premium to receive the coverage for their children.

Gov. Steve Beshear said by eliminating the monthly premiums, children won't have to leave the program due to the program's cost. He said it's an example of making sure children have access to health care in tough economic times.

Previously, families with incomes over 150 percent of the federal poverty level paid the premium. Suspending the premiums affects about 12,200 families and more than 16,000 children.


Jack Daniel Limited Edition Bottle

The Jack Daniel Distillery is releasing its first Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey limited edition bottle.

The bottle will feature an image depicting Jack Daniel's charcoal-mellowing procedure. The 750-milliliter bottle will have a suggested retail price of $34.99 and will be available at Tennessee retail stores and at the distillery gift shop in Lynchburg.

Gentleman Jack Rare Tennessee Whiskey, one of the brands in the Jack Daniel family, has been on the market since 1988.


Attacks On Gays Denounced

Police in Covington have stepped up patrols in a bar district after attacks that appear to target people because of their sexual orientation.

Recent crimes spurred a gathering on Tuesday at Covington City Hall at which the Covington City Commission reaffirmed support for the human rights ordinance passed in 2003. Police will begin tracking incidents of ethnic and anti-gay slurs and hate speech.

Mayor Denny Bowman said there have been several incidents against gays in the last several months and it must stop.

The affirmation comes after a knife attack at a gas station on Aug. 14 in which two people were slashed.


Doctor "Guilty" Of Wife's Boating Death

A jury that found a Mercer County doctor guilty of second-degree manslaughter Tuesday night in the death of his wife recommended a sentence of five years in the case Wednesday.

The verdict against Dr. Steven Hall was returned Tuesday shortly before midnight.

Hall was convicted in a May 2009 incident during which a pontoon boat he was operating on Herrington Lake ran over his wife, Isabel Lynn Hall, who was in the water. Steven Hall has been in jail in lieu of $2 million bond since his arrest.

Jurors had the option of acquitting Hall or convicting him of murder, second-degree manslaughter or reckless homicide.


Housing Forum Friday

Pike County has suffered from a housing shortage for some time now. After two disastrous floods in the past 13 months, Pike County’s housing shortage has become a dire situation.

Flash flooding on July 17, 2010, left many people without homes or any possessions for that matter. It is for this reason the Pike County Fiscal Court has assembled a housing forum. The purpose of this event is to discuss long-term housing solutions for people displaced by the recent flooding.

The forum will take place at the East Kentucky Exposition Center on Friday, Aug. 27, 2010, from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Panelists will include Krista Mills from HUD, Linda Chadwell from USDA Rural Development, Rick McQuady, CEO of the Kentucky Housing Corporation, Travis Weber and Michael Hale from the Department for Local Government, Bob Mitchell from Congressman Hal Rogers’ office, Rep. W. Keith Hall and Rep. Leslie Combs, Sen. Ray Jones and others.

This is an open meeting.


Massey Energy Reaches Settlement With Some UBB Families

Massey Energy has reached a settlement with four families of the 29 miners killed April 5th at its Upper Big Branch Mine. The families of Rick Lane, Timmy Davis Sr., Rex Mullins and James Mooney have all agreed to compensation agreements. Terms of the settlements were not made public and the records of the agreements were sealed by a Boone County judge. Several victims' families have retained attorneys, but, to date, only one family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Massey and its subsidiary Performance Coal Company.


Man Pleads Guilty To Putnam County Murder

Jesse Cossin has pleaded guilty to second degree murder, attempted murder and malicious assault in connection to the February 2009 shooting death of Angela Casto which occurred at a home in Red House of Putnam County. Investigators say Cossin went to the home, where Casto and Nicholas Hanshaw were, armed with a gun and knife. Hanshaw told authorities Cossin fired a shot through the door, hitting Hanshaw in the leg and Casto in the chest. Cossin then forced his way into the trailer and fought with Hanshaw, who eventually wrestled the gun from Cossin. Cossin then pulled out a knife and slashed Hanshaw in the jaw. Cossin's sentencing is set for September 21st.


Charleston Decorator's Sentencing Delayed

A federal sentencing for Clark Diehl of Charleston was postponed Wednesday until October 25th. Diehl's Wallpapers in Stock did more than $375,000 worth of work for various state agencies between 1994 and last year, including redecorating the office of Governor Joe Manchin. Diehl pleaded guilty in January to bypassing the bidding process for a nearly $30,000 contract to redecorate Governor Joe Manchin's offices in 2006 and to underreporting his taxable income that year by more than $63,000.

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