Saturday, September 18, 2010


Mining Industry Takes KFTC Action Seriously

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth said Friday it has created a new political action committee focused on coal and energy. Leaders acknowledged that they won't be able to match coal industry money flowing into election campaigns, but the New Power PAC will start with $100,000 of seed money from dues on issue ads that lay out where candidates stand, rather than endorsing or funding any candidates. Bill Bissett, president of the Kentucky Coal Association, which has its own statewide PAC that receives contributions from individuals, says one hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money, and while they say they're only going to get involved in issues, he's sure their long- range goal is to attack candidates who understand the importance of coal and affordable power. Bissett says, KFTC might not have a large budget, but groups such as the Sierra Club, with similar aims, do have large coffers. The mining industry, which has given about $1.6 million to candidates' election campaigns this year, says it will take KFTC's latest move seriously.


Homeless Shelters Provided During World Equestrian Games

Lexington's homeless are being offered two temporary shelters to sleep in while the city plays host to the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Catholic Action Center director Ginny Ramsey says between 100 and 130 people routinely sleep on Lexington's streets, particularly Phoenix Park, during the warm weather. The group is opening the shelters from September 22nd through October 10th. The games at the Kentucky Horse Park begin September 25th and end October 10th. During the Games, food vendors will set up booths in Phoenix Park to serve visitors to the downtown Spotlight Lexington
festival, which will feature live entertainment. The main stage will be at the Courthouse Plaza, just across from the park.


Arrests Made In Pulaski County Thefts

The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office arrested Justin Moore, Johnny Franks, James Norfleet, Kimberly Norfleet, and Jon Wilburn, all of Somerset, Friday and charged them in connection to a string of burglaries involving storage units. An investigation began after Moore and Franks were found in possession of several firearms during a traffic stop on August 27th. A search of Frank's home on August 30th turned up a large amount of stolen property, while fingerprints recovered from the scene of a boat stolen from a storage unit in May matched his. Moore and Franks have been charged with first degree burglary, theft by unlawful taking, and receiving stolen property over $10,000. James Norfleet, Kimberly Norfleet, and Jon Wilburn have been charged with receiving stolen property over $10,000.


UK To Be Featured In ESPNU Midnight Madness

ESPNU will televise a four-hour Midnight Madness special Friday, October 15th, beginning at 9:00 P.M. ET. This season, which marks the fifth consecutive year on ESPNU, will feature extensive whip-around coverage from top college basketball programs around the nation. Coverage will focus on several men's programs including defending national champion Duke, and NCAA Championship participants Kentucky, Memphis, Gonzaga and Kansas State. The Connecticut women's program, the two-time defending national champion, which is riding a 78-game winning streak (10 short of the UCLA men's record for consecutive victories in NCAA Division I basketball), will also be featured. The Huskies will be the first women's team to be showcased during Midnight Madness. ESPN platforms have been covering Midnight Madness events since 1993.


Kentucky Derby Festival Honored

The Kentucky Derby Festival received international recognition for its efforts to celebrate horseracing in the Bluegrass.

The festival, which takes place during Derby week was recognized at the International Festivals and Events Association's 55th annual convention in St. Louis, MO.

The IFEA gave the Kentucky Derby Festival Bronze Grand Pinnacle Award, which is a recognition of the best overall festival program among its members.

KDF President and CEO Mike Berry said it is "very rewarding" to be honored by your peers.


Murder Indictment Handed Down

A central Kentucky grand jury will hear the murder case against a man whose girlfriend was found dead in a container at his home.

Gary M. Bancroft appeared on closed circuit video on Thursday as Anderson District Judge Linda Armstrong ruled there was sufficient evidence against him for a grand jury to consider indictment.

The body of 33-year-old Frances Renee Mobley was found Sept. 4. The coroner said Mobley, of Mt. Eden, had been slashed to death.

Bancroft , who is also 33 years old, had pleaded not guilty to murder on Sept. 9.


Soldier Sentenced On Weapons Charge

A former Fort Campbell soldier has been sentenced to more than nine years in federal prison for the illegal possession of military weapons.

Federal prosecutors said Friday that 30-year-old Joshua Bartlett Etherton was sentenced in federal court in Jackson to 112 months in prison and three years supervised release.

Etherton was a private first class when he was indicted last September on a two-count indictment charging him with illegal possession of an antitank rocket and four grenades. He pleaded guilty in May.

Prosecutors say Etherton took the weapons that were being used for training purposes and were later sold to an undercover agent.


Lottery Sales Down...Income Up

The Kentucky Lottery Corp. says lottery sales were down slightly in the first two months of the fiscal year, totaling $121.7 million.

The lottery corporation announced Friday in a news release, however, that net income was slightly more than budgeted.

Sales were down $10.7 million from the same period a year ago and $5.4 million less than budgeted.

Lottery corporation CFO Howard Kline said the comparison to last year is slightly skewed by a $260 million Powerball jackpot in August 2009. He said there were no comparable Powerball jackpots during the same time this year to boost sales.


Marshall Coach Suspends Antonio Haymon

Marshall University basketball player Anotnio Haymon has been indefinitely suspended after being arrested and charged with DUI early Saturday morning. Head coach Tom Herrion says he's very disappointed. He says this type of behavior is not reflective of how the players will represent the program, and Haymon's alleged behavior will be addressed internally.


Copper Thief Caught On Camera

The Putnam county sheriff’s department is investigating a string of thefts at the Burco Company on Thompson Road. Burco, which has been the victim of several copper and equipment thefts over the past few weeks, is offering a $1,000 award to anyone who can help identify the man in the theft which occurred Saturday morning. Burco had set up a deer camera and copper “bait” to catch the person or persons responsible, and, while the camera was rolling, a man pulled up to the Burco lot, took two spools of copper and put them in his truck before driving away. Anyone with any information regarding the thefts or who can identify the man in the photos is asked to contact the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department at 304-586-0256.


Pagans Member Sentenced

David A. Cremeans, 49, a member of the Pagans Motorcycle Club was sentenced Friday to two years in federal prison. In February, Cremeans, a former treasurer of the Pagans' Charleston chapter, admitted he acted as a go-between between Michael Lloyd Stevens of Huntington, a guard at the federal prison in Ashland, Ky., and a ranking member of the Pagans, Ron "Pagan Ronnie" Howerton as they planned an assault against imprisoned Pagan, Vincent "Hot Rod" Morris, who had cooperated with federal investigators. Cremeans later testified for the prosecution in the prison guard's trials. Cremeans also admitted that, in November 2004, he traveled to Portsmouth, Ohio, armed and prepared to use force if necessary, to help the Pagans shut down a smaller, affiliated club, the Road Disciples Motorcycle Club. Cremeans, the third defendant to be sentenced, has spent almost a year in custody, and will receive credit for time served.


Convicted Man Flees From U.S. Marshalls

Shots were fired outside of Playmates Bar in Jefferson after Eric Allen White took off from U.S. Marshalls. He was recently convicted on several charges including breaking and entering, receiving stolen property and wanton endangerment. When U.S. Marshalls found White in his car with his girlfriend outside of Playmates, deputies tried to trap White's car, but he tried to run over a deputy standing outside, prompting the deputy to fire two rounds, none of them hitting White. White then backed into another car and drove behind the building where he fled on foot. His girlfriend was taken into custody.


Bluefield Regional Medical Center Auctioned

Bluefield Regional Medical Center could soon be changing hands. Over the past few weeks they have posted their intention to auction the BRMC campus and buildings. An auction was held by the Bluefield Municipal Building Commission Friday, and only one company applied to bid for the hospital. Bluefield Hospital Company, LLC. submitted a bid of $5 million. Brian Cochran, with the Bluefield Municipal Building Commission, says the bid will be reviewed at a meeting on Wednesday, September 22nd, and they hope to close the deal by October 1st. Bluefield Hospital Company, LLC is affiliated with Community Health Systems. They have stated that a former West Virginian, Bill Holly, will take over as CEO of BRMC once the deal is concluded.


West Virginia Tornados Confirmed

Officials with the National Weather Service in Charleston have confirmed two tornados touched down Thursday evening in West Virginia. The first confirmed touchdown is in the community of Belleville in Wood County. The Belleville twister, an EF3 storm in strength, sustained maximum winds of 160-miles an hour. The storm’s path was two-and-a-half miles long and 300-yards wide. A number of homes were destroyed or heavily to moderately damaged, while one person, 57 year old Larry Freeman, was killed and nearly a dozen more injured. Damage was light to moderate in neighboring Wirt County where a second twister touchdown was confirmed near the community of Palestine. An EF1 tornado, with maximum sustained winds of 100-miles an hour, created a path that was a mile long and about 100-yards wide. Trees were the biggest victims of that storm, although a few out buildings and homes sustained minor to moderate damage.


AEP Says Copper Thefts Remain High

AEP says thieves have stolen more than 100 miles of copper from West Virginia utility lines since January. While it may be considered a quick way to earn a buck, the true cost of copper theft may be much higher, and deadlier, than thieves realize. Appalachian Power spokesman Phil Moye estimates nearly $1 million annually is lost because the company must replace stolen copper wire. He said if the total amount of copper wiring stolen from the company since January were stretched end to end, it would reach more than 100 miles. Moye says the $1 million does not include the total amount of money lost from outages that disrupt commerce.


West Virginia Medicaid Launches New Website

After nearly five years of work, the West Virginia Medicaid office launched its new ePrescribing website,, Wednesday. The online system tracks a patient's prescription history, their eligibility for Medicaid and preferred medications or alterations to prescriptions. Officials with the state office have been working on the website since 2005 through a five-year Medicaid Transformation grant. Any Medicaid eligible physician, hospital and pharmacy is eligible to use the website, and about 500 providers have been contacted with an ePrescribe application. The state website is run through the Medicaid web portal, stipulating that only Medicaid eligible providers can use the system, until the grant ends March 31st. Once the grant ends, the system will belong to the state and can be expanded to include non-Medicaid providers.


Urban Deer Hunt Permits Issued

Charleston has issued 85 permits for this year's urban deer hunt which is now underway and runs through December 31st. There's no deadline to obtain a permit. Hunters have set a record for deer kills each year since the urban hunt began in 2005. Last year, 54 deer were killed. The season's primary purpose is to control the city's deer population. Gary Foster with the state Division of Natural Resources says nine cities in West Virginia held some type of urban deer hunt last year, up from five in 2008.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Pike County Murder Indictment Issued

A Pike County grand jury has issued an indictment against Harold Scott on a charge of murder for the fatal shooting of Sonny Charles who was shot several times outside a Phelps Laundromat. Scott's next court date has not yet been scheduled.


National Mining Association Seeks Court Order

The National Mining Association said Friday it is seeking a federal court order barring the Obama administration from using a policy designed to limit surface coal mining in Appalachia.

The move is part of a lawsuit filed by the NMA against the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last July. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., seeks to overturn the policy, which the EPA unveiled April 1.

The NMA claims the policy illegally prevents mines from obtaining water quality permits to fill mountain valleys with rock and excess waste.


Beshear Implements Nursing Home Recommendations

Governor Steve Beshear accepted a comprehensive report Friday from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services on nursing home investigation processes for reporting incidents of neglect or abuse. The Governor directed that the Secretary’s recommendations be immediately implemented.

Beshear called the review an important part of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of thousands of Kentuckians in the state’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Beshear said, "This review will be an essential document to guide the many groups that have an interest in maintaining safe nursing homes, and to ensure that proper procedures and accountability are maintained when investigations are required for suspected cases of neglect or abuse.”


KSP Academy Presents Diplomas To New Troopers

At a ceremony held Friday in Frankfort, the Kentucky State Police Academy presented diplomas to 63 new troopers who started a 23-week training cycle on April 11th in a class that consisted of 90 cadets. Training included more than 1,000 hours of classroom and field study in subjects such as constitutional law, juvenile and traffic law, use of force, weapons training, defensive tactics and drug identification, among several other things. Their addition to the force brings the agency’s strength to a total of 917 troopers serving the citizens of the Commonwealth.


Pentecostal Church Files For Bankruptcy

A Pentecostal church that had expanded to a new building a year ago has filed for bankruptcy.

The New Vision Ministry Center outlined debts of $1.8 million to its creditors, including various banks and contractors. The church also dismissed its pastor, John David Boggs, in June.

The Courier-Journal reports that the church filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Tuesday.

The filing includes liabilities related to New Vision's move in September 2009 to a former Walmart building.

Nine months after moving from its longtime home, the congregation moved back to its original site. The landlord for the property sued New Vision this year to collect unpaid lease payments from the church, which the company said were $30,000 per month.


Meth Lab Busted...Parents Arrested

A couple faces charges after police say they made meth in the home where their children also live.

After getting a complaint, deputies from the Laurel County Sheriff's Office went to the home, on Bert Reams Road.

Deputies say when they arrived, they found items used to make meth, along with evidence that meth had been made there recently. Laurel County Sheriff Fred Yaden called it a "fairly elaborate situation."

Deputies say three children, ages 6, 3, and 21 months, were also inside the home at the time.

"That intensifies it as far as we're concerned," Yaden said. "This seems to be happening more often. The children are our future, and we don't want them to be at risk at anything."

Social Services removed the children from the home. They were taken to a hospital in London to be treated for exposure to meth.

The parents, 31-year-old Joseph Wallace and 25-year-old Jennifer Wallace, were both arrested at the scene.

Both are charged with manufacturing meth. They're being held at the Laurel County Detention Center.


Unemployment Rate Climbs In KY

State figures show the unemployment rate rose to 10 percent in August, down slightly from a year ago.

The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training reported in a news release Thursday that the jobless rate was down 0.8 percentage points from 10.8 percent last August.

The 10 percent rate matches the unemployment rate recorded in June and is the highest since that month.

Justine Detzel, chief labor market analyst for the state, said the numbers show Kentucky's economy is struggling to mount a sustained recovery.


Still Time To Register With FEMA

FEMA has approved more than 15 million dollars for the 2,500 people who have applied after being affected by July flooding in Pike County. Although FEMA disaster recovery centers closed Friday, flood victims have until Tuesday to register. Those who registered can amend their application for up to 18 months. The phone number to register is 1-800-621-FEMA.


TVA Considering Switch To Nuclear

The Tennessee Valley Authority's future is likely to include more nuclear power production and less reliance on coal, according to a draft of an assessment of the utility's options for the next two decades.

The Integrated Resource Plan released Thursday suggests scenarios that could mean idling more coal fired units and adding nuclear units as early as 2018.

A handful of strategies were considered, but the report indicated that TVA would be better positioned in the future if the utility diversified its power production and added more energy efficient and demand response programs.

The public can comment on the plan through November and then TVA will submit the plan to the Environmental Protection Agency in March for a review of the environmental impact. The TVA board will approve plans in April.

The nation's largest public utility supplies power to nearly 9 million people in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.


Child Abuse Charge Involving 2-Year Old

A couple has pleaded guilty in Paducah to a reduced child abuse charge, admitting they pinched their 2-year-old son's genitals to discipline him.

Evelyn Arvin and Tyler Fultz -- both 22 -- are scheduled for sentencing in November for second-degree child abuse.

The Paducah Sun reported Arvin and Fultz entered the pleas Thursday. They had initially been charged with first-degree abuse.

Prosecutors are recommending a four-year term for Arvin and a two-year sentence for Fultz. The newspaper said probation is possible.

The couple took the boy to Lourdes hospital in May when bruises appeared and the child was transferred to Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville and later placed in foster care.


Davender Ticket Scam Headed To Grand Jury

A second alleged ticket scam case against one of the University of Kentucky's all-time leading basketball scorers has been sent to the grand jury.

Ed Davender appeared in Fayette District Court on Thursday for a preliminary hearing on a charge of theft by deception. The charge alleges that he never produced NCAA men's Final Four tickets for which he took $4,000 from a Louisville man.

Davender's attorney told Judge Megan Lake Thornton that they are trying to work out a plea with the Fayette County attorney's office.

Davender was sentenced in August to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to a ticket scam that may have cost victims $100,000.


Football Player Lawsuit Settled

A lawsuit over the death of a 15-year-old football player in Louisville has been settled for $1.75 million.

Insurers for the Jefferson County Public Schools and its employees agreed to pay the sum to the parents of Max Gilpin, who collapsed at Pleasure Ridge Park High School in August 2008 and died three days later.

His parents sued head coach Jason Stinson and five of his assistants after their son's death.

Lawyers for both sides confirmed the settlement and said it contained no acknowledgment of liability by the defendants.


Free Shuttle Service At WEG

Governor Steve Beshear today announced that visitors to the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games who pay to park on the Kentucky Horse Park grounds can catch a free shuttle that will take them directly to the front entry of the park. Shuttles will also take visitors back to the parking area when they leave the park.

The free shuttle service will be provided by the World Games 2010 Foundation, with support from Affiliated International Ministries (AIM), for both spectators and those who need mobility assistance to the main entry of the Games. Within the Games grounds, mobility shuttles will assist spectators in need of assistance in traveling between the various venues. These golf cart shuttles will be available for pick up outside of each venue and will be able to accommodate wheelchairs.

“The World Games 2010 Foundation has worked with many local and state agencies to ensure that visitors to the park have a comfortable and enjoyable experience at the Kentucky Horse Park during this very exciting international event,” Gov. Beshear said. “Once inside the gate, spectators will have many opportunities to walk from one event or attraction to the next. By providing to-the-door service from the paid parking, visitors will arrive at the gate in comfort.”

The Games parking lot shuttle program is supported by AIM, a local community organization. AIM has 50 volunteer drivers who will operate shuttles each of the 16 days of WEG. The vans and small buses that will be used to transport visitors are being donated for use during the games by area churches. Shuttles will begin running at 7 a.m. each day until at least 11 p.m. each evening or as late as needed, according to AIM’s Larry Martin.

“Providing ministries during the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games was natural since AIM has been working for many years with more than 25 ongoing equestrian ministries throughout Kentucky,” said Martin.

For more information about the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games visit For more information about AIM, visit


MSHA Investigation Nearly Complete

MSHA investigators who are looking into the cause of the April 5th explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine say they are taking a closer look at rock dust levels, and the investigation is nearly complete. During a September 17 conference, MSHA administrator Kevin Stricklin said nearly 80 percent of the 1,803 rock dust samples taken at the mine are considered “non-complaint” and did not meet minimum standards. Stricklin and MSHA Secretary Joe Main have declined to say whether the lack of rock dust was the main culprit for the explosion, but they say it could have contributed to it. In response to MSHA’s findings, Massey says this is not the first time the federal agency has tried to use “unproven or faulty coal dust claims in their investigation efforts. Massey says, in 2005, MSHA's same theory was rejected in a lawsuit filed by Jim Walter Resources Inc. against MSHA which has failed to learn the lessons from its prior investigative mistakes.


Tornado Kills Wood County Man

Fifty-seven year old Larry Freeman died Thursday night when a tornado, touched down in the community of Belleville in southern Wood County. Governor Joe Manchin witnessed tornado damage when he visited the area Friday afternoon. Manchin compared the damage to what you see with the clearing for a major highway, saying "You see the straight line path it took." The governor says the state is giving first responders all of the support they need. He says FEMA representatives will tour the damage with state Homeland Security and Emergency Services Director Jimmy Gianato Saturday.


Republican Party Files Lawsuit

The Republican Party filed a lawsuit Friday in Kanawha County Circuit Court challenging the ballot for the November 2, 2010 election which contains both the special election and the general election. Chairman Mike Stuart says with straight ticket voting, only having one ballot could favor the Democrats, and the Legislature was clear that each election should have its own ballot. Stuart says Democrats and several county clerks have also questioned the validity of having a single ballot for the two elections. However, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant says one ballot saves money and avoids voter confusion,and the lawsuit is a waste of time.


Police Arrest Charleston Man

Police arrested 22 year old Terrick Dewynn Hogan of Charleston and charged him with illegally carrying a concealed weapon after he was caught him with a gun on the city's West Side. When police went to Woodward Court to investigate reports of suspicious activity, they found two people on foot and two people in a car. Officers say, when they approached Hogan, he backed away, hid behind the vehicle and took something out of his pants and threw it away before attempting to flee. Police found an inexpensive 9 mm handgun near the car. Hogan had previously been arrested and convicted of carrying a concealed weapon.


Judge Refuses To Reconsider Sentence

Erma Brown of Barboursville was convicted on DUI causing death following an April 2, 2009 crash on Alternate Route 10 in Barboursville. Forty-seven year old Carole Crawford, her daughter, 16 year old Meaghan, and 15 year old Kelsey Kuhn died in the crash after their car caught fire. Brown is currently serving three, two to six year terms which run consecutively. She was in court Friday, where her attorney asked Judge Dan O'Hanlon to reconsider the sentence and change the terms to run concurrently. O'Hanlon denied the request, saying his only regret about the case is that she will get out one day. Judge O'Hanlon said, "I wish it were within my power to never have her get out of prison for the rest of her natural life, and I will certainly not reconsider this case."


Former Jackson County Attorney Pleads Guilty

Former Jackson County attorney Jessica Sullivan pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to commit a felony and delivery of meth. As part of the plea agreement, 39 charges were dropped against her. The conspiracy charge is related to a crime that happened between April 2008 and October 2008. The other charge stems from an incident on July 3, 2010. Sullivan, whose law license was suspended last Thursday by the Supreme Court, will be back in court on November 12th. Sullivan faces two to ten years in prison.


Mine Safety Grants Awarded

Bluefield State College and the United Mine Workers of America Career Centers Inc. have been awarded a total of $154,000 from the Brookwood-Sago Grants Program. The grants were established in honor of the 13 miners who died in the Brookwood Mine explosions in Brookwood, Alabama in 2001 and the 12 miners who died in the Sago Mine explosion in Buckhannon, West Virginia in 2006. Bluefield State College will receive $61,000 which will be used to focus on improving conveyor belt safety training by using Web-based tools. The UMWA Career Centers, which is based in Washington, Pa., but has a field office in Beckely, will receive $93,000 which will be used to develop an interactive computer program that will be used to train and prepare miners for escape procedures for underground mines.


Carbonoks Signs Multimillion Dollar Deal With China

Poca-based Carbonoks has signed a multimillion dollar deal with the Shanxi Province in China after government officials there were impressed with Carbonoks' "Safe Haven" Mine Refuge Chamber. A ten man, a 16 man and a 20 man chamber each have places where miners can get in, sit down and remain safe and protected for up to 5 days with food and water. The chamber can also be submerged in water, basically acting like an underground submarine. Most of the mining deaths in China don't occur from explosions or entrapment, they occur from drowning. The Shanxi government has signed a 10 year agreement with Carbonoks, the first deal of its kind between a private U.S. company and the state government of the Shanxi Province, for the manufacture of Refuge Alternative. In the coming months, workers will head to China to build the chambers.


Marmet Town Council Questions Actions Of Mayor

In 2009, Marmet voters elected Dave Fontalbert as new town recorder and replaced most of the Town Council. Mayor Bill Pauley and council members have butted heads ever since. This summer, the council voted to stop allowing Pauley to collect about $600 a month for running Marmet's weekly bingo game, saying the arrangement was against the law. Council members also allege Pauley should not receive PEIA health insurance and suspect he is allowing town employees to use the town's Kroger card for personal use. Pauley says council members and Fontalbert have a personal vendetta against him. At a regular Town Council meeting Monday, members will consider whether to hire an independent lawyer to look into allegations of improprieties by Pauley.


Citynet President Files Complaint

Jim Martin, president of telecommunications company Citynet, has filed a complaint with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, saying federal grant money for the building of broadband infrastructure will not be spent the way it should in the state. Martin says $40 million of the $126 million grant was meant to build fiber infrastructure, and he says Internet service providers from around the state were supposed to have a say in the project, but don't.


Debit/Credit Card Scam

Many people across eastern Kentucky are getting fooled by a scam wanting personal information.

If a caller asks for personal information, after telling you there’s a problem with your debit or credit card, beware. Best to check with your bank to verify this is a legitimate business request. Many in Pike County are finding this is another way of separating you from your money.

Police Officials tell us more than fifteen people in Pike County have received calls asking for their debit or credit card information. Police officials say the calls came from two specific phone numbers. One number came from Los Angeles and one from Chicago.. Those that have been contacted have some advice, beware and check with your bank or law enforcement officials. Pike County Sheriff's Deputies are trying to track down those responsible.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Lawmakers Focus On Coal

Following Wednesday's rally at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Senator Mitch McConnell and Congressman Hal Rogers promised to fight for coal in Congress and are making plans to battle the EPA on permits. Congressman Hal Rogers is working on a bill with bi-partisan support called the Electric Reliability Protection Act which is aimed at stopping the EPA dead in its tracks from regulating coal on its own. Senator Mitch McConnell says we're willing to learn how to burn coal with clean coal technology. A rally in Washington against mountain top removal is set for the 27th.


Church Leaders To Rally Against Alcohol

Church leaders in Harlan County are planning to rally against the sale of alcohol in restaurants. People with the Harlan County Christian Alliance say coming together will send a strong message to voters. Restaurants in Harlan can only serve the basic drinks, but a moist vote is set to go on the ballot for those that live in Harlan. Several local pastors are expected to speak at the Say No to Alcohol Rally at the Harvest Worship Center in downtown Harlan Monday.


Complaint Accuses Williams And Farmer Of Illegal Spending

Steve Neal, former executive director of the Jefferson County Teachers Association, has asked for an investigation and presented documents that allege Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams and his running mate, Richie Farmer, illegally spent money on their campaign before filing a letter of intent with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance. Neal says David Williams helped write these laws and can't plead ignorance to them. Scott Jennings, campaign manager for Williams and Farmer, says Neal's complaint is without merit and was filed "by a hyper-partisan individual with an axe to grind." Jennings said the Williams-Farmer slate did not raise or spend any campaign-related money before its September 1st filing. Neal said his complaint is not related to the state Senate's decision last year not to hold a hearing to confirm his appointment by Governor Steve Beshear to the state Board of Education, but because he wants to make sure the Senate president follows the law.


World Equestrian Games Lineup Complete

The lineup for the September 25th grand opening of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games is complete. In all, the event will feature 1,500 people, 200 horses and 40 acts. Leading the event will be boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who lives in Louisville. He will be introduced as the world's No. 1 athlete. The lineup also includes appearances by Kentucky-born country music star Wynonna Judd, opera star Denyce Graves, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, bluegrass music stars Cherryholmes and Irish tenor Ronan Tynan, who will close the ceremony with The Impossible Dream.


Two Arrested In Pulaski County Burglaries

One day after John Lee Lykins III, 20, and Kyle S. Norling, 19, both of Somerset, were indicted in connection with a series of church burglaries and vandalism cases, police in Pulaski County arrested Juanita Sue Ramsey, 33, of Somerset and Kimberly Flynn, 28, of Science Hill Wednesday. Ramsey and Flynn are each charged with receiving stolen property under $10,000.


Ten Arrested In Drug Roundup

State police have sprung the trap after a yearlong drug investigation in central Kentucky, arresting 10 suspects in Green County.

Those charged face a number of violations, including engaging in organized crime.
A news release from the Kentucky State Police stated those arrested are suspected of either making methamphetamine or possessing ingredients used in the manufacture of the illegal drug.

Those arrested were taken to the Taylor County and Larue County jails and police said more arrests were expected.

The Greensburg Police Department aided the investigation


Foreclosures In KY Rising

Foreclosure filings in Kentucky were up 4.5 percent in August over the same period last year according to figures from real estate data company RealtyTrac.

Nationally, filings were down 5 percent from last year, according to RealtyTrac. The firm tracks all stages of foreclosure, from default notices to bank repossessions.
Foreclosures have been much less common in Kentucky than nationwide. One in every 1,669 Kentucky housing units received a filing last month, according to the firm, compared to one in every 381 units for the nation as a whole.


Weakened Economy Threatens Arena

Taxpayers in the city of Louisville may end up with an unexpected $3.3 million bill for the new downtown arena.

That's because a plan to use rising sales tax revenues to help pay for building the KFC Yum Center on the city's waterfront didn't raise a single cent last year. The plan had projected $4.5 million in sales tax revenues.

Arena authority chairman Jim Host says the blame belongs to the weak economy and an 8percent slide in sales tax receipts in the arena's taxing district.

If sales tax projections continue to lag, Louisville's Metro Government could have to come up with an extra $3.3 million as early as 2012.

The city's annual contribution to the arena is capped at $10.8 million.


State Vehicle Auction

In an effort to generate revenue, reduce expenditures and decrease the state’s fleet, the Finance and Administration Cabinet’s Division of Fleet Management and the Division of Surplus Property held a public auction this week to sell used state vehicles. At this week’s auction, 156 cars, trucks, vans and SUVs were sold, generating more than $350,000. Of those, 29 were sold in advance to city and county governments. A 2005 Chevy Tahoe was the highest selling item, bringing in $8,800.

The number of people who registered as potential bidders was 492, an increase of 54 from the last Division of Fleet Management Auction that was held Sept. 22, 2009. At the 2009 auction, 180 vehicles sold for $336,475.


School Bus Driver Suspended In Corbin

A bus driver in southeastern Kentucky has been suspended for leaving a sleeping child on a parked school bus.

Corbin Independent Schools Superintendent Ed McNeel told The Times-Tribune in Corbin that the driver was suspended for five days with pay and given a written reprimand.

McNeel said the driver only walked halfway back through the bus during a mandatory check last week before leaving it parked for the night. He said the child awoke about 10 minutes later and left the bus. Corbin Primary School Principal Travis Wilder saw the child and provided care until the parents arrived.

McNeel declined to name the driver, but said the person showed remorse and was willing to cooperate with extra steps to prevent another incident.


U. S. Chamber of Commerce Endorses Paul

Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul has picked up an endorsement from the nation's largest business group, which began airing attack ads against his Democratic opponent accusing him of backing Medicare cuts.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce commercial that went on the air Wednesday across the state never mentions Paul's name, but says Jack Conway supports Medicare cuts that would affect 113,000 Kentucky seniors.

John Collins, a spokesman for the Conway campaign, says instead of supporting Paul, the chamber should renounce him for his libertarian-leaning stances on federal regulations such as the Americans With Disabilities Act and nonviolent crimes.

During a news conference in his hometown of Bowling Green, Paul announced the endorsement and voiced his support for extending Bush-era tax cuts even without related spending cuts.


Inmate Escapes Custody

Authorities say 24 year old Bill Scott escaped police custody Thursday afternoon while on his way to a rehab center. Scott was being held at the South Regional Jail in Beckley and was on his way to the Futures Rehabilitation center in Logan after being convicted of a felony related to a drug violation and was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in prison and required to attend a rehab center.


Convicted Drug Dealers Get Lighter Sentences

Convicted drug dealers Marcus D. Allen, Michelle Georgette Byars, Oscar Frye, Wendy Lynn Keller and Donald Elba Hale have received lighter sentences, while U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers will consider a reduction for Bobby Melrose on September 20th. Prosecutors say each defendant provided substantial assistance in investigation or prosecution of Joel Adolfo Borjas-Hernandez, a leader of a deadly heroin conspiracy that was linked to a rash of 14 overdose deaths in the Huntington area in 2007 and 2008. Hernandez, a 25 year-old Mexican national, pleaded guilty last month. His sentencing is set for November 22nd.


Board Of Medicine Revokes Medical Licenses

The West Virginia Board of Medicine has revoked the licenses of Dr. John T. Tiano and Dr. Augusto T. Abad. Both doctors pleaded guilty earlier this year to federal charges of allowing staff members at Justice Medical Center on the Wayne-Mingo county line to use their federal drug registration numbers to issue prescriptions. Each was sentenced to one year and one day in prison. Tiano's revocation was effective Wednesday, while Abad's revocation is effective September 25th.


MSHA Cites International Coal Group

Federal investigators with the Mine Safety and Health Administration has cited Scott Depot-based International Coal Group for a violation they say contributed to the death of 28 year old John King. MSHA says King was operating a continuous miner when he was crushed against the wall of ICG's Beckley Pocahontas mine near Eccles on April 22nd, resulting in his death about 12 hours later. An accident report issued Thursday says ICG violated the mine's roof control plan, but has since retrained mine employees about the dangers of working close to heavy equipment and has implemented a new policy of suspending or firing miners who violate rules for working around heavy equipment.


Lincoln County Man Found Not Guilty

A Lincoln County jury decided Wednesday that 59 year old Stephen Willis of Sias, who was charged with fatally shooting his nephew, 35 year old Stephen Linville, and attempting to kill another man is not guilty.
A grand jury indicted Willis in January 2009 after he shot Linville twice in the back with a .38-caliber revolver the year before. Willis also shot Linville's friend, Ronnie Wade, 30, in the chest, but Wade survived and testified in court against Willis. The jury ruled that Willis acted in self-defense. According to Willis' Lawyer, Danny Corey, Willis was choked and hit in the back of the head with a heavy object. Corey said the incident took place after a disagreement about a will.


Former Sheriff's Deputy Sentenced

Fayette County Judge John Hatcher read letters in court Thursday written on behalf of former sheriff's deputy Jack Micah Feltner before sentencing Feltner to serve 2-20 years in a state penitentiary. Feltner was convicted of stealing nearly $400,000, filing false documents and inflating numbers of calls at the Oak Hill Volunteer Fire Department. Hatcher ordered the sentences to be served consecutively. Feltner will be placed under protective custody because of his law enforcement history.


Davis And Elkins College Receives $10 Million Donation

Davis and Elkins College says it has received a $10 million donation from the James S. McDonnell Family Foundation of Lincoln, Mass., the largest gift in its 106-year history. The five-year grant will be used for debt retirement and to add to its permanent endowment. McDonnell was a corporate officer with the McDonnell Douglas Corp. and has a long association with Davis & Elkins. His daughter, Marcella McDonnell Stevens, is a 1985 graduate of the school.


Rockefeller Sponsors Digital Bandwidth Bill

Senator Jay Rockefeller is sponsoring a bill that would give extra digital bandwidth to emergency responders who would have access to an electronic database containing pictures of every building in the state. If they have the technology in place to pull up the images, SWAT teams or other emergency providers could make sure they have the right building. The funding is secure, and the photography could be done as soon as November or December, but it's uncertain whether responders will have the available wireless bandwidth to make it a reality. Officials say the bandwidth made available in the bill would make little difference even in the most serious emergencies.


Insurers Consider Premiums For Autism

West Virginia is one of several states that don’t require insurers to pick up the bills for providing therapy services to children with autism, leaving the cost for families as much as $50,000 per year. This year, state lawmakers have held a series of public hearings to determine if that should change. Lawmakers have learned West Virginia has a higher prevalence of autism than much of the rest of the country, with one out of every 60 children showing signs of some degree. Executives with the state’s largest insurers remain reluctant to provide coverage, pointing to a lack of good studies showing an effective treatment for autism as well as believing it to be a developmental problem best addressed through the education system. They told lawmakers they will provide that coverage if they’re required to, but it would have to increase premiums for all policyholders.


Mercer County Police Search For Thieves

State Police in Princeton, in Mercer County, say a pair of thieves stole a credit card and a debit card in a vehicle break-in at Outback Steakhouse. State Troopers say the cards were being swiped at two convenience stores within minutes of the theft, and another purchase was made at an auto parts store. All of the businesses are in the Princeton area.


Study Says Smokers Cost West Virginia Millions

A pack of cigarettes sells for $4.60 in West Virginia, but costs the state's economy $13.04 per pack in health care for smoking-related diseases, lost time at work and premature death, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Penn State University. Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department says taxpayers are subsidizing $8.44 out of every pack, every day for smokers. According to researchers, the 380,739 West Virginians who smoke go through more than 188 million packs annually, an average of 496 cigarette packs per year. Medical expenditures for smoking-related illnesses totaled about $861 million in 2009, and premature deaths due to smoking cost the economy about $1.1 billion. Smoking also cut productivity in the state by about $452 million. West Virginia spends about $6 million a year on programs including education, clean indoor air programs and the Tobacco Quitline to help residents stop smoking.


Federal Funds Approved For Adoptions

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced that more than $1 million in federal funds have been approved for West Virginia to encourage more adoptions of children in foster care. The adoption incentive award is intended to improve states' child welfare programs. Under the incentive, states can receive bonus payments for every child adopted over the age of 9 and for special needs children.


Statement By Governor Beshear On Coal Rally

"I am proud to see so many of our
state's coal supporters in Washington, DC to remind our federal
government that coal continues to be a crucial part of the national
economy. Here in Kentucky, coal provides more than 90 percent of our
state's electricity, some 17,000 jobs and more than a billion dollars in
direct wages. Coal's importance to the economic vitality of both our
overall economy and our individual families cannot be overestimated.

Since I was elected governor, we have added personnel to the Division of
Mine Permits and added inspectors to the state Office of Mine Safety and
Licensing. These additions will enable us to more quickly process mine
permits as well as more aggressively ensure the safety, security and
protection of our miners.

Today's rally underscores the points we have continued to make to
Washington - that coal is a vital part of a thriving national economy;
and that we need continued support from the EPA and associated agencies
to expedite needed, legal permits that allow this industry to continue
its work. Long and unnecessary delays of legal mining permits disrupt
business and threaten the livelihoods of the miners who are supporting
families at home.

Kentucky's coal industry is an important part of our economy, and coal
will continue to be an important part of our state's future. I am
pleased that today's rally will help to spread that message."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Not Guilty Plea In Perry County Stabbing

Ronnie Brock, the man accused of stabbing Perry County District Judge Leigh Anne Stephens was in court for the first time Wednesday where he pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted murder. Police say Brock stabbed Stephens five times while she was eating at the Circle T Restaurant in Hazard last Friday. A preliminary hearing is set for next Thursday.



Senate President Speaks At Coal Rally

Senate President and gubernatorial candidate David Williams joined Kentucky elected officials and hundreds of others at the Washington, D.C., rally Wednesday. Williams, a Republican, who is running on a ticket with agriculture commissioner Richie Farmer, told the crowd Wednesday that the coal industry provides jobs both in and out of the coalfields and must be protected. Williams pointed out that the coal industry keeps electricity rates low across Kentucky. Rally participants are accusing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of trying to shut down the coal industry through ever-increasing regulations.

The miners came from Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, with speakers from both parties.


Attorneys Seek Halt Of Executions

A group of three dozen Kentucky defense attorneys, members of the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, gathered outside the courthouse in Louisville Wednesday afternoon calling on Governor Steve Beshear to halt all executions while the American Bar Association studies Kentucky's use of capital punishment. The rally came as the Kentucky Supreme Court weighed whether to lift a stay of execution for 53 year old Gregory L. Wilson who was convicted in 1988 of kidnapping, raping and murdering 36 year old Debbie Pooley a year earlier in Kenton County. Wilson had been set to die Thursday by lethal injection, but a state judge stopped the proceedings, citing concerns about Kentucky's method and the inmate's mental state.


Fire Department Catches Fire

Several fire departments responded Wednesday morning after an older portion of the Canoe Volunteer Fire Department building in Breathitt County caught fire. Responding were the Jackson, Watts, Vancleve, Quicksand and Wolfcoal fire departments. The cause of the fire is believed to have been electrical. No injures were reported.

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