Saturday, October 23, 2010


Convicted Man Could Soon Be Released

Despite being found guilty Thursday night in the deaths of four teenagers killed when he crashed a stolen vehicle while fleeing police, Herbert Lee III could be released from jail no later than April. Lee had faced murder charges in the deaths, but after deliberating about six hours, his jury opted for the lesser manslaughter charges. He was convicted of four counts of second-degree manslaughter, fleeing or evading police, receiving stolen property and operating a motor vehicle without a license. Lee has served two years in custody while waiting for trial. Jefferson Circuit Judge Mitch Perry ruled Friday that under state law, Lee, 18, must be sentenced as a juvenile because he was 16 when the crash occurred. Kentucky law does not allow juveniles convicted of class C felonies to be sentenced as adults unless they have a felony conviction. Had he been convicted on the murder charges, he could have been sentenced as an adult to life in prison.


Senate Campaign And Debate Continue

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul announced Friday that he would participate in the final campaign debate Monday against Democrat Jack Conway. Paul had said earlier in the week that he was hesitant to do so because Conway attacked his religious faith in a television ad. The hourlong KET debate will consist of questions from Kentucky Tonight host Bill Goodman and KET viewers. It is to air at 8:00 P.M. Monday.

At a Tea Party rally in Paducah Saturday, Paul told several hundred supporters that,
"If we lose, it will be that the Tea Party cannot win an election, that you are too radical, you're too conservative, you believe in the Constitution too much. But if we win, we get the mandate and we get to go to Washington and take back our government."

Meanwhile, Conway campaigned in eastern Kentucky, saying he has fought to protect the coal industry from an overreaching U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and that, as a senator, he would fight to protect miners with stronger safety laws.


Unidentified Body Found In Richmond

An unidentified body that was found in a vacant Richmond house could have been there for months.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Madison County Coroner Jimmy Cornelison said the body discovered Friday was in a badly decomposed state, almost to the point of being mummified.

It was sent to the state medical examiner's office in Frankfort, where an autopsy was to be performed Monday.

Cornelison said they would work to determine the cause of death as quickly as possible and then try to determine the identity. He warned that it could take a while.

The body was found by a man who had been going through abandoned houses, possibly looking for things to sell. He told a Richmond Water, Gas and Sewage employee about the body, and that person called police.


US Marshalls Shoot Wanted Man

A U.S. marshal shot and killed a wanted man during a search of a Hancock County home.

Sheriff Dale Bozarth says the shooting happened on Friday as marshals were serving a warrant for a drug-related felony out of Indiana.

Kentucky State Police have taken over the investigation. They have not yet named the man who was killed. His body was expected to be autopsied in Louisville.

The home where the shooting happened was rented by 42-year-old Beverly Thienes, who had a previous felony drug conviction in Daviess Circuit Court.

Bozarth said Thienes was being questioned by U.S. marshals. He did not know what charges might be filed against her.


Kentucky Attorney Convicted In Real Estate Scheme

Prosecutors say a jury in Tennessee has convicted a former Kentucky attorney and a Hopkinsville businesswoman in a real estate investment scheme.

U.S. Attorney Jerry E. Martin said in a statement that 66-year-old Kenneth Kennedy, who is a former elected attorney for Trigg County in Cadiz, Ky., was found guilty of three counts of wire fraud and five counts of mail fraud on Wednesday.

Ann Scarborough, of Hopkinsville, was found guilty of seven counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.

Prosecutors said victims were told of projects involving strip malls in Las Vegas, a Disney theme park in Middle Tennessee and new land for the Bonnaroo music festival. Investors were promised five or more times their money in just a few months, but prosecutors said the real estate deals never existed.


School Police Officer Suspended In Fayette County

A school police officer has been suspended after video posted online appears to show him throwing a punch toward a student while breaking up a fight.

Fayette County Schools spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall told the Lexington Herald-Leader the fight occurred Thursday morning outside the cafeteria at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School.

Officer Michael Sharp was trying to separate the boys and all three were on the floor.

The video shows Sharp seemingly throwing a punch at one of the boys as another adult pulls the youth away. The clip posted on YouTube lasts for only about 10 seconds.

Sharp has been suspended with pay while school officials investigate. He is one of about 40 school district officers and is normally on duty at Dunbar.

A call Friday to a listing for a Michael Sharp rang unanswered.


Man Indicted For DUI Causing Death

Brent Lamar Davis, 26, was indicted Friday after being charged with DUI causing death and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death. Mike Frame was riding his motorcycle in South Charleston when police say he was hit by a drunk driver. Davis is scheduled to go before Kanawha County Judge James Stucky on November 18th.


St. Albans Man Indicted

Twenty-three year old Charles Christopher Poore of St. Albans was indicted Friday after being charged with murder, malicious assault and attempted murder. Police say, on June 23rd, Poore fatally shot 22 year old Robert Veltri in the head and then shot his brother, 18 year old Antonio Veltri, in the arm.


Man Arrested For Fatal Drive-By Shooting

Police have arrested 32 year old David W. Kinney of Charleston and charged him in connection with the July 4th fatal drive-by shooting of 31 year old Jeremy Parsons of Poca, originally from Detroit. Officers say Parsons was hit by gun fire, once in the head and twice in the left arm, while he was driving near the intersection of Park Avenue and Virginia Street West in Charleston, causing his vehicle to leave the road and hit a concrete wall. Kinney will be arraigned in Kanawha County Circuit Court this coming week.

Friday, October 22, 2010


Sypher Sentencing Postponed

Karen Sypher had been scheduled to be sentenced on October 27th after being convicted of trying to extort money from University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino and lying to the FBI. Friday, sentencing was postponed because Sypher currently does not have a lawyer. The judge said Friday that David B. Nolan, the Washington-area lawyer who was going to be counsel for Sypher, is not currently licensed in Washington, D.C., because he failed to pay his bar dues.


Prestonsburg Teen Arrested In Boyd County

Kentucky State Police say 18 year old Bruce Sparks, Jr. of Prestonsburg was arrested after troopers tried to stop him for suspected DUI in the Burnaugh area of Boyd County. Instead of stopping, Sparks, Jr. sped into the Burnaugh BP in an attempt to hide from police. Trooper say they discovered a large amount of marijuana in the trunk of his vehicle and a concealed handgun inside the vehicle and Sparks, Jr. was carrying a large amount of cash. He has been charged with trafficking in marijuana, possession of marijuana and unlawful transaction with a minor, along with several misdemeanors including DUI, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, fleeing and evading and other traffic related offenses.


Hunting Season Approaching

Small game hunters should find good conditions afield and plenty of rabbits when hunting starts on Nov. 1st in central and eastern Kentucky.

Rabbit and quail season this year for the central and eastern part of Kentucky runs from Nov.1 through Nov. 12 and closes for the opening weekend of modern gun deer season. The season opens again in this part of the state on Nov. 15 and runs through Jan. 31, 2011.

The statewide daily bag limit is four rabbits and eight quail.

Some highlights from the 2009-2010 Rabbit Hunting Cooperator Survey Report revealed:

· The average rabbit hunt was two hunters spending about 3.5 hours afield with four dogs.

· December was the most popular month with rabbit hunters.

· Hunters jumped between nearly two rabbits per hour, and harvested around 3 rabbits per hunt.

· Eastern cottontail rabbits comprised 98 percent of the harvest. Kentucky’s other two rabbits are the Appalachian cottontail and the swamp rabbit.


Teen Guilty Of Lesser Charge

A jury in Louisville has convicted a teenager on lesser charges in the traffic crash deaths of four other teens.

Herbert Lee II had been indicted on murder charges, but the verdict delivered Thursday evening convicted Lee on four counts of manslaughter.

Police say Lee was giving boys he did not know a ride home from a church youth event on Dec. 18, 2008, when he tried to run from police. His car hit a tree and broke in half. Lee was 16 at the time.

Killed were 16-year-old twins Jemar and Demar Claybrooks; their brother, 14-year-old Marc Claybrooks; and a friend, 15-year-old Aaron Shields.


Body Found Following Jackson Fire

A house fire in eastern Kentucky has claimed the life of 78 year old Ruth Knarr after fire broke out at her Jackson home in Breathitt County around 3:30 A.M. Friday morning.

The state fire marshal's office has been called into the investigation.


Bat Cave Gate Installed

A steel gate has been built across the back of an eastern Kentucky cave where thousands of bats hibernate during the winter.

It replaces a gate that collapsed during heavy flooding over the summer. The gate will protect the back entrance of Bat Cave, at Carter Caves State Resort Park in eastern Kentucky, from intruders while thousands of Indiana bats hibernate there until spring.


Beware Of Robberies Set Up Online

Police in Lexington warn that robbers appear to be setting up victims using the online site

The latest incident occurred Tuesday.

Police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said a man reported to police that he drove to a parking lot to meet someone who wanted to buy items he had posted online. The man said when he arrived he was robbed at gunpoint of electronics gear and his wallet.

The victim told police he had advertised some of the items on Craigslist.

Police said the robbery was one of three or four this year that have followed offers to buy items listed on the website. The department says sellers should meet potential buyers only during daylight hours and in busy locations.


Deadly Accident In Jackson County

A deadly one vehicle accident on Gay Road, about six miles from Ripley, was reported to Jackson County officials just before 1:00 A.M. Friday morning. Police say Charles Raines, of Gay, West Virginia, was traveling east when he lost control of his Toyota Tacoma as he entered a curve and overcompensated, struck several wooden fence posts and rolled several times over a steep embankment, landing on the driver's side of the vehicle in a creek bed, partially ejecting him from the vehicle. Raines was well known locally as a Tae Kwon Do, martial arts, instructor.


Details Of Mardi Gras Racetrack Worker Termination

The state Racing Commission has released details of animal mistreatment at the Mardi Gras Racetrack in Nitro that occurred earlier this year. James Edgar Childress, 40, a kennel helper with Xtreme Kennels, was disciplined in May 2009 for hitting a dog.
Judges suspended his license for a week and ordered him to undergo anger management training, with the provison that his license would be terminated if he committed further violations. In April, he found himself in front of judges again for abusing a greyhound, and his license was terminated for grabbing a greyhound by the neck and ear and throwing it in a truck after the dog slipped out of its collar and ran.


Volunteer Firefighter Dies

Thirty-nine year old Shawnna Toth, a volunteer firefighter with the Sandstone Fire Department in Summers County died Thursday morning when her own home in the Meadow Creek area caught on fire. Her husband and 12-year-old son survived the blaze.


Man Charged With Stealing Veteran Benefits

According to an indictment filed earlier this week in U.S. District Court, Darryl J. Hodgkinson of Huntington filed false documents in order to obtain benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The indictment charges Hodgkinson submitted false and fictitious documents to corroborate that he experienced stressors during a Vietnam War deployment, but officials say Hodgkinson received a requested discharge in October 1971 without experiencing a qualified "stressor" during the deployment, which would have qualified him for benefits due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Hodgkinson was initially discharged under other than honorable conditions, but that was then updated to a general discharge in November 1977. The indictment charges him with unlawfully receiving $324,800 in government benefits between September 7, 2001, and April 1, 2010.


South Charleston Council Tightens Liquor Law Ordinances

The South Charleston council has advanced two proposed ordinances dealing with liquor sales at restaurants and bars, one requiring special permits for restaurants and bars serving alcoholic beverages and the other prohibiting those permits from being transferred to other businesses. Mayor Frank Mullens says restaurants and bar owners hoping to open businesses in the city must obtain permits from the planning commission, and those permits are not transferable. Mullens says the ordinances would clean up the language of something already practiced by closing potential loopholes and leaving no room for confusion.


Beckley Police Arrest Alleged Pharmacy Robber

Police arrested George Curtis Fox, 28, of Beckley Thursday. Beckley Det. Dave Allard says Fox entered the Rite Aid Pharmacy on Johnstown Road last Friday, armed with a gun and demanded narcotics. He is being charged with first-degree robbery and is being held in the Southern Regional Jail in lieu of $200,000 bond.


Prison Inmate Indicted For Rape

During a Friday morning press conference, prosecutors and West Virginia State Police announced that a Cabell County Grand Jury has indicted Donald Good of Charleston for the 1987 abduction and rape of two women from the Huntington Mall parking lot, which occurred in separate incidents. Good is currently an inmate at Mount Olive State Prison after being convicted on a murder charge. In July 1987, Glen Dale Woodall, a Huntington cemetery worker, was found guilty of sexual assault, sexual abuse, kidnapping and aggravated robbery. He was sentenced to two life terms without parole plus an additional 203 to 335 years in prison. Woodall was cleared of all charges after spending five years in prison due to the false testimony of West Virginia State Police chemist Fred Zain who testified that hair and body fluids taken from the victims matched Woodall’s. In May 1992, DNA evidence overturned the conviction. Woodall was awarded $l million from West Virginia for his wrongful conviction and false imprisonment. Good is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges next Friday in Cabell County Circuit Court.


Boy Scouts Groundbreaking

The Boy Scouts of America broke ground Friday on a 10,600-acre project in Fayette County. More than $100 million has been donated toward construction of a Boy Scouts adventure camp and the permanent home of the group's national jamboree in southern West Virginia. Among the additional gifts announced Friday was a $25 million donation from the Suzanne and Walter Scott Foundation of Omaha, Nebraska. Officials say the project will be completed in time to host the national jamboree from July 15 to 24, 2013. The camp will take advantage of the New River Gorge National River and the area's recreational opportunities, including whitewater rafting, mountain biking and rock climbing.


PSC Approves Sale Of FiberNet

The West Virginia Public Service Commission has given approval to allow nTelos Holding Corp to purchase Charleston-based FiberNet. The $170 million deal comes with conditions, including requiring Waynesboro, Va.-based nTelos to spend an undisclosed amount of money to upgrade FiberNet's facilities over the next three years. The two companies hope the sale can be finalized by October 31st.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Men Plead Not Guilty To Martin County Murder

Jerry Stepp, David Jude, and Jimmy Cornette, Junior have pleaded not guilty to murder after being charged for the 2002 Martin County killing of Patrick Calvin Blackburn. Police say, In June of 2002, Blackburn was beaten and then his car pushed over a hill in Trace Fork to make it look like a wreck. A pre-trial conference is set for November. Bond for all three suspects remains at $100,000 cash.


Sypher Case To Be Appealed

During a press conference Thursday, Karen Sypher, the woman convicted in August of trying to extort University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, said she wanted to testify at her trial, but her attorney, James Earhart, refused to allow it. Her defense rested without calling any witnesses, although Sypher said she had multiple witnesses ready to testify on her behalf, and she herself wanted to take the stand. Earhart withdrew from the case Wednesday citing a breakdown in communication with Sypher, shortly after David Nolan of Washington, D.C., filed a notice of appearance. Sypher’s new defense team claims she was a victim of a “runaway federal justice system” intent on protecting University of Louisville and corporate investments in the new KFC Yum! Arena. Nolan said Sypher's conviction will be appealed to the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, but he would not say what issues would be raised. Sypher's sentencing is scheduled for October 27th.


Mistrial Declared In Federal Case

A mistrial was declared Thursday afternoon in a federal case against 37 year old Derek Capozzi, a federal inmate who escaped from a transport van while being transported with other inmates from the Grayson County Detention Center to Blue Grass Airport in Lexington on April 15 for a transfer to an out-of-state federal prison. The jury in the case, which began deliberations at around 11:30 A.M. Thursday morning, told the judge at least twice during the day that they were deadlocked, but the judge ordered them to continue deliberating. A mistrial was delcared around 5:00 P.M. A new trial was set for November 30th.


Kentucky Supreme Court Overturns PSC Objections

The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that the Public Service Commission has broad powers to approve utility rate hikes, even if there's no law specifically allowing it.

The high court on Thursday found that, as long as a rate hike was "fair, just and reasonable," the commission doesn't need statutory authority.

The issue arose after the commission approved a gas rate hike by Duke Energy in 2002 aimed at recovering the cost of improving its gas distribution mains. The Kentucky Attorney General objected, saying no law allowed the commission to approve the rate hike. A trial court and the Kentucky Court of Appeals both upheld the objections.

The decision Thursday overturned both rulings.


Kentucky's Unemployment Rate Remains In Double Figures

Kentucky's unemployment rate is still in double figures but is lower than a year ago.

The state Office of Employment and Training said Thursday that the jobless rate was 10.1 percent in September, up from a revised rate of 10 percent in August. But last month's rate is down from the 10.8 percent figure in September 2009.

Justine Detzel, chief labor market analyst for the state, says Kentucky's economy remained stagnate last month. Detzel says the slight increase in the jobless rate from August to September is due to government cutbacks and layoffs at administrative and support businesses.

Last month's joblessness matches the unemployment rate in March 2009 and is the highest since May 2010 when the rate was 10.4 percent.


KSP Offers Halloween Safety Tips

Before you know it ghosts and goblins will be running in the streets to trick-or-treat and Kentucky State Police want to make sure your kids stay safe this Halloween.

Lt. David Jude, Spokesperson for KSP, says the agency wants the children to have a fun but safe trick or treating experience.

In the excitement of the night, kids often dart across streets. Falls and pedestrian accidents are statistically two of the ways most children are injured on Halloween. Be sure that, as a parent,you accompany your children for their safety and your peace of mind."

Below are some safety tips for adults and youngsters so you can enjoy
this special night:

Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or has
reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible.

Younger children should be accompanied by an adult or older

Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they have
been checked by an adult.

Make sure your child is able to see out of their mask properly
and can walk in their costume without tripping.

Remind kids not to enter a strange house or car.

Inspect your child's candy before they eat it. Discard any
unwrapped or suspicious looking goodies. If your child does get sick,
call your doctor or the hospital emergency room immediately and save all
wrappers. It is also helpful to determine what he or she ate and where
it came from.

Talk to your children about 'stranger-danger' and the safety
precautions when around someone they do not know.

The KSP also wants to remind those driving on Halloween to be extra
cautious of our small pedestrians.


Death Row Inmate's Appeal Rejected

The Kentucky Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a death row inmate convicted of killing two men during separate robberies in 1989.

The justices found that 41-year-old Ronnie Lee Bowling's appeals amounted to an attempt to re-litigate issues that had previously been decided.

Bowling was sentenced to death Dec. 9, 1992 in Laurel County for the murders of gas station attendants Ronald L. Smith and Marvin Hensley.

Smith was killed during a robbery on Jan. 20, 1989. Hensley was robbed and killed at a different service station on Feb. 22, 1989.

Bowling, who served as his own attorney for the appeal, raised 49 issues mainly centered on the sufficiency of the evidence used to convict him.


Police Officer's Shooting Nets Indictment

State troopers have made an arrest in the fatal shooting of a central Kentucky police officer.

A news release from state police says the officer's wife, 37-year-old Tonya M. Ford of Campbellsville, was arrested Wednesday at the Taylor County courthouse after being indicted the previous day on a charge of murder-domestic violence.

Ford had reported finding her husband, 40-year-old David M. Ford, dead last year at their home in Taylor County. David Ford had been with the Lebanon police force in neighboring Marion County for 3 1/2 years.

Police say a Taylor County grand jury handed down the indictment Tuesday after listening to testimony from 17 witnesses.

Court records show Tonya Ford is due to be arraigned on Nov. 1.


VA Coal-Burning Power Plants OK'd

A review has found that half of 24 ash ponds at the Tennessee Valley Authority's coal-burning power plants meet the minimum criteria for stability.

However, officials said none of the ash holding ponds had the characteristics that caused the impoundment at the Kingston Fossil Plant in East Tennessee to burst in December 2008.

The assessment obtained on Wednesday said TVA is working to improve the others. Shortcomings at several plants included seepage from the walls of the dikes that hold back the damp coal ash, but the review said none posed any immediate threat.

Environmentalists said TVA should study the ponds' seismic stability and questioned the timing of the study.


Pedestrian Walkway At UK Closed

A pedestrian walkway on the University of Kentucky campus in Lexington has been closed after an engineer deemed the structure unsound.

A worker doing routine maintenance on Wednesday found a rusted beam under the walkway that crosses Cooper Drive and reported it.

An engineer deemed the bridge unsound and it has been closed until a complete evaluation can be done and repairs made.


Kentucky Retirement Systems To Be Examined

The Kentucky state auditor has begun a review of state pension agencies.

Auditor Crit Luallen's office will examine the Kentucky Retirement Systems, including its Board of Trustees, employees, purchases, business practices and ethics policies. Auditors will also determine whether the system's audits and financial reports are adequate.

In a letter sent to retirement systems officials on Oct. 5, Luallen said the audit was prompted by complaints to her office about "certain activities and financial transactions."

The system covers 330,000 state employees and retirees.


Woman Who Worked For Mingo County Doctor Gets Probation

Lisa K. Baisden, 44, of Dingess in Mingo County, who pleaded guilty in March to handing out pre-signed prescriptions for pain medication in exchange for some of the pills while working for Dr. Diane Shafer has been sentenced to three years probation. Baisden admitted that she gave prescriptions in 2009 to several people who were not necessarily Shafer's patients. The government believes it was because of Baisden's cooperation that Shafer surrendered her license to practice medicine in West Virginia and her Drug Enforcement Administration number, meaning she can no longer issue prescriptions. Shafer has not been charged, but court records indicate that prosecutors are negotiating a plea deal with her. Federal agents raided her office in December 2009, finding numerous prewritten prescription forms.


Grand Jury Declines To Indict State Trooper

A Wirt County grand jury has declined to indict West Virginia State Police trooper Cpl. D.P. Starcher who fatally shot 45 year old Joseph Dennis Harrison outside the State Police barracks in Elizabeth on August 11th. Sgt. E.E. Ashcraft testified before the jury that Harrison had kidnapped a UPS driver and forced him to travel to the detachment and then fired a rifle at the unoccupied building. Starcher and Wirt County Sheriff D.K. Wilson responded, and Harrison was shot after he pointed the rifle in the sheriff's direction.


Police Pursuit Ends With Arrest

Thirty-nine year old Sami Basir of Catlettsburg faces charges of fleeing, obstructing an officer, no insurance and no valid operator’s license following a police chase which began around 12:30 A.M. Thursday morning in Catlettsburg and ended near the 14 mile marker on I-64 in West Virginia. Cabell County Deputies say Basir stopped when he saw spike strips across the road. He was placed on a $11,500 bond.


Man Sentenced For Putnam County Murder

Jesse Cossin was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty last August to second degree murder, attempted murder and malicious assault. He admitted that, in February 2009, he fatally shot Anglea Casto at a home in Red House in Putnam County and injured Nicholas Hanshaw, who has recovered. Cossin will serve 40 years in prison on the second degree murder charge, 3-15 years on the attempted murder charge and 2-10 years on the malicious wounding charge, the sentences to be served consecutively, meaning Cossin faces 45 to 65 years in prison. The judge did give Cossin credit for the 608 days he's already served.


DEP Hires Firm To Study Coal Slurry

Residents of the Boone County communities of Prenter and Seth are suing eight coal companies they believe poisoned their wells by pumping slurry into old underground mines. Triad Engineering has been hired to study possible links between the underground injection of coal slurry and the contamination of drinking water supplies. DEP Secretary Randy Huffman says Triad's $130,000 one-year study will be "far more comprehensive" than a previous DEP investigation. The study includes all homes along Hopkins Fork of Big Coal River and tributaries of Hopkins Fork from Seth to Prenter


Mine To Reopen After Thirty Year Closure

After being closed for about 30 years, United Coal announced Thursday it will invest more than $115M to reopen the Affinity Mine in Sophia, creating hundreds of jobs in Raleigh County. The mine will create at least 260 high paying jobs, with the possibility of more jobs being added in the future. The company believes the re-opening of the mine could bring a total of more than a thousand additional jobs. The hiring process will begin very soon, but the mine won't be operational until next July.


First Lady Chosen As President-Elect Of National Board

State Board of Education member and first lady Gayle Manchin has been chosen as president-elect of the National Association of State Boards of Education. Manchin's term as president-elect begins in January. She will become the association's president in 2012.


Dunbar Man Arrested After Allegedly Brandishing Gun

Responding to a call about a man brandishing a handgun in the area of Brawley Walkway near the Transit Mall Wednesday, Charleston Police found and arrested Dwayne Ricardo Harbison, 20, of Dunbar, who was carrying a concealed .25-caliber pistol. Police also found small amounts of marijuana and crack cocaine in his possession. Police say, when they found the gun, it had a round in the chamber and three more in the magazine. The gun was later found to have been reported stolen in Whitesville. Harbison was charged with brandishing, assault, illegally carrying a concealed weapon, transferring and receiving stolen property, simple possession of marijuana and simple possession of crack cocaine.


State Mine Director Granted Ethics Exemption

State Ethics Commission Executive Director Theresa Wick has granted West Virginia mine safety chief Ron Wooten's request for an exemption from ethics law. Wooten believes he can stay on as director of the agency, but he is unsure what might happen if Governor Joe Manchin wins election to the U.S. Senate. The exemption allows Wooten permission to seek a job with companies regulated by the state Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training.


Pinch Couple Faces Meth Charge

Alecxandria Auxier and Gerald Foster of Pinch are facing several felony charges including operating a clandestine meth lab, exposure of children to methamphetamine manufacturing, conspiracy and child neglect after West Virginia State Police say they found their seven month old baby sitting in a bouncer in the living room and a jar of meth on a television in the bedroom inside a trailer on Cascade Drive. Bond was set at $100,000 for each of them. If convicted on all charges, they face up to 30 years in prison. Joseph Kearns, who owns the trailer, faces four felony charges including operating a clandestine meth lab, exposure of children to methamphetamine manufacturing, conspiracy and possession of pseudoehpedrine out of original state. His bond was set at $250,000.


Judge Rejects Plea Deal For Pagan Member

U.S. District Judge Thomas E. Johnston has refused to accept a plea deal for Pagan's Motorcycle Club member 59 year old Jeffrey Wayne Jett of Clarksburg. Jett had agreed to plead guilty to threatening to commit an act of violence in aid of racketeering, but Johnston said the plea agreement didn't contain enough facts to support the plea. In his plea deal, Jett admitted being present when fellow members of the Last Rebels threatened members of another motorcycle club in 2008. Jett's trial was set for November 16th.


Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation Members Hold Protest

Several Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation members protested in front of the state School Building Authority's offices in Charleston Thursday, saying the Authority has provided a good example of using West Virginia contractors, but recently they have been funding some projects with companies that are bringing in workers from far away. ACT has a particular beef with Frye Roofing of Mercer County which they say is using North Carolina workers.


Pike County Deputy Found Not Guilty

A jury finds a Pike County Sheriff's Deputy charged with rape, not guilty.

The jury returned the verdict for Bill Hatfield.

It took the jury five hours to return the not guilty verdict.

A woman accused Hatfield of raping her while he was on duty in April of last year.

During the trial, Hatfield claimed he was investigating suspicious cars on a strip job and says he caught the married woman with another man.

Hatfield claimed the woman had sex with him in exchange for him not to tell her husband she was with another man.

After the verdict, Hatfield hugged his family and friends. He did not talk to the media and wanted his attorney to speak on his behalf.

Prosecutors were unavailable to comment.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Sypher Switches Attorneys

The woman convicted of trying to extort money from University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino has replaced her attorney as her sentencing hearing nears.

A jury convicted Karen Sypher in August of three counts of extortion, two counts of lying to the FBI and a count of retaliation against a witness. Prosecutors said Sypher demanded millions in cash, cars and a house from Pitino to stay quiet about a sexual tryst between the two at a Louisville restaurant in 2003.

The group U.S. JusticeWatch says in a news release that Sypher has retained Washington, D.C., attorney David B. Nolan to replace James Earhart, who represented her at trial.

Nolan has scheduled a news conference for Thursday.


Letcher County Transitional Home In Need Of Help

Officials with the Letcher County Transitional Home say, although they did not receive an applied-for grant, they will continue their mission to provide lifestyle training courses, provide food and clothing, and keep a roof over the heads of women in need while they help them get back on their feet and move in the right direction. Phyllis Barker, the director of the housing system, says the center is full and there is a growing wait list, and running the center will not be easy without the grant money. Barker says donations are always welcome, and food and clothing are the most needed.


New Jobs Coming To Pikeville

Affiliated Computer Services, Inc., a Xerox company, is creating 325 new jobs in Kentucky, two hundred fifty of the jobs in Lexington and 75 positions, including 25 part-time spots, at its Pikeville facility. Positions include customer care and technical support agents as well as supervisors and are needed to accommodate increased business. Governor Steve Beshear says, "Kentucky has a skilled workforce, the technology and the infrastructure necessary to enable companies like ACS to grow; providing jobs and opportunities to families across Kentucky."

Applicants can apply online at, but walk-in applications will also be accepted at the following ACS' facilities:

· 101 Yorkshire Boulevard in Lexington, or call 859-389-2280;
· 745 West New Circle Road, Building 200 in Lexington or call 859-389-2311;
· 55 Sykes Boulevard in the Mossy Bottom Business Park in Pikeville or call 606-218-2513.


Prestonsburg Drug Bust

Wednesday morning, Prestonsburg Police began knocking on doors and rounding up alleged drug suspects after officers left the station with 12 warrants in hand. Arrested were Terry Hamilton, Jimmy Nelson, Shawn Allen, Shannon Slone, Millis Hall Jr. and Jason Risner. Police say all except Nelson are accused of drug-trafficking.


KY Hires Company To Review Medicaid

Governor Steve Beshear announced Tuesday that the state has hired a company to detect waste, fraud and abuse in the state's Medicaid program. On October 4th, Kentucky signed a contract with Minnesota-based Ingenix, a company which will
use computer technology to review medical claims from Kentucky Medicaid providers.
The contract is part of Medicaid cost-containment initiatives announced in July. State officials estimate that the new system will identify $27 million each year in excess spending.


Man Convicted Of Murder

A jury in Corbin has convicted Daniel Grubb in the murder of Jeremy Johnson, whose body was found in a shallow grave in the Indian Creek area of Knox County in 2009.Johnson had been missing since June of 2008. During the trial, Grubb told jurors he and Johnson were the best of friends, but they had been drinking and argued over money he claimed Johnson stole from him. Sentencing is set for November 29th. The jury recommended a sentence of life plus 10 years for Grubb.


Former Miss Kentucky Latina Pleads Not Guilty

A woman who was stripped of the Miss Kentucky Latina title after being arrested has entered a not guilty plea to assault and other charges.

Twenty-two year old Daniela Gaskie entered the plea Tuesday in Madison District Court.

She is accused of attacking a Richmond gas station attendant and a Richmond pharmacy employee.

A preliminary hearing was set for October 27th. Gaskie is free on a $10,000 cash bond.


KY Gets Health Insurance Grant

The federal government has awarded a $1 million grant to Kentucky to help evaluate the health insurance market and look into operating a state health insurance exchange.

The state Cabinet for Health and Family Services says health insurance exchanges are required by 2014 to offer health insurance for individuals and small businesses.

The cabinet says the exchanges are expected to help the public compare benefits by offering bargaining power comparable to larger groups and giving more choices to consumers.


Teen Trial For Murder Of Four Friends Begins

The trial has begun for a teen accused of killing four friends in a traffic crash.

Herbert Lee II is charged with four counts of murder in the 2008 crash that happened when he fled from police as he gave a group of teenagers a ride after a community event near downtown Louisville.

Killed were 16-year-old twins Jemar and Demar Claybrooks; their brother, 14-year-old Marc Claybrooks; and a friend, 15-year-old Aaron Shields.

The prosecutor and defense attorney disagreed about what Lee should be convicted of during opening statements.

Prosecutor Michelle Rudovich said Lee "didn't care" about the lives of the others in the car. Defense attorney Karen Faulkner said he may have been "reckless," but he was only 16 at the time of the crash and didn't intend for the others to die.


Sheriff Charged With Abuse Of Trust

An eastern Kentucky sheriff has been charged with theft by deception and abuse of public trust, both felonies.

Nicholas County Sheriff Dick Garrett told the Lexington Herald-Leader he doesn't plan to step down. He says the charges deal with his handling of cash confiscated during a drug investigation.

Garrett says he doesn't plan to leave office unless he's forced to.

Special prosecutor Kathryn Hendrickson of Maysville confirmed the indictment but wouldn't discuss specifics of the counts.

The 48-year-old sheriff says he hasn't been served with any papers and doesn't have a lawyer. Garrett has been sheriff since 2003. He defeated three opponents in the Democratic primary in May and faces no opposition in the Nov. 2 general election.


Election Fraud Scrutiny A Priority

State and federal officials will be keeping an eye on election proceedings in Kentucky next month to try to thwart fraud at the polls.

And they're asking for the public's help.

Secretary of State Trey Grayson says citizens should report any irregularities they observe to the Election Fraud Hotline at -328-VOTE . The line is open during normal business hours throughout the year, but on Nov. 2, calls will be answered from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST, covering the times polls will be open that day.

The U.S. attorneys offices for the Western and Eastern Districts of Kentucky will also conduct their own voting integrity initiatives and ask anyone who has any information regarding fraud or abuse to report it to state or federal prosecutors or the FBI.


Funding Available For Energy Projects

Projects that implement energy efficiency and clean energy technologies at Kentucky facilities could be eligible for funding from the state.

The Cabinet for Economic Development is seeking proposals and plans to award nearly $250,000 in competitive funding for projects in for-profit industrial, commercial and manufacturing facilities.

The cabinet says the purpose is to encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy industrial projects for businesses locating or expanding operations in Kentucky that will create or retain jobs while saving energy and reducing carbon emissions.

Proposals are due by Nov. 17.


Mingo County Drug Bust

Mingo County Sheriff's deputies say Carl Conley and Jason Teeters were arrested Wednesday afternoon. Deputies say Teeters, who works for the West Virginia Division of Highways, was driving his state vehicle when he met Conley at Laurel Creek. Deputies found 18 pills in Teeter's possession and charged with possession with the intent to deliver. Conley is charged with delivery of a controlled substance.


Deadly Accident In Fayette County

Fayette County Sheriff's Deputies say, around 12:15 A.M. Tuesday morning, 48 year old Lori L. Tyler of Winona was driving on Route 41 in Landisburg when she wrecked. Tyler was transported to Charleston Area Medical Center where her condition was described as critical. A male passenger in the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene. Sheriff's Deputies believe alcohol was a factor.


Charleston Housing Fund Offices Evacuated After Shooting

The offices of the West Virginia Housing Development Fund in Charleston were evacuated Tuesday after an alleged shooter threatened to go to Charleston before he was taken into custody. Gregory Alan Smith was arrested and charged with first degree murder after West Virginia State Police say he fatally shot Gary Wilfong outside the Quarry Glenn Apartments in Weston. Police say the shooting followed a dispute between Smith, a tenant, and Wilfong, the owner of the low-rent housing complex.

Employees were allowed back into the offices after it was confirmed that Smith had been arrested. It is unclear why Smith allegedly threatened to come to the Housing Development Fund office. The West Virginia Housing Development Fund provided the tax credits for the development of the property and provides subsidy payments under a contract with HUD.


Wayne Employees Fired

Four Wayne employees have been fired, including Police Chief Gary Porter. The town fired Porter, John Stevens, of the Sanitation Department, Charles Woodrum, of the Water Department and Matt Taylor. Taylor and Woodrum both are under investigation by the West Virginia State Police. Mayor Junior Ramey would not discuss any specifics about why the four were fired, but he says a new police chief is expected to be named by Friday.


St. Albans Man Facing Drug Charge

Acting on a tip about illegal drug deals, Kanawha County Sheriff's Deputies went to the home of Charles Lee Smith, 36, on High Street in St. Albans Tuesday evening where they found 80 Hydrocodone tablets, 9.6 grams of crack cocaine, a small amount of marijuana, a .30 caliber rifle, a military-issue bullet-resistant vest and $380 that is believed to be drug money. Smith was charged with possession of Hydrocodone and crack cocaine with intent to deliver and placed in South Central Regional Jail on a $30,0000 bond.


Hurricane Couple Pleads Guilty To Fraud

Donna and Randell Fizer of Hurricane, West Virginia entered their guilty pleas Tuesday to fraud allegations without the benefit of any agreement with prosecutors. The Fizers were indicted in August on charges they stole $30,520 from the Department of Veterans Affairs between May 2008 and January 2010. The benefits initially were given to another woman upon the death of her husband, but when the unnamed beneficiary died May 13, 2008, the death was not properly reported to the government, and the Fizers continued to receive the benefits. Sentencing is set for February 7, 2011.


Murder Trial Set For Charleston Man

A February 7th murder trial has been set for Brian Keith Woodson, 50, of Charleston, who is charged in the death of Johnnie Doctor who was found stabbed to death in August along Lewis Street. A witness who had been drinking with them says the men had argued over the use of an electric razor on a porch at the AFL-CIO building where homeless people partied. Doctor's body was found on the steps of the building. Police say Woodson fatally stabbed Doctor.


Southern Amusement Wins Limited Video Lottery Bid

Southern Amusement, Inc. of Logan County won a tie-breaker over two other companies that submitted bids for Limited Video Lottery machine permits. Southern Amusement, formerly owned by convicted felon Joe C. Ferrell will receive 479 permits. Permit winners are given possession of the lucrative slot machines for the next 10 years. The money is due November 29th.

Southern Amusement is now owned by Ferrell's wife Vicki. A recent plea bargain agreement between Joe C. Ferrell and federal prosecutors on racketeering and fraud charges requires Ferrell to divert himself from the business and abstain from any involvement with it.


Department Of Education To Review Marshall University's Crime Reporting

The U.S. Department of Education will perform a full Clery Act review into Marshall University's compliance with a federal law that requires colleges to report campus crimes to the public. Under Clery, universities must post detailed crime statistics, release an Annual Security Report on police procedures and keep a log of incidents reported to campus police. An initial inquiry was conducted last week after Marshall missed an October 1st deadline to report crime statistics and failed to notify students about an alleged gang rape on campus in September. The school's investigation of the alleged rape was later closed because of lack of evidence.


Charleston Federal Buildings Going Green

Last year, the U.S. General Services Administration was allocated $5.5 billion in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to upgrade federal buildings and courthouses across the United States and U.S. Virgin Islands. Renovations are under way at the Robert C. Byrd U.S. Courthouse and Federal Building in downtown Charleston as part of the national, multi-billion dollar effort to reduce the carbon footprint of federal buildings. The Robert C. Byrd courthouse received approximately $5 million in funding from the Recovery Act. The money is being used to replace the roof of the 12 year old building and install a solar panel system to generate electricity. In addition to the roof work, lighting fixtures in the facility's parking garage will be replaced with more energy-efficient fixtures. Improvements will be made to the building's heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems to make them more efficient as well.


Nonprofits Could Have Status Revoked

The IRS has named about 2,200 small charitable organizations in West Virginia that were in danger of losing their nonprofit status if they failed to meet the final deadline to file taxes. Due to a change in the law passed in 2006, nonprofit organizations that take in $25,000 in revenue or less must now file with the IRS. This past Friday was the final day for these organizations to file. The final list of nonprofit organizations that failed to file will be released in early 2011. Organizations that are named on the list can still contact the IRS to see if there is anything that can be done, but, if the agencies missed the deadline, they may have to reapply for nonprofit status. The nonprofit status for agencies that have not filed will be automatically revoked by January 1, 2011.


Kanawha County Commission Approves Cell Phone Ban

Kanawha County Commissioners Kent Carper and Hoppy Shores moved forward Tuesday night on a proposal that would prohibit county employees from using cell phones while driving county-owned vehicles. Under the proposal, exceptions would be made for emergency responders like sheriff's deputies and firefighters, but only under extreme emergencies. Officers will be allowed to use a hands-free devices in emergency situations, but personal calls and text messages from a cell phone can only be made if the deputy pulls the car to the side of the road. Commissioners and other officials will review the proposal before a final vote to enact the policy takes place on November 4th.


Kanawha Board of Education Pursuing Property For New School

The Kanawha Board of Education is pursuing property on Wood Road near Edgewood County Club to build its second West Side elementary school. Some residents say they worry development on the land will only increase flooding in a neighborhood that already experiences flooding after heavy rains, thanks to a creek higher up on the mountain. Some are skeptical about the location, saying it's a dead-end street, and access would be a problem. The road is only 15 feet wide and would have to be more than doubled before it could support school traffic. The Board will make their plans public as soon as it gets the green light from attorneys.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Former Pike County Deputy's Trial Continues

Testimony continued Tuesday in the trial for former Pike County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Hatfield who is accused of raping a woman while on duty in April of last year. Prosecutors played a taped interview state police conducted with Hatfield in which Hatfield admits he had sexual contact with the woman, but denies it was rape. Hatfield told State Police Detective Ben Cramer he was investigating two cars parked in an area where there is drug activity found the woman, who is married to one of his relatives, and a man in one car fooling around. Hatfield claims after the man drove away, the woman initiated contact with him and willingly had sex with him in exchange for him not to tell her husband she was with another man. The defense is expected to call witnesses Wednesday.


Pike County Fire Destroys Vacant Building

The Hurricane Creek Fire Department responded to an explosion that destroyed a vacant building in the Hurricane area of Pike County a little after noon Tuesday. Officials say the fire was ignited by some spray cans, believed to contain paint.


EPA Responds To Kentucky Lawsuit

The Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday defended its decision to block Eastern Kentucky mine permits, saying the action was based on the “best science available” to protect Kentucky waters. The agency released a statement saying, “Despite many efforts by the EPA, state officials have not engaged in a meaningful discussion of sustainable mining practices that will create jobs while protecting the waters that Appalachian communities depend on for drinking, swimming and fishing.” The statement was in response to lawsuits filed in federal court in Pikeville by the state and the Kentucky Coal Association challenging EPA's decision to block 11 water discharge permits sought for surface mining operations in Eastern Kentucky. The lawsuits allege the EPA established a new and tougher standard for which a public notice and comment period is required, and the EPA usurped state authority. The EPA statement said the agency “continues to be willing to work with the industry to reach commonsense agreements allowing them to mine coal while avoiding permanent environmental impacts and protecting water quality.”


KY Receives Manufacturing Funding

A national partnership has awarded $450,000 for Kentucky manufacturers and inventors to work together on new products and commercializing technologies.

The project is one of only 22 nationwide to receive funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership.
Using the funds, the group’s Kentucky affiliate, Kentucky Manufacturing Assistance Center, will work with Kentucky Science and Technology Corp. to develop new technologies and products.

Governor Steve Beshear says the project will make Kentucky manufacturers more competitive in a global market.


Man Injured After Falling From Bridge In Boyd County

Boyd County officials say a contractor hired to work on a bridge near the Marathon Refinery in Catlettsburg fell from the bridge and landed on railroad tracks below around 1:00 P.M. Tuesday. Company emergency workers provided medical aid to the man until an EMS crew arrived and transported him to the hospital. The man did not work for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet


Boone County Police Searching For Missing Teen

Police in Boone County are hoping text messages will help them find 17 year old Paige Johnson who has been missing since September 23rd. Police say 22 year old Jacob Bumpass picked her up to drop her off at a friend's house, but she never made it. Investigators spent Sunday searching a nearby lake in Boone County, but came up empty. Officers, who are looking into text messages and cell phone records, say Bumpass' story doesn't match up with his cell phone records.


Trial Starts For Federal Inmate Escapee

Opening statements were heard Tuesday as the trial of federal inmate Derek A. Capozzi got underway in U.S. District Court in Lexington after five men and nine women were selected as jurors or alternates. Capozzi was indicted in April on one count of escape after being accused of breaking out of a prisoner-transport van on April 15th, becoming the subject of a highly publicized two-day manhunt. Capozzi was being moved from the Grayson County jail to Lexington's Blue Grass Airport for a flight out of the area after testifying at a trial when he escaped out the back door of the van as it was turning onto an exit off Bluegrass Parkway in Woodford County.
Capozzi was being held at the Federal Medical Center on Leestown Road in Lexington while serving a lengthy prison sentence for several crimes, including helping to hack the body of Aislin Silva of Medford, Mass., into pieces and burying them after a fellow mobster killed her. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000


Judge Rules Inmate's Mail Can Be Reviewed

Under an order issued Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Karl F. Forester, the Bureau of Prisons can review and reject any legal mail sent by Jonathan Lee Riches, an inmate at the federal prison in Lexington. Forester also barred Riches from using legal mail, which is generally sent without detailed inspection by prison officials, or the names of other people to submit "frivolous, fraudulent, or malicious" documents to the federal courts and from using anyone else's name to submit the documents to any court. Anything deemed to be worthy of further consideration by Bureau of Prisons personnel may be forwarded to the courts. Riches has filed at least 5,000 lawsuits targeting the famous, the infamous and even the long-dead. Since 2006, Riches has filed legal actions in almost every jurisdiction in the country, nearly all of them being quickly dismissed by judges.


Flu Shot Information

The flu season has officially begun and health officials say getting a flu shot is easier than you might think.

It is a quick and simple procedure that might keep you from getting sick this winter.

It's that time of the year again, Flu season.

With last year’s flu and H1N1 epidemic, health officials say people are being more proactive.

Health officials say it is very important for young children and the elderly to get their flu shots because they most likely have weaker immune systems.

Officials also stress it is important for everyone to get their vaccines.

Health officials offer two different ways to get the vaccine, through a shot and also through a nasal spray.

For more information on the flu vaccine contact your public health department.


Hazard Has A New Mayor

Nan Gorman, Bill Gorman's widow, was appointed interim mayor of Hazard Monday. She received a standing ovation after she was sworn into office.

Gorman will run as a write-in candidate for mayor on November 2nd against Ken Bryant, a former city employee.

Gorman says she wants the people of Hazard to know the city is in good hands.

Gorman is the only write-in candidate to file so far.

She is the first woman to hold the title of mayor in Hazard, although Elizabeth Duncan was mayor pro-tem in the 1980's.


Four Charged With Prostitution

Four Harlan County women are accused of prostitution.

Officers arrested Tonya Dixon, Misty Renee Poindexter, Nora Helton, and Carla Jones.

The sheriff's department conducted a sting operation after getting several complaints these women were flagging down vehicles in the Harlan area and selling themselves.

Officers say the women were doing this so they could buy drugs.


Absentee Ballots

Voters across Kentucky have begun casting ballots for this year’s election. While not all Kentuckians can head to the polls before Election Day, Kentucky law does provide opportunities for some voters to cast absentee ballots before the November 2, 2010 election.

"Kentucky law provides Kentucky voters with a number of opportunities to cast a ballot,” stated Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, the Chief Election Officer of the Commonwealth. “I hope that all citizens will plan for Election Day accordingly, and if they need to cast an absentee ballot, will take the appropriate steps to do so.”

Most county clerks’ offices across the Commonwealth have already begun in-house absentee voting, where voters actually vote on voting machines similar to those used on Election Day. All county clerks’ offices must allow in-house absentee voting at least twelve working days before Election Day. The actual start date for this voting may vary depending on whether the offices open on Saturdays. Voters will have until November 1, 2010 to cast an in-house absentee ballot.
Voters might also be eligible to apply for a mail-in absentee ballot. Those applications are available from voters’ respective county clerks’ offices and must be received during office hours in those offices by October 26, 2010. After receiving an approved application, county clerks will mail a ballot to the respective voters, and voters will have until 6:00 p.m. local time on Election Day to return their ballots to the county clerk.

There are a variety of reasons why a voter might request to cast an absentee ballot, including:
• Advanced age, disability, or illness
• Military personnel, their dependents, and overseas citizens
• Students who temporarily reside outside the county
• Other voters who temporarily reside outside of Kentucky, such as a vacationer
• Voters incarcerated but not yet convicted
• Voters’ employment takes them out of the county all hours the polling place is open
• Voters who will be out of the county on Election Day
• Military personnel confined to base who learn of it within seven days or less of an election
• Voters who have surgery scheduled that will require hospitalization on Election Day, and the voter’s spouse
• Pregnant women in third trimester
• Election Officials
Voters are restricted as to whether they can use in-house absentee voting or mail-in ballots according to their reason for casting an absentee ballot.
Grayson also reminded voters that with the start of in-house absentee voting, electioneering laws are now in effect for the building in which the absentee voting is located. Electioneering is prohibited inside in-house absentee voting locations during the hours in which absentee voting is being conducted. Electioneering materials shall not be affixed to the interior or exterior of any in-house absentee voting location during that time as well. For more specific rules about electioneering, citizens are urged to contact their local board of elections or the State Board of Elections.
To learn more information about absentee voting or to use the Voter Information Center, a service that will confirm voter registration and provide pertinent election information to registered voters, please visit:


Massey Board of Directors Considering Options

Massey Energy's Board of Directors is considering a number of options, including selling to another coal company or private-equity firm or the purchase of another company. The committee might also recommend that Massey remains private. Massey announced Tuesday it will idle production at its 92 underground mines on October 29th to discuss safety with its employees. Chairman and CEO Don Blankenship says idling the underground mines for a day will reinforce that Massey expects miners to follow the law and that safety comes first. Blankenship says, despite considerable training, there have been recent instances where miners were not doing the right thing as they had been trained to do.


Man Faces Child Pornography Charges

Brandon Long, 24, was taken into custody Monday night and charged with distribution of child pornography after deputies tracked child pornography to his home. On October 23, 2009, members of the Metro Drug Unit found and seized illegal images on several computers from a home on Derricks Creek Road in Sissonville while searching the house for items used in drug sales. Officers found both photos and videos depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit behavior. The drug unit requested the Kanawha Sheriff's Department investigate the images, and deputies sent the hard drives on which the photos were stored to the State Police Forensic Lab in Huntington. Deputies were later told it stored several pornographic images belonging to Long. Long's bond was set at $100,000 property only.

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