Saturday, November 06, 2010


Massey Shares Soar


Massey Energy shares jumped more than 11 percent Friday on rumors of a takeover offer from rival Alpha Natural Resources. The Wall Street Journal reported that Alpha Natural Resources Inc. was considering a buyout of Massey, and that Massey officials had hired investment bank Perella Weinberg as an adviser on Alpha's possible bid and will review its options at a board meeting later this month.

Massey CEO Don Blankenship says his company is undervalued because the strength of its coal reserves isn't given enough weight. Massey holds about 2.9 billion tons of reserves. Around 1.3 billion tons is metallurgical coal, which is in strong demand by international steelmakers.
Alpha is the largest U.S. metallurgical coal producer and would control a big piece of the emerging international market if it were to acquire Massey.


Rogers Focuses On Earmarks


U.S. Representative Harold "Hal" Rogers, who has steered hundreds of millions of federal dollars to projects in his rural district over three decades, says, if he becomes the next chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, knows he has no choice rather than to change his ways. Rogers says borrowing from China is threatening our sovereignty, and earmarks have to be reined in. With Republicans promising to rein in federal spending, Rogers acknowledges it will be more difficult to continue the flow of money to his anti-drug program Operation UNITE, his environmental cleanup program PRIDE, as well as other initiatives he helped create and fund.
Rogers, who won his 16th term Tuesday, and fellow Republicans have a moratorium on earmarks for fiscal 2011 and have pledged to reduce spending and knock down the deficit. Rogers' programs may end up relying more heavily on state aid or merit-based federal grants. This fiscal year alone, Rogers sponsored or co-sponsored 50 earmarks totaling $93.4 million.


GOP Caucus Unanimously Approves Williams


Republican members of the Kentucky Senate unanimously voted on Saturday to give Senate President David Williams another term as their leader. The GOP caucus decided to keep in place all of its current leaders. They include Senate President Pro Tem Katie Stine of Southgate, Majority Leader Robert Stivers of Manchester, Caucus Chairman Dan Seum of Louisville and Whip Carroll Gibson of Leitchfield.

Earlier this week, Senator Julie Denton, R-Louisville, said she would run against Williams for Senate president, but she decided early Saturday to not enter the race. Denton, who chairs the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, had said it’s in Williams’ best interests not to be in leadership while running for governor in 2011. The top two positions, president and president pro tem, will be voted on by the entire 38-member chamber in early January.


Union Hopes To Avoid Strike

Representatives of the Service Employees International Union District 1199 hosted a press conference Saturday afternoon expressing their willingness to return to the bargaining table with the Cabell Huntington Hospital administration to hopefully avoid a planned November 15th strike.

Union workers voted to issue a 10-day strike notice to the hospital this week, based on more than $3 million in concessions employees say they are being asked to take as part of a new contract. The next bargaining session is set for November 11th.


Georgia Man Pleads Guilty To Huntington Drug Charge


Kenneth E. Pertillo, 27, of Macon, Georgia has pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, admitting he had eight small bags of crack on him when he was pulled over in Huntington on June 12, 2009. Pertillo is the latest defendant to be convicted in what prosecutors describe as an eight-year conspiracy by a group from Macon to sell drugs in the Huntington area. Pertillo faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million when sentenced February 20th.


Tomblin Announces Administration Members


Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin on Friday announced some of the senior members of the administration he'll form once he takes over as West Virginia's governor. Those named include Rob Alsop as chief of staff. Alsop served as chief of staff to Senator Carte Goodwin and deputy counsel and later revenue secretary for Manchin during his first term as governor. Manchin said Wednesday that Alsop had been provided Capitol office space to oversee the transition process for Toblin. Erica Mani, present executive director of the state's Consolidated Public Retirement Board, will be Alsop's deputy. Charleston lawyer Kurt Dettinger will be Tomblin's general counsel. Jacqueline Proctor will leave the Division of Culture and History, where she is deputy commissioner, to become Tomblin's communications director. Tomblin has called a news conference for Monday to discuss his incoming administration and the transition.


Marshall Basketball Player Dismissed


Marshall University basketball player 22 year old Antonio Haymon has been dismissed from the team following his Saturday morning arrest on a felony charge of brandishing, his second arrest in less than two months. Marshall Head Coach Tom Herrion, who suspended Haymon indefinitely following a DUI arrest in September, says he's extremely disappointed. Herrion said, "This type of behavior will not be tolerated and will not represent our school and our basketball program."


Manchin Appoints White To BOE


Governor Joe Manchin has appointed Mountain State University dean William White, a graduate of Bluefield State College, to a nine-year term on West Virginia's Board of Education, replacing Delores Cook, whose term ended Thursday. The appointment requires state Senate confirmation before it takes effect.


Techsol Chemical President Sentenced


Former president and operator of Techsol Chemical Co., Inc., 59 year old James R. Holt of Huntington was sentenced Friday to 60 days of community confinement, six months of home detention and 5 years probation, along with being ordered to pay $13,948 in restitution to the Huntington Sanity Board Wastewater Treatment Plant and reasonable payments towards a previous $3 million consent decree with the W.Va. Department of Environmental Protection. Holt pleaded guilty in July to negligently introducing coal tar light oil, a hazardous substance, into the Huntington Sanitation District Sewage Treatment Plant on October 28, 2004. Twenty-two thousand gallons were being transferred from a rail car to a tanker truck when the spill occurred. Holt admitted to not having his workers properly trained and not having a back-up plan in place in case of a problem with the transfer.

The Huntington community around the plant had to shelter-in-place and in some cases had to leave the area.


102-Year Old Marion County Woman Gets Unexpected Check


A 102-year-old Marion County woman got a surprise visit from the West Virginia treasurer, and he came bearing a gift.

Zelma Fraley accepted a $507 unclaimed property check from Treasurer John Perdue, who traveled to Barrackville to personally deliver the matured life insurance policy.
Perdue said Fraley is now the oldest recipient of an unclaimed property payment. One-hundred-one-year-old Mary Chester of Institute held the title since 2008.

Fraley's 81-year-old daughter, Gypsy Conaway, told her of Perdue's visit Friday but didn't reveal the purpose before he presented her with the check.


WV Powerball Winner Gives $5-M To Foundation


Powerball jackpot winner Randy Smith is keeping a promise to share his winnings with West Virginia.

Local newspapers say the former Berkeley County sheriff and magistrate has given $5 million to the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation.

The gift will create a fund to help charities that support the homeless and meet other social welfare needs.

Smith bought the winning ticket for a $79 million Powerball in August and took the cash option when claiming his prize. After deducting nearly $14 million for taxes, he pocketed $30 million.
Smith says he's confident the foundation will make sure the money reaches those who need help. He and his family will help decide how the grants are distributed.
Grants will go only to organizations, not individuals or families.


Elkview Man Gets Additional Sentence


An Elkview man convicted of voluntary manslaughter after he struck and killed another man with his truck was placed on five years probation Friday in Kanawha Circuit Court.
Garrett Z. Pauley, 21, had faced a possible prison sentence of three to 15 years following his September 2009 conviction. Last December, senior status Judge James O. Holliday instead sentenced Pauley to six to 24 months at the Anthony Center, a facility for youthful offenders in Greenbrier County.

On Friday, after 10 months, Pauley appeared again in court, having successfully completed the Anthony Center's program.

Kanawha Circuit Judge Carrie Webster said she was required by law to place Pauley on probation once he completed the Anthony Center program. She opted for the maximum time allowed, five years.


Charleston Police Captain Future Uncertain


Charleston Police Capt. Myron L. White, who is under investigation for allegedly harassing a woman and illegally checking license plate numbers of her associates, is likely to retire from the Charleston Police Department and take a job as chief of police in another West Virginia town.

Charleston police Chief Brent Webster received a letter from White in late October, saying that he wanted to retire effective Sunday. White has been on administrative leave since May.

Webster said he had been waiting for the outcome of Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants' investigation before making his own decision on White's status with the department.


Meth Tests On St. Albans Building


Officials have tested the building in St. Albans where a meth lab was discovered.
According to a news release from the St. Albans Police, the results of the test showed the business part of the building was below the acceptable limits of meth chemicals.
The same test showed all of the apartments above the business showed higher than acceptable limits of meth chemicals, according to the news release. The apartments are uninhabitable while the busniess can still be open, at the owner's discretion.


Gayle Manchin Continues Leadership Role In Education


West Virginia's first lady, Gayle Manchin, has new duties waiting for her when her husband moves to Washington, D.C., as the state's junior U.S. senator.

The governor's wife will serve as president-elect of the National Association of State Boards of Education next year and will head the non-profit group in 2012.

A spokesman for the governor said Manchin, a former teacher, will also remain on the state school board through the end of her term in 2015.


Jobs, Jobs And More Jobs In Pikeville

It looks like Pikeville will soon become a "boom" area for skilled and unskilled trade workers. Officials say more than three thousand jobs are available or will be soon in Pike County.
Construction is underway all over Pikeville, from the College to the hospital to the new Justice Center. Officials say each project means hundreds of new jobs.

Leaders say the 3500 hundred new jobs range from minimum wage to high paying.
“We will be adding new teachers, new physicians, new clerical work, so it's not just a short term growth, but it will substantiate into long term growth as well,” James Hurley of Pikeville College said.

“It should be an injection of cash into our economy. You know, for every one dollar spent in the community, that dollar will rotate around a community four to five times,” Brad Hall of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce said. Officials believe more money flowing will turn into more jobs. Pike County Chamber of Commerce officials say more projects are starting soon, including EQT's new headquarters that will be built in Pikeville, which will create another 100 jobs.

Friday, November 05, 2010


Panel To Hear Appeal For Former Perry County Official


Former State Representative, former Democratic Party Leader and former Perry County Circuit Court Clerk, Chester Jones of Hazard, is appealing his 12-month sentence after pleading guilty in May to mail fraud, while while the other charges alleging vote buying and conspiracy were dropped. Jones was indicted last year along with former Perry County Judge Executive Sherman Neace of Bonnyman after they were accused of taking $7500 from the State Democratic Party to buy votes in the November 2008 election. One month after Jones was sentenced, the U.S Supreme Court issued a ruling that mail fraud consisted of actions that lead to profit, such as bribery. Jones’s attorney, James Hibbard of London, says, based on the ruling, the charge on which his client was convicted is not actually a crime because Jones did not profit from the action. The case will go before a three-judge panel on December 6th.


Trial Set For Former College Professor


Fifty-eight year old Paul Prosperino, a former college professor, was arrested in Hazard in October 2009 after UNITE detectives found more than 2,000 pills, cash and 30 loaded firearms in his home. He was indicted on two counts of second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. Prosperino was set to go to trial on November 1st, but a superseding indictment pushed the trial date back. Thursday, Prosperino’s attorney, Terry Jacobs, waived formal arraignment and entered a not guilty plea to new charges against Prosperino, including second-degree trafficking in a controlled substance and trafficking while in possession of a firearm. A pretrial conference is set for December 15th, and a trial is set for January 31st.


Prime-Time Host Suspended After Campaign Contribution


MSNBC has suspended prime-time host Keith Olbermann indefinitely without pay for contributing to the campaigns of three Democratic candidates this election season.
Olbermann acknowledged to NBC that he donated $2,400 to each of the campaigns of Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway and Arizona Reps. Raul Grivalva and Gabrielle Giffords.
NBC News prohibits its employees from working on, or donating to, political campaigns unless a special exception is granted by the news division president.


UK Search Committee Meets


The University of Kentucky is seeking a successor to UK President Lee T. Todd Jr., who announced in September that he will step down when his contract expires in June, and the goal is to extend an offer to a new president by May. The 12-person search committee met the first time on Friday on the Lexington campus. Committee Chairman James Stuckert says the panel needs to help "sell" UK's attributes in seeking out the best candidates, and he's stressing the need for a highly confidential search.


Ohio Man Convicted In Eastern Kentucky Drug Ring


A federal jury in Lexington has convicted 46 year old Jay A. Shephard of Ohio on one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and one count of money laundering. Investigators say, from May 2006 until May 2009, Shephard directed others to distribute thousands of methadone and oxycodone pills in Perry, Fayette, Breathitt, and Scott counties. Officials say he was the leader of a drug conspiracy responsible for the distribution of at least 40,000 prescription pills, while the conspiracy profited approximately $300,000. Shephard will have to forfeit five pieces of real estate located in Dayton that were purchased with profits from the conspiracy. He is scheduled to appear for sentencing in Lexington on February 23, 2011. He faces a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.


Alleged Meth Fugitives Arrested


A Mercer County couple, Waylon Brewer, 43, and his wife, Lacricia Brewer, 39, both of Salvisa, had been on the run since police discovered a methamphetamine lab at their home on July 3rd. That run ended Thursday when police found them at the Springfield Inn in Boyle County, along with several hundred dollars in cash and individual plastic bags of meth packaged for sale, which were seized. Each is charged with charged with manufacturing and trafficking methamphetamine.


Grants To Clean Up Illegal Dumps


Illegal dump cleanup has been conducted in Kentucky for several years, using primarily county and federal money. In 2006, Senate Bill 50 changed the illegal open dump reimbursement program to a grant program. Friday, the state announced that about $1.7 million in grant funding has been awarded from the Kentucky Pride Fund for cleanup of 167 illegal dumps in 28 counties. The Kentucky Pride Fund is the first legislated and ongoing source of state funding for dump cleanup.

These counties received grants: Breathitt, Breckinridge, Clay, Garrard, Grant, Hardin, Hart, Henderson, Hopkins, Jackson, Lee, Leslie, Lewis, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Mason, Meade, Nelson, Owsley, Powell, Rockcastle, Spencer, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Whitley and Wolfe.


Theft Charges Against Two In Corbin


Police in Corbin have charged two men with felony theft after highway guardrails and equipment from a high school were stolen.Charles Newkirk and Robert Mills were arrested on felony theft charges.

The suspects said they were innocent, but police say they found guardrail, beams, cable, nuts and bolts in Newkirk's van.Police say the men claimed the state hired them to remove some guardrail, but the highway department said that wasn't true.Police had been seeking the van after other thefts, including a backhoe bucket stolen at Corbin High School.Both are charged with theft by unlawful taking.


Murder Trial Focuses On Brian McGuire


A Fayette County school official has testified that a school custodian would have been suspended on the day he was fatally shot by a coworker. Brian McGuire is on trial in Lexington, accused of murder in the July 2009 death of Daniel "Danny" Donato at Leestown Middle School.Kiyon Massey, a personnel director for the district, testified Thursday that Donato was to be suspended due to complaints from McGuire.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports she testified that McGuire came to her office the day before the shooting and told her he wanted a restraining order against a co-worker who had pulled a knife on him. Massey said McGuire was not told about the suspension plan.Attorneys for McGuire don't dispute the shooting, but said Donato had threatened their client several times.Testimony is expected to continue on Monday.


Lexington Police Get New Training


Every member of the Lexington police department will be trained regarding a new department policy that was issued following a delay in treatment for a woman who was badly beaten and mistakenly thought to be dead.

Police Chief Ronnie Bastin said Thursday that the Internal Affairs Unit found that a failure of policy and personnel occurred in the department's response in the case of 44-year-old Umi Southworth last summer. Police found Southworth behind her home June 9 and, believing her to be dead, called homicide detectives. The coroner's office was called an hour later and, more than an hour after arriving, discovered the woman was actually alive. She died the next day at University of Kentucky Hospital.Bastin said earlier that normal practice was not to call emergency workers if it seemed clear that a person was dead. But the new policy calls for police to call emergency services even if no sign of life is detected.


Stretch Of I-65 Will Be Expanded To Six Lanes


A stretch of Interstate 65 in south-central Kentucky is about to be expanded to six lanes.The $39 million project covers a 4.6-mile section running from the overpass for Kentucky 1339 in Edmonson County to the interchange of I-65 and Kentucky 255 in Barren County.

Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement that temporary barriers have made the roadway safer but aren't the final solution. Several sections of I-65 have been fitted with the temporary barriers and with median cable barriers to help prevent traffic from crossing the median and causing a crash. Beshear on Thursday announced that Scotty's Contracting and Stone LLC of Glasgow was awarded the contract after submitting the low bid.


Forest Fires At Ft. Knox


Military exercises at Fort Knox coupled with severe drought have caused fires that the post garrison commander says have burned as much as 13,000 acres or about 20 square miles in the last couple of weeks.Col. Eric Schwartz told The Courier-Journal that fires have been burning on the post almost every day, creating conditions that probably haven't happened since 1987.

Some Louisville air monitors registered high fine-particle levels as a result of the fires, but Schwartz says the post can't stop training troops, especially with 3,500 about to deploy to the war in Afghanistan.Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District spokesman Matt Stull says the smoke caused the air quality index to reach 183, the highest in at least eight years.


Bluegrass Castle For Sale


The castle in the Blugrass region is for sale.The landmark, on U.S. 60 in Woodford County, is surrounded by 50 acres of land.The Lexington Herald-Leader quotes Charles Martin, general manager of CastlePost and Versailles attorney BIll Moore in reporting owner Tom Post is advertising the property for sale.Martin says there's no contract yet, but if Post can get a good price, he'll sell it.The newspaper reports an Internet posting advertises the castle for sale at $30 million, but Martin says it's negotiable.

Thursday, November 04, 2010


Executive Order Issued For Kentucky Drought

Citing "severe to extreme" conditions in most of the state, Governor Steve Beshear issued an executive order Thursday declared a state of emergency because of drought conditions, a move that lifts restrictions on truckers hauling relief supplies into Kentucky. The executive order waives size and weight restrictions on trucks hauling water, hay and other relief supplies for livestock, along with fees on oversized and overweight trucks. In addition, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack approved disaster assistance to Kentucky farm families in 91 counties, making them eligible to seek federal financial assistance and emergency loans.


Homeland Security Grant For Floyd County

Thanks to a grant from the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security, the Floyd County Rescue Squad and the city of Allen will be upgrading their equipment, $1,400 for radios and $9,000 for mobile data computers for the city of Allen and more than $13,000 for rescue squad dry suits for the Floyd County Rescue Squad. The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security funded 140 projects for a total of $6.4 million throughout the state.


DOH Flagman Hit By Car

Kentucky State Police say folks need to watch out when behind the wheel. While Department of Highway crews were repairing guard rails along one stretch of Highway 421 in Leslie County Thursday, their flagman was hit by a car and knocked from one side of the road to the other, where he landed in a ditch. The worker was taken to Mary Breckenridge Hospital in Hyden after suffering an injury to his pelvis.


Man Pleads Not Guilty To Murder Charge

Jeremiah Evans has pleaded not guilty after being charged with murder in the 2008 fatal beating of William Taylor of Frakes. Thursday, Police arrested Deborah Lynn Partin of Pineville on murder charges in connection to the case, and they say their investigation into this case is ongoing and more arrests are pending.


Accident Kills Knott County Woman

Kentucky State Police say Amy Olinger of Pippa Passes in Knott County lost control of her SUV on Highway 15 near Carr Creek Lake while on her way home from work Thursday afternoon. The car flipped several times before landing between a guard rail and embankment, ejecting Olinger, who died on impact. Olinger worked for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers.


UNITE Brings Pill Dragon Back To Perry County

The ARH Medical Mall teamed up with Operation UNITE Thursday as the pill dragon returned to Perry County to offer people a way to discard both prescription and non-prescription medication. Officials with Operation UNITE say they hope the pill burn will help defeat the prescription pill problem, and ARH officials say they hope this proactive approach will help gain the communities trust and allow members to work together towards defeating the drug problem. Operation UNITE will be in Pulaski County on November 9th and in Knox County on November 11th.


Police Investigating Incident Involving UK Student

Police are warning residents in one area of Lexington to be extra cautious after a man tried to carjack a UK student in broad daylight around 1:30 P.M. Thursday after she parked her car near Woodland Park. Police say a stranger tapped on her window, and, as the victim rolled her window down, the man pointed a gun at her and demanded her car. The victim hopped out, but the suspect ran away.

The suspect was described as a clean cut black man about six feet tall in his 20's or 30's, wearing a black winter coat.


Indian Head Rock Comes Home

An 8-ton boulder known as Indian Head Rock traveled on a flatbed truck Thursday from Portsmouth, Ohio to Greenup County, where it will be stored until it is decided where it will be permanently housed. An expedition of Ohioans moved the rock to Portsmouth in 2007, but a lawsuit resulted in an agreement in April requiring the rock to be returned to Kentucky. The rock jutted out of the water on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River for generations, while initials, names and a crude face had been carved into the rock over the years. State archaeologists say it's an artifact steeped in Kentucky history.


Grant For Victims Of Violent Crime

Governor Steve Beshear has announced the award of more than $5.56 million in federal grants to programs that support victims' services, including domestic violence shelters, children's advocacy centers and rape crisis centers.

The 62 awards were made through the federal Victims of Crime Act which relies on criminal fines, forfeitures and assessments instead of taxpayer dollars to support victim services. Among the awards is $107,100 to Exploited Children's Help Organization and $83,000 to Christian Appalachian.

Beshear says the grants will ensure the continuation of vital services for some of the Commonwealth's most vulnerable citizens, the victims of violent crime, by providing crisis intervention, advocacy, counseling, shelter and other assistance at a time when they need it most.


Gas Prices Fueled

Wholesale gasoline prices have risen sharply in the last few days, prompted by a small refinery fire in Illinois, a move by the Federal Reserve to inject $600 billion into the U.S. economy, driving down the value of the dollar, and another Department of Energy report showing healthy demand for petroleum amid shrinking supplies. Since the start of the week, gas stations have seen their wholesale cost rise as much as thirty five cents per gallon across several Midwest states.


McConnell Delivers Tough Speech

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell will lead a bigger Senate Republican caucus when the 112th Congress convenes in January, but he will not command a majority. Though Republicans won control of the House of Representatives in Tuesday's election, it fell short in the Senate. A defiant McConnell gave a tough speech Thursday saying that if President Barack Obama won't go along with key GOP goals, the only way to do all these things is to put someone in the White House who won't veto any of these things.


Sergeant Sentenced For Kentucky Soldier's Death

U.S. Army Sgt. 29 year old Edgar Patino from North Carolina has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of 23 year old Spc. Megan Touma of Cold Spring, Kentucky who was pregnant with his child. Investigators found the body of Touma in a Fayetteville hotel bathtub in July 2008. A Cumberland County Superior Court judge sentenced Patino to between 16 and 20 years in prison.


Paul Focuses On Balanced Budget

After winning Tuesday's election, Senator-elect Rand Paul said he planned to leave Wednesday for a few days of vacation in Florida, but, when he returns, he said he will turn his attention to selecting a staff and setting up offices around the state. He already has chosen Doug Stafford, a longtime Republican operative in Washington, to be his chief of staff. Paul says, if households are expected to operate on balanced budgets, why shouldn’t the federal government do likewise? He says solutions to the country’s many problems lie not in partisan politics but in “figuring out solutions” through compromise, and he is willing to work with politicians from both parties and hopes to forge alliances with like-minded members in the Senate and the House. He said he will support efforts to overturn the recently enacted health-care legislation, which he characterized as a “disaster waiting to happen." Paul says his first and most pressing priority will be a balanced budget. He says anything can be done if you have the will to do it.


Horse Industry Hoping For Amendment

Horse industry supporters seeking video lottery terminals at state race tracks say they might consider proposing a constitutional amendment on the issue.

The fate of expanded gambling at race tracks was put in question after Republicans gained ground in the state Senate and industry-backed candidates lost.

Senate President David Williams says if the Democratic-controlled House approved a proposed constitutional amendment, the Republican Senate might consider it.

David Switzer, executive director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, says the horse industry's "game plan" could be an amendment.

On Tuesday, two candidates backed by the horse industry, Don Blevins in Fayette County and Rick Hiles in Jefferson County, could not oust Republican incumbents.


McConnell Focuses On Overhauling Health Care Law

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell told Kentucky reporters in a conference call Wednesday the election was a referendum on President Barack Obama, the outgoing Democratic-led Congress and their "massive overreach." McConnell, who will lead a larger Republican minority when the next Congress convenes, says he'll push to repeal the health care overhaul passed by congressional Democrats. He called the health care law a "monstrosity," and says his first choice is to repeal and replace it, but, if that fails due to a lack of votes or a presidential veto, his next option is to undo the law "piece by piece."


UK Drug and Alcohol Research Manager Suspended

UK Drug and Alcohol Research manager Tracey Ellerbe has been suspended without pay after fire officias say her home on Lakeview Drive in Lexington caught fire Monday when sparked by lights used to grow more than 40 marijuana plants. Ellerbe has pleaded not guilty. Her home has been condemned.


Masked Intruder Shoots Calhoun County Man

State Police say Joshua W. Boswell, 19, was sleeping at a home in Orma of Calhoun County when, about 1:30 A.M. Thursday morning, he was awakened by a knock at the front door. When Boswell opened the door, he encountered a masked intruder pointing a small caliber handgun at him. The masked man fired, striking Boswell just below his nose, causing a bullet to lodge inside his head. He was transported to Charleston Area Medical Center's General Hospital, where he remained under evaluation late Thursday afternoon.


Mingo County Attorney Sentenced

Mingo County attorney, William Duty, 56, of Delbarton, has been sentenced to six months in prison followed by six months of community confinement after pleading guilty to wire fraud in July. Duty admitted he falsified state court documents to obtain reimbursement for services he provided as a court-appointed lawyer, fraudulently taking in $119,000 from an Alabama corporation. In 2004, Duty entered into a cash-advance agreement with Daniel Capital Corporation in Alabama to expedite payment for his legal services. From June 2005 to December 2007, Duty submitted a number of fraudulent court orders to Daniel Capital for payment.


Child Starvation Case Going To Grand Jury

A Raleigh County mother remains in jail on $500,000 bail for allegedly starving her daughter. Sabrina Smith, who faces charges of child neglect and attempted murder of her 6 year old daughter, was in court Thursday for a preliminary trial while her roommate, Amanda Wills, waived her trial. Beckley Police say the child was so malnourished she weighed a mere 18 pounds when she was hospitalized in September. A Child Protective Service worker took the stand and testified the child had bruises and other injuries from being zip-tied in a non-padded car seat for hours. The lead detective in the case testified that Smith claimed she would restrain the child because she was afraid she would try to steal food and might choke. Raleigh County Prosecutor Kristen Keller says she's now in a foster home, weighs about 32 pounds, and the bruises are gone, but she is still unable to walk on her own. The case will be presented to the January grand jury.


Manchin Lays Out His Philosophy

For six years as governor, Joe Manchin said Wednesday, he's tried to bring people on different sides of an issue together -- and he plans to use the same philosophy as a U.S. senator.

"Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, conservative or liberal, business or labor, we are going to work together," Manchin said Wednesday afternoon during his first press conference since winning the Senate race Tuesday.

Manchin, who did not give interviews on election night, hopes the election results can be certified by late next week, so that he can join the Senate in time for the lame-duck session that will begin on Nov. 15.

Manchin defeated Republican John Raese and two other candidates, getting 54 percent of the vote to 43 percent for Raese, 2 percent for the Mountain Party's Jesse Johnson and 1 percent for the Constitution Party's Jeff Becker.

"I enjoy a good, competitive race," Manchin said. "This was a competitive race, and it got tough, but you either survive or you don't."

He conceded that it took some time for his campaign to build momentum, something he attributed to the initial shock over the June 28 death of Sen. Robert C. Byrd.

"It just knocks the wind out of you, and then it took awhile to get our legs back," Manchin said.

In response to Raese's initially successful campaign strategy of portraying him as a rubber-stamp for President Barack Obama, Manchin took steps to distance himself from Obama administration policies, including cap-and-trade and health care reform.

However, Manchin said Wednesday he did not fundamentally change his positions on those issues, and said his first priority remains unchanged.

"I've always felt I'm representing the people of West Virginia," he said.


Man Takes Ambulance To Polling Place

A Philadelphia-area man didn't let an ambulance ride stop him from casting his vote.

Eighty-three-year-old Charles Gorby persuaded an ambulance crew to stop and let him vote Tuesday as they transported him home following a two-week hospital stay.

Since the polling place was only about a block from Gorby's Havertown home, the ambulance crew agreed.

Gorby voted from a stretcher with his legs sticking out from under the voting booth's curtain.

Gorby told the Delaware County Daily Times he felt it was his responsibility to make it to the polls if he was able. He told the paper "voting is the least you can do" as a citizen.


Energy Star Tax Break Set To End

Time is running out for West Virginia consumers to take advantage of a tax break on purchases of energy-saving home appliances and building materials.

Gov. Joe Manchin says the state's third and final Energy Star sales tax holiday will end Nov. 30. The three-month program began in September. It was initially offered in 2008.

Consumers who buy energy-saving home appliances and building materials don't have to pay the state's 6 percent sales tax. The tax break applies to all noncommercial purchases of Energy Star products worth up to $5,000.

Rebates are still available from a different program, the West Virginia Appliance Rebate Program, for dishwaters, clothes washers and refrigerators.


Sissonville Man Arrested On Drug Charges

Police arrested a Sissonville man Wednesday evening for possession of methamphetamine and marijuana with intent to deliver.

Deputies searched the home of Donald E. Asbury, 40, of Ashborough Lane in Sissonville and found 21 grams of marijuana, 2.5 grams of meth and various other prescription pills, said Sgt. Sean Crosier of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department. Police also found a large stash of Pseudoephedrine, scales, packing materials and $1,217, Crosier said.

Asbury is charged with possession of marijuana and meth with intent to deliver and taken to South Central Regional Jail.


PSC Public Hearings Set

The state Public Service Commission is holding public hearings on proposed rate increases requested by American Electric Power's West Virginia subsidiaries Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power, which are seeking a 17 percent rate increase for residential customers and hikes of 12 percent to 15 percent for commercial and industrial customers. If approved, monthly bills for residential customers who use 1,000 kilowatt-hours would increase from $80.47 to $94.14. The utilities say the increases are necessary to recoup maintenance and improvement costs, along with costs stemming from a winter storm in 2009. Hearings were held Thursday in Wheeling and are set for November 8th in Huntington, November 9th in Beckley and November 16th in Charleston.


Parkways Authority Approves Toll Road

The West Virginia Parkways Authority voted Thursday to pass a proposal to turn Route 35 into a toll road. State officials have proposed turning roughly 14 miles of U.S. 35 in Mason and Putnam counties into a four-lane toll road to make the road safer for drivers. They say the project could cost nearly $200 million, and the only way to come up with the money in the near future is through tolls. The authority hopes the tolls will generate between $80-$87 million to help pay for the project. A study revealed 35 to 40-percent of area residents would use the new Route 35, and about 47-percent of those will use the E-ZPass discount. The proposal also includes a 25-cent increase every four years for at least the next 30 years. The first increase is scheduled for 2017 if it opens in 2013. There will be two more public hearings prior to final approval. The first meeting is scheduled for December 7th at Winfield High School, while the other is set for December 8th at Point Pleasant High School.

West Virginia currently has only one toll road, the West Virginia Turnpike, but more toll roads could be on the way as traditional sources of highway funding dry up.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Pike County, KY. Election Results 2010


Pike County - Coal Run City Comm. 100 % of precincts reporting
Marilyn D. Compton 295 20.0
Jerry Bliffen 280 19.0
Andrew H. Scott 273 18.5
Stephan D. McQuerry 237 16.1
Bill Ramey 222 15.1
Joe B. Ramsey II 168 11.4

Pike County - Constable Dist. 4 (100 % of precincts reporting)
Clinard Adkins (R) 1,399 54.4
Woody M. Akers (D) 1,172 45.6

Pike County - Elkhorn City Council (100 % of precincts reporting)
Frank Gregory Moore 432 17.2
Lois E. Cantrell 403 16.0
Johnny Mack Potter 382 15.2
Danny W. Matney 379 15.1
Acy Thomas 338 13.5
James L. Allen-Polley 238 9.5
Johnny F. Stewart 181 7.2
Mike Wallace 159 6.3

Pike County - Elkhorn City Mayor (100 % of precincts reporting)
Mike Taylor 237 41.2
Richard Salyer 202 35.1
Billy Roger Powell 120 20.9
Scott C. Sykes 16 2.8

Pike County - Magistrate Dist. 2 (100 % of precincts reporting)
Vernon Johnson (D) 1,629 61.9
Jarvey Newsome Jr.(R) 1,001 38.1

Pike County - Magistrate Dist. 4 (100 % of precincts reporting)
Kenneth Robinson (R) 1,651 59.9
James C. Ratliff (D) 1,106 40.1

Pike County - Pikeville Board of Ed. (100 % of precincts reporting)
Forrest Beeler 832 20.4
Ann Epperson Carty 760 18.7
Greg Tackett 741 18.2
Bill N. Staggs 701 17.2
Eugene Sisco Jr. 532 13.1
H. Michael Lucas 506 12.4

Pike County - Pikeville Mayor (100 % of precincts reporting)
Frank Justice 1,129 97.9
Calvin Wheat 24 2.1

Pike County - Board of Education-3rd (100 % of precincts reporting)
Frank D. Ratliff 1,817 61.2
Robert Bishop 1,152 38.8


Williams Continues Effort To Remain Senate President

Senate President David Williams said Wednesday he has the votes to be re-elected to the chamber’s top position when lawmakers select their leaders in January. However, Senator Julie Denton, R-Louisville, who chairs the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, said she remains committed to running for the spot and is “very optimistic” about her chances. Denton says it’s in Williams’ best interests not to be in leadership while running for governor since it's never worked in the past. Williams, a Burkesville Republican who has held the Senate’s top spot for 10 years while the GOP maintained its majority in the chamber, countered that Denton only has one vote for the presidency — “her own.” Williams said he will not let his bid for governor distract from his work as Senate president. The decision is expected to be in the hands of the Republicans since the GOP picked up two additional seats in Tuesday’s elections, bringing the GOP’s control to 22-15, with one independent member, Bob Leeper of Paducah, who caucuses with the Republicans.


Kentucky Hospital Association Files Lawsuit

The Kentucky Hospital Association filed a lawsuit in federal court in Covington Wednesday, representing 29 small rural Kentucky hospitals, to try to stop the federal government from reducing payments to the facilities. The lawsuit says the federal agency that oversees Medicare and Medicaid payments wants to cut a reimbursement that small hospitals have been getting, and the change would hurt the ability of small hospitals to provide care for low-income people. The hospitals at issue are designated as critical-access facilities, have 25 or fewer beds and are in rural areas. The lawsuit says the intent of Congress was to make sure such facilities could stay afloat so people in rural areas would have access to in-patient services. The suit lists 29 such facilities across the state, including hospitals in Woodford, Casey, Cumberland, Lincoln, Knox, Morgan, Owen, Nicholas, Russell, Estill, Leslie, Floyd, Madison, Grant, Mercer and Wayne counties.


Democrats Continue Control Of State House

Republicans picked up seven seats in the Kentucky House of Representatives in Tuesday's election, but Democrats will remain in control. The Republican caucus now has 42 members heading into the 2011 session of the General Assembly. House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he's pleased with the Democrat performance overall in the state, especially considering the heavy Republican gains nationwide. Stumbo says the election cycle was a tsunami not of our making, but Democrats were able to ride the wave rather than be swept away by it, and, when the dust settles, they will find that where other state legislatures trended Republican, the Kentucky House held strong. He says he's very proud of that.


Tiffany & Co. Breaks Ground In Lexington

Gov. Steve Beshear, Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry, Commerce Lexington President and CEO Bob Quick and John Petterson, senior vice president of Tiffany & Co. announced Wednesday the company's decision to locate a jewelry manufacturing facility in Lexington. The company will bring 125 additional jobs to Lexington. Beshear says he's confident Tiffany & Co. will flourish in the Bluegrass. Tiffany broke ground for the construction of a new 25,000 square-foot manufacturing facility on a four-acre site located on Innovation Drive in the Blue Grass Business Park. The new jewelry manufacturing center is expected to be completed in spring 2011.


Attorney General Announces Election Fraud Hotline Calls

Attorney General Jack Conway announced Wednesday that his Election Fraud Hotline received 202 calls from 62 counties between 6:00 A.M. and 7:00 P.M. during Kentucky's General Election on Tuesday.

There were a total of 212 issues raised in the calls, 11 of which involved allegations of vote buying/selling in seven Kentucky counties. Twenty-seven of the complaints involved general election fraud and 44 involved procedural questions.

The Office of the Attorney General, by law, cannot provide details regarding specific complaints or possible pending investigations. The office will continue to work closely with the U.S. Attorneys from the Western and Eastern Districts of Kentucky, Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky Board of Elections, and the Kentucky Secretary of State to review complaints, and where necessary, investigate any that prove to be criminal in nature.


Beshear Announces Direct Deposit Unemployment

Governor Steve Beshear announced Wednesday that unemployment insurance claimants now have the option to receive unemployment insurance payments by direct deposit into a checking or savings account, rather than come in the mail. Beshear says unemployment insurance customers will get their funds in a much more convenient manner, and there is a tremendous environmental and cost savings by not having to print and mail checks.

It costs nearly $200,000 each month in postage and printing to send unemployment checks to clients. In September, nearly 400,000 benefit checks were printed and mailed. If half of unemployment insurance claimants got their benefits direct deposited, the federal unemployment insurance program could save approximately $1.2 million per year.

Eligible claimants may enroll in the program online when filing a claim, by phone when filing a claim, or in person at a local employment and training office. For more information and to sign up, go to, and follow the instructions under the direct deposit heading.


Rand Paul Speaks On "Divided Government"

Senator-elect Rand Paul of Kentucky says government gridlock isn't necessarily a bad thing, signaling that cooperation with Democrats isn't high on his agenda.

The tea party favorite said debate is healthy and that a divided government is more likely to spend less money.

The Republican told NBC's "Today" show that while people "complain a lot about gridlock," the most fiscally conservative government "is always divided government."

In Tuesday's elections, Republicans won a majority in the House and narrowed the Democrats' majority in the Senate.


State Projection Shows $58-M Surplus

An unofficial state projection shows a $58 million budget surplus this fiscal year if the economic recovery remains steady.

The state budget office projects revenues will reach $8.63 billion for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011. That is $58 million more than the amount of revenue required by the state budget.

But State Budget Director Mary Lassiter told the newspaper that the forecast is, in her words, "very preliminary."

The unofficial projection was part of the quarterly economic report issued this week by the budget office.

The report contains many warnings, saying national experts see the economic recovery as very fragile and there is a chance of a setback.


Massey Energy Mine In Pike County Target Of U.S. Labor Department

The U.S. Department of Labor has moved to close a Massey Energy Co. coal mine in Kentucky with a long record of serious safety violations.

The agency filed a lawsuit Wednesday in the Eastern District of Kentucky seeking to close Massey subsidiary Freedom Energy's Mine No. 1 in Pike County until violations are corrected.

The lawsuit says Massey has failed to prevent roof collapses, effectively ventilate the mine, and clean up coal dust and other combustible material.

The lawsuit is the latest trouble for Richmond, Va.-based Massey. The company faces criminal and civil investigations over the death of 29 miners in an April explosion at its Upper Big Branch mine in Raleigh County.

Spokesman Jeff Gillenwater says Massey is committed to running the mine safely.


Rogers Comments On Victory

Official statement from Congressman Hal Rogers on his election to serve a 16th term for Kentucky's 5th Congressional District:

"The people of Southern and Eastern Kentucky have honored me once again by placing their confidence in my leadership and electing to continue our progress in Kentucky's 5th Congressional District.

"I will begin my 16th term with a new Congress and a new mission for our nation. Our people have made their voices abundantly clear that our government needs to change direction and we have a full agenda ahead to get this country on the right track.

"I am fully prepared to relay the resounding message you have given me to end the out-of-control spending, work for more jobs, a better health care system, energy independence and a host of other issues.

I am proud to keep a seat in the U.S House of Representatives with Kentucky on my desk.

I want to thank all the voters who did not sit idle, allowing someone else to decide their future. Together we will continue to move this region forward."

Please let us know if you have any questions.


Gorman Wins In Hazard

For the first time in more than 30 years the voters in the city of Hazard have elected a new mayor, but the last name is familiar. Nan Gorman, won 74 percent of the vote on Tuesday, running as a write-in candidate to replace her husband, Bill Gorman, who died October 9th after 37 years in office. Nan Gorman, who was appointed interim mayor, registered the next week to run as a write-in against Gorman's only registered opponent, former Hazard police officer Ken Bryant. Gorman won 1,139 votes to Bryant's 401.

She hopes to continue the progress the city has made for the last 33 years. Some said that she had no experience in politics and that she was only around it, but she says that’s not the case, “I was by his side the whole time. Been to Washington and Frankfort and all over the countryside.”


Harlan Gets Wet Results

It is a controversial issue that divided people in one eastern Kentucky town. By an unofficial vote of 383 to 261, voters in Harlan decided Tuesday the city will go WET. The so-called "moist" measure will allow alcohol by the drink in restaurants that seat more than 100 people and receive more than 75 percent of their revenue from the sale of food. Organizations such as the Harlan County Outdoor Recreational Board Authority supported the measure, saying it would be good for tourism, but the Harlan County Christian Alliance had opposed the measure.


Judge Continues Stay Of Arch Coal Permit

U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers has extended his ruling suspending action in a lawsuit over the largest mountaintop removal mining permit in West Virginia history until February 22nd. Chambers took the action to give the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency more time to process his potential veto of the Clean Water Act permit issued by the federal Army Corps of Engineers for Arch Coal Inc.'s Spruce Mine in Logan County. Chambers ruled a little more than two weeks after the Obama administration EPA moved a step closer toward a historic veto of the nearly 2,300-acre permit to mine in the Pigeonroost Hollow area near Blair.

EPA Regional Administrator Shawn Garvin recommended the permit be vetoed, citing concerns that the mine would bury nearly seven miles of headwater streams and pollute waterways downstream from the mine site, add to deforestation and to other damage that mountaintop removal already is doing to coalfield communities across the region. Arch Coal has argued against continuing the litigation stay, saying it wanted its day in court.


Renters Find Pipe Bomb

Wyoming County authorities are continuing to investigate after a pipe bomb prompted the evacuation of six houses and W.Va. 10/16 was closed for nearly seven hours after it was discovered on a porch of a house next to the Itmann Post Office Monday evening. A West Virginia State Police bomb squad removed the bomb and detonated it. Renters preparing to move into the house which had been empty for about a month when they found the device.


Democrats Change Hold On State Senate

Despite the national trend that went in favor of Republicans in Tuesday's elections, the West Virginia State Senate tilted the other way. Democrats won back two State Senate seats held this past year by Republicans, leading Democrats to extend their advantage to 28-6.

The Democratic sweep in the 10th State Senatorial District, with victories by Mark Wills and Ron Miller for seats held the past four years by Republicans, was the one spot where there was a change in the State Senate.

As for Tuesday’s State Senate races, not a single incumbent was defeated in the 18 seats that were up for vote. There were 12 incumbents running, 10 Democrats and two Republicans, and 11 of those won handily. The only tight race featuring an incumbent was in the Eastern Panhandle’s 16th Senatorial District, where incumbent Democrat John Unger squeaked out a very tight victory over Republican challenger Craig Blair, 18,738 to 18,437.

Of the six non-incumbents to win State Senate seats, five were Democrats and one was a Republican.


Special Governor's Election Expected

With Governor Joe Manchin's victory over John Raese, he will soon head to Capitol Hill, and State Senate President, Earl Ray Tomblin, will serve as interim governor until someone is elected. State Constitution mandates the new Governor call for a special election so a vote can be held for the Governor’s position, but the Constitution does not stipulate how long the new Governor has before he has to call such a special election. The regular election calendar already has the Governor’s position up for vote in 2012, but Tomblin will be expected to call a special election before then. While Tomblin is acting as Governor, he will also remain a member of the State Senate.

Brooks McCabe won reelection as a State Senator from Kanawha County, but made it clear he intends to run for governor. He says he plans to make a formal announcement in the not-too-distant future. McCabe has served in the state Senate since 1998 and says he has a lot to focus on in the State Senate, but he wants to be the next governor.

Tomblin has already indicated he believes the acting governor could serve until 2012, but House Speaker Rick Thompson, who has his own aspirations for governor, believes there should be an election before then.


Investigators Evacuate Upper Big Branch Mine

Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration spokeswoman Amy Louviere says government investigators were forced to evacuate Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Mine after methane started to accumulate while crews were pumping water from a flooded section Monday. MSHA suspects the April 5th explosion that killed 29 miners started with a methane ignition.


Elkview Man Faces Attempted Murder

Police say, Tuesday afternoon, James "Jimmy" Sigmon, Junior of Elkview shot David Sharp of Frame following an alleged argument over a possible affair Sigmon was having with Sharp's wife. Witnesses say Sigmon drove to an area near Sharp's home and was asked by Sharp to step out of the truck he was sitting in. That's when deputies say Sigmon shot a pistol at Sharp, hitting him once in the back after he started to run. Sigmon fled the scene before deputies arrived but was later arrested in Elkview and charged with attempted murder and malicious wounding.


Acting State MSHA Director Appointed

Governor Joe Manchin has appointed C.A. Phillips as acting director of the West Virginia Office of Mineers' Health, Safety and Training, replacing Ron Wooten, who resigned effective Wednesday, Nonember 3rd. Phillips, a native of McDowell County, has worked in the mining industry since 1969 and has been deputy director of the state mining office for the past decade.


WV Supreme Court Of Appeals Allows Drilling

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals released its decision Wednesday to allow owners of natural gas companies to drill in Chief Logan State Park. The court ruled that, while deeding property in 1960, Lawson heirs retained interest in the gas rights and that any state laws passed prohibiting drilling after that did not invalidate that transaction. The state Department of Environmental Protection had challenged the June 2009 decision of Logan County Judge Roger L. Perry. The Sierra Club Inc., West Virginia Highlands Conservancy, Friends of the Blackwater and Cordie O. Hudkins, a former state parks official, joined DEP in the appeal.


Officers Injured While Being Fired Upon

Jackson County Sheriff's Captain Herbert Faber and other officers responded to a call in the Cottageville area late Tuesday night, where they fired upon by 45 year old Michael Larry Smith who was walking up and down the street with a shotgun. Investigators say Captain Faber was hit by lead pellets in the hip and hand, while Ripley Police Sergeant Raymon Williams was hit in the leg and head. Smith ran into his house and kept officers at bay from 9:00 P.M. Tuesday until 4:00 A.M. Wednesday. Smith then set his house on fire and ran out of it before being arrested. Smith has been charged with wanton endangerment and malicious wounding, while other charges are pending.


West Virginia Election 2010

U.S. Senate
Joe Manchin (D) 278,961 53%
John Raese (R) 226,667 43%
Jesse Johnson (M) 9,974 2%
Jeff Becker (C) 6,328 1%

State Senate 3rd District
David Nohe (R) 21,160 68%
Tim Reed (D) 10,124 32%

State Senate 8th District
Erik Wells (D / Inc.) 35,983 63%
Bob Ore (R) 20,964 37%

State Senate 11th District
Gregory Tucker (D) 7,981 50%
Adam Milligan (R) 5,667 36%
Tom Thacker 2,302 14%

State Senate 12th District
Joseph Minard (D / Inc.) 13,289 62%
Russ Snyder (R) 8,251 38%

U.S. House 1st District
Mike Oliverio (D) 0 0%
David McKinley (R) 0 0%

House of Delegates 16th District
Kelli Sobonya (R / Inc.) 9,786 30%
Doug Reynolds (D / Inc.) 8,647 26%
Dale Stephens (D / Inc.) 7,834 24%
T-Anne See (R) 6,501 20%

House of Delegates 15th District
Kevin Craig (D / Inc.) 6,820 21%
Carol Miller (R / Inc.) 6,547 20%
Jim Morgan (D / Inc.) 6,130 18%
Matthew Woelfel (D) 5,838 18%
Patrick Lucas (R) 4,374 13%
Douglas Franklin (R) 3,446 10%

House of Delegates 19th District
Ralph Rodighiero (D / Inc.) 10,318 22%
Greg Butcher (D / Inc.) 9,658 20%
Josh Stowers (D / Inc.) 9,234 19%
Rupert Phillips (D) 8,623 18%
Chad Story (R) 5,107 11%
Elias Gregory (R) 4,834 10%

House of Delegates 36th District
Joe Talbott (D / Inc.) 2,658 71%
Duane Borchers, Sr. (I) 1,086 29%

House of Delegates 13th District
Brady Paxton (D / Inc.) 6,117 35%
Dale Martin (D / Inc.) 5,755 33%
Brian Scott (R) 5,574 32%

House of Delegates 29th District
Margaret Staggers (D / Inc.) 6,042 28%
David Perry (D / Inc.) 5,863 27%
John Pino (D) 5,587 26%
Marshall Clay (R) 3,938 18%

House of Delegates 30th District
Doug Skaff (D / Inc.) 19,186 9%
Eric Nelson (R) 17,498 8%
Danny Wells (D / Inc.) 17,062 8%
Barbara Hatfield (D / Inc.) 17,054 8%
Bonnie Brown (D / Inc.) 16,795 8%
Mark Hunt (D / Inc.) 16,359 7%
Nancy Guthrie (D / Inc.) 16,181 7%
Sharon Spencer (D / Inc.) 15,565 7%
Fred Joseph (R) 15,233 7%
Brian Hicks (R) 14,904 7%
Mike Hall (R) 14,822 7%
Jim Strawn (R) 14,093 6%
Rick Barnett (R) 12,043 6%
Steve Sweeney (R) 11,726 5%

House of Delegates 32nd District
Tim Armstead (R / Inc.) 9,034 23%
Ron Walters (R / Inc.) 8,209 21%
Patrick Lane (R / Inc.) 7,986 20%
Clint Casto (D) 4,185 11%
Scott Lavigne (D) 4,121 11%
Charles Black (D) 3,622 9%
Jesse Johnson 2,014 5%

House of Delegates 12th District
Mitch Carmichael (R / Inc.) 3,360 51%
Jo Boggess Phillips (D) 3,245 49%

House of Delegates 11th District
Bob Ashley (R / Inc.) 3,262 81%
Mark Myers 768 19%

House of Delegates 9th District
Larry Border (R / Inc.) 3,551 63%
Jim Marion (D) 2,059 37%

U.S. House 3rd District.
Nick Rahall (D / Inc.) 75,827 56%
Elliott Maynard (R) 60,309 44%

House of Delegates 31st District
Meshea Poore (D / Inc.) 2,768 70%
Pamela Minimah (R) 927 24%
Janet Thompson 235 6%

State Senate 17th District
Brooks McCabe (D / Inc.) 31,831 56%
Charles Minimah (R) 21,546 38%
David Hall 3,605 6%

U.S. House 2nd District
Shelley Moore Capito (R / Inc.) 123,304 68%
Virginia Lynch Graf (D) 53,898 30%
Phil Hudok 3,346 2%

U.S. House 1st District
David McKinley (R) 84,143 51%
Mike Oliverio (D) 81,442 49%

State Senate 14th District
Troy Andes (R / Inc.) 8,099 40%
Brian Savilla (R) 6,696 33%
Cathy Larck (D) 5,308 26%

Supreme Court
Thomas McHugh (D / Inc.) 224,561 51%
John Yoder (R) 218,991 49%

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


Governor Manchin Claims Senate Victory

Governor Joe Manchin claimed a victory Tuesday over Republican John Raese, keeping the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Robert Byrd for a half-century in the hands of the Democratic party. Raese, who conceded less than two hours after the polls closed, had tried to make a referendum on President Barack Obama. Initial numbers gave Manchin a 54-percent to 43-percent lead over Raese, and that percentage never wavered. It has been over a half century since a Republican represented West Virginia in the U.S. Senate, going back to 1959 when Republican W. Chapman Revercomb left the Senate. Revercomb gave way to Senator Robert C. Byrd, a Democrat who held the post for the next 51 years, longer than any Senator in U.S. history. There have been just three Senators who have represented West Virginia in the last 51 years – Jennings Randolph (1958-85), Robert C. Byrd (1959-2010) and Jay Rockefeller (1985-present) – and all three were Democrats. Carte Goodwin, a Democrat, was appointed by Governor Manchin to temporarily fill the Senate seat after Byrd’s death. Earl Ray Tomblin, president of the W.Va. State Senate, will take over as Governor until a new election for that post can be held.


Kentucky Election 2010

U.S. Senate
Rand Paul (R) 748,717 56%
Jack Conway (D) 592,173 44%

State Senate 18th District
Robin Webb (D / Inc.) 17,617 53%
Jack Ditty (R) 15,418 47%

State House 93rd District:
Keith Hall (D / Inc.) 6,665 79%
Raul Urias (R) 1,793 21%

State House 94th District
Leslie Combs (D / Inc.) 7,865 70%
Roger Ford (R) 3,430 30%

State House 95th District
Greg Stumbo (D / Inc.) 7,275 70%
James Williams (R) 3,140 30%

State House 96th District
Jill York (R / Inc.) 4,305 51%
David Hayes (D) 4,173 49%

State House 97th District
Hubert Collins (D / Inc.) 7,388 57%
Bill Runyon (R) 5,519 43%

State House 100th District
Kevin Sinnette (D / Inc.) 6,405 60%
Cheryl Spriggs (R) 4,346 40%

U.S. House 4th District
Geoff Davis (R / Inc.) 138,902 55%
John Waltz (D) 113,647 45%

U.S. House 5th District
Hal Rogers (R / Inc.) 126,601 55%
Jim Holbert (D) 103,581 45%


Victory For The Tea Party

Rand Paul and his Tea Party supporters say their win sends a clear message to Congress that the people have come to take their government back. The U.S. Senate race between Bowling Green eye surgeon Republican Rand Paul and Attorney General Democrat Jack Conway that attracted national and international media attention ended Tuesday night with a victory for the Tea Party movement. Paul, making his first bid for public office, used his message of limited government and criticism of President Barack Obama to outdistance Conway and to replace Republican U.S. Senator Jim Bunning. During his campaign, Paul pounded his message while appealing to those concerned and angry over lingering high unemployment, the growing federal deficit and some policies of the Obama Administration. Larry Sabato, a national political analyst who heads the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said, “The only way Conway could’ve won is if Rand Paul completely self-destructed.”

Paul took an early lead over Conway after a nasty campaign marked by a skirmish and hard-hitting ads. With just under 1 percent of precincts reporting, Paul had 13,397, or 58 percent of the vote, to 9,736, or 42 percent, for Conway, with the polls still open in the western half of the state. Paul embraced the tea party message of lower spending and less government, while Conway portrayed Paul as too extreme on taxes, entitlements and drug enforcement. The race turned personal with a Conway ad about Paul's attitude toward religion in college. Democrats tried to capitalize on a pre-debate scuffle where a Paul supporter stepped on a liberal female activist. Several Kentuckians who voted for Paul felt he had been unfairly attacked. Some voters felt both candidates had attacked the other unfairly.


Pikeville Under Boil Water Advisory

Officials say a main water line break caused an outage Tuesday afternoon for all customers in the city of Pikevillle.

Mountain Water District officials say crews drilling to replace a gas line hit the main Pikeville water line.

Crews have repaired the line and water is being restored.

Officials say the city of Pikeville is under a boil water advisory


UK Drug and Alcohol Research Manager Accused Of Growing Marijuana

Fifty-one year old Tracey Ellerbe, a manager in the University of Kentucky's Center on Drug and Alcohol Research, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a charge of cultivation of more than five marijuana plants. Police say, when Lexington firefighters responded to a fire Monday afternoon, they found more than 40 marijuana plants growing in her home. Fire officials said the grow lights Ellerbe was using in her attic had overloaded a circuit, causing a fire that left the home with significant damage. According to a document filed in Fayette District Court, Ellerbe admitted to growing the marijuana for personal use.


Fraud Hotline Gets Early Calls

Across the state, polls opened at 6:00 A.M. Tuesday morning. By 11:00 A.M., the Kentucky election fraud hot-line had received 54 calls with complaints in 29 counties, including one allegation of vote-buying in Crittenden County.


Mount Sterling Woman Sentenced

Patsy Jackson, 62, of Mount Sterling, was sentenced to 90 days in jail but the sentence was conditionally discharged for two years if as she commits no further criminal offenses. Jackson pleaded guilty in Madison District Court to a charge of reckless abuse of a vulnerable adult, a Class A misdemeanor, after a mentally disabled resident at a facility in Berea received minor injuries in September 2009.
Under the terms of her guilty plea, Jackson can't work with vulnerable adults.


EPA Seeks Consolidation Of Mining Lawsuits

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lawyers are seeking to combine a series of lawsuits by state regulators and coal industry groups that oppose the Obama administration's crackdown on mountaintop removal coal mining. Justice Department lawyers have asked U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver in Charleston to transfer West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin's suit against federal regulators to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and told him they would also be seeking to transfer two cases filed in federal court in Kentucky to D.C. The lawyers say
all the complaints challenge the same agency actions, they raise common questions of law and fact, they assert identical claims, they seek identical relief and judicial efficiency will be served by resolution of all claims in a single court. The suits all allege the EPA bypassed required procedures by starting the tougher permit reviews and imposing the water quality guidance without first completing public review and comment on the actions.


West Virginia Supreme Court Upholds State Suspension

West Virginia's Supreme Court has upheld the state mine safety office's authority to suspend the miner's certificate of locomotive driver William Coulson after a drug test found he'd taken a prescription pain medication without a prescription. Two years ago, Victor Goudy died after being pinned between a locomotive and a rail car that were struck by a second locomotive, operated by Coulson, inside Consol Energy's McElroy Mine in Marshall County. The state suspended Coulson, but the Coal Mine Safety Board of Appeals overturned the suspension on procedural grounds, a ruling later upheld by Kanawha County Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr. The Supreme Court overruled Zakaib and sent the case back to the disciplinary panel.


Fatal Accident In Wayne County

Wayne County Deputies say Christina Cooper was driving on Sunnyside Drive in Fort Gay Monday when she lost control of her vehicle, hit an embankment and flipped her car, fatally ejecting a passenger, 20 year old Jaren Henson of Louisa, Kentucky. Cooper was taken to Three Rivers Medical Center in Louisa before being flown by helicopter to Cabell Huntington. A juvenile, who also was also riding in the car, was taken to Cabell Huntington Hospital. Cooper was cited on Sunday for speeding and warned to slow down.


Chapmanville Man Sentenced

Brian Lee Corbett, 34, of Chapmanville will spend almost 20 years in prison on charges of aggravated bank robbery after pleading guilty in May to robbing the Boone County Bank branch in Logan County December 8, 2009. Wearing a mask, Corbett pointed two loaded guns at the tellers and made off with roughly $33,000. A friend, Jason Williamson, who later pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact, drove Corbett away, and they abandoned the car and hid the mask and some of Corbett's clothes. Williamson was sentenced last month to 21 months in prison.


Strike At Cabell-Huntington Hospital

Approximately 800 union-represented workers of the Cabell Huntington Hospital's 2,300 employees, including licensed practical nurses, lab workers and service and maintenance personnel, cast votes Monday and Tuesday, overwhelmingly rejecting the contract offered. Officials will be sending in a 10 day strike notice to the hospital Wednesday morning.


Broadband For Rural WV

A West Virginia-based organization secured a federal grant to pay for the technology. The latest computer lab was installed in Raleigh County just last week.
John Cox is a paramedic and volunteer firefighter, but lately he’s tried on another professional hat, that of a teacher. He’s involved in a program made possible by federal stimulus grant money.

Last week, the Ghent Volunteer Fire Department became the latest participant in the Federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. It’s meant to bring educational opportunities as well as broadband to parts of the state.

A total of 60 computer labs will be installed across the state during the next three years.


Alleged Counterfeiters Arrested

West Virginia State Police arrested 21 year old Joshua Hatten and 20 year old Harold Thompson, both from Huntington, Monday after Hatten was stopped after he was observed weaving back and forth across the road. During a search of his SUV, troopers discovered a loaded piston under the front seat and that both men had counterfeit monies in their possession. Court documents indicate both men are convicted felons. Each faces numerous charges including counterfeiting.


Growth Experienced In Manufacturing

Manufacturing activity expanded last month at the fastest pace since May, driven by demand in the United States and abroad for cars, computers and other goods.

The report signals that U.S. factory output, which slowed over the summer, remains a strong player in an otherwise weak economy. A separate report on Monday showed that manufacturing in China, the world's second-largest economy, also grew.

The Institute for Supply Management said Monday that its manufacturing index read 56.9 in October, up from 54.4 in September. It was the 15th straight month of growth. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

Still, much of the U.S. economy's health depends on consumer spending and the gains in manufacturing can't be sustained unless that picks up.


Lawsuits Allege Jail And Prison Sexual Abuse

Attorneys Mike and Matthew Woelfel of Huntington filed lawsuits between October 19th and 29th in Kanawha Circuit Court on behalf of eight women alleging that they were sexually abused and harassed while prisoners in West Virginia jails or prisons. The suits allege a widespread pattern of sexual misconduct by male guards, particularly at the Southern Regional Jail and Beckley Correctional Center in Raleigh County and Lakin Correctional Center in Mason County. Suits read that there has existed a continuing practice and pattern of sexual misconduct visited upon inmates at the hands of correctional officers, and this practice could not continue to occur without the tacit approval of supervisory staff of the West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority, and a conspiracy to conceal such sexual misconduct is ongoing. Mike Woelfel says their firm has found some of the regional jails are very well run from top to bottom, but they think some of the other regional jails have allowed pervasive sexual abuse to occur over a number of years.


Fall Foilage Beautiful

While this autumn has not been as colorful as usual, the view atop the mountain near Red Jacket at the site of the new Mingo County Central Comprehensive High School offers some pretty amazing vistas. Not only will students at the new school have state-of-the-art educational facilities, they will conduct their learning activities in a setting with beautiful views


Higher Cancer Rates In Appalachia To Be Studied

The National Cancer Institute has awarded a $6.5 million grant to the University of Kentucky to work with other states in addressing higher cancer rates in Appalachia.

The UK Prevention Research Center will use the grant to open the Appalachia Community Cancer Network at the university to serve Appalachian regions of Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

Institutions joining UK in the program include Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Virginia Tech and West Virginia University.

UK says community partners are collaborating on plans for the network, which will include programs in research, training and community outreach.


Marshall University Marathon

Marshall University expects a record number of participants for its seventh annual marathon.

The Marshall University Marathon will be held Sunday in Huntington. Race director Tom Dannals says more than 1,400 walkers and runners are entered from about 40 states.

Last year, 1,100 people entered the various races, which include a marathon, half marathon, a half-marathon relay and a five-mile walk.

This year's event includes an armed forces division, which has drawn 75 entries so far.

The marathon will finish at the end zone of Marshall's football stadium. Runners will be allowed the option of carrying a football over the final 100 yards.

Entries are being accepted through Saturday.


Who Is Responsible For Retiree Health Benefits?

Several county school boards plan to take a dispute over who is responsible for retiree health care benefits to the West Virginia Supreme Court.

In September, a circuit judge threw out a lawsuit filed by 50 of the state's 55 school boards that challenged the constitutionality of a 2006 law. The law allows the Public Employees Insurance Agency to charge government employers yearly amounts to address the state's unfunded liability from non-pension retiree costs.

School officials in Raleigh, Greenbrier, Summers and Fayette counties said they plan to appeal the case's dismissal to the Supreme Court.

The school boards say the state should have sole responsibility for funding retiree health care costs.

Monday, November 01, 2010


Skydiver Killed In Logan County

An experienced skydiver from Tennessee has died in south-central Kentucky after having trouble with his parachute during the grand opening of a skydiving operation.

Logan County Sheriff's Deputy Jim Ray says 33-year-old Daniel Kopko of Hendersonville, Tenn., died of internal injuries after the dive at the Russellville-Logan County Airport.

Ray told the Daily News of Bowling Green that Kopko's parachute opened properly but that he had trouble controlling his descent.

Skydive Kentucky owner Jim Moore says Kopko was an experienced jumper with more than 1,000 skydives. Moore says one of Kopko's steering lines slipped from his hand during the jump.

The accident happened just before noon CDT Saturday and forced the cancellation of the rest of the event. Moore says it won't prevent the business from continuing with its plans in Russellville.


Marshall University Begins 2.5% Fee On Credit Cards

Marshall University will tack on a 2.5 percent fee to every payment a student makes with a credit card.

When a college student or a student's parent uses their credit card to pay for tuition or services, the university has to, in turn, pay credit card companies a fee. Since 2006, Marshall University has paid at least $285,000 in fees each year to credit card companies. Last year that number hit an all-time high of $380,000 and this year's cost was expected to be even more.

But instead, Marshall predicts the amount owed will drop by $325,000 thanks to the 2.5 percent fee the school began charging yesterday.

Marshall University has notified students and parents through letters and e-mails.


Former CAMC Chief Executive Dies On Hunting Trip

A former Charleston Area Medical Center chief executive died while hunting elk in Wyoming, family members confirmed Sunday.

Philip Goodwin, who served as chief executive officer of CAMC for nearly 20 years, died of natural causes, according to his son, Grey.

Hunters found Goodwin near a tree stand he had set up in the woods. Goodwin went on the trip with a guide, but they apparently were stationed in different places when he died, Grey said.

Goodwin retired from CAMC in 2000. He was 70.


Four Types Of Love Identified

Researchers at West Virginia University have identified four distinct types of love that can produce the same euphoric feeling as using cocaine.

The meta-analysis study "The Neuroimgaing Love" compares data from around the world, and identifies passionate, companion, maternal and unconditional love as four distinguishable emotions.

Each type of love stimulates different parts of the brain and elicits unique chemical and hormonal responses, said James W. Lewis, an assistant professor at the WVU School of Medicine Sensory Neuroscience Research Center.

Love is much more complex than a basic level of emotion, and the study's findings raises the question -- does cognition drive a person's sex drive and feelings of love, is it the other way around, or a combination, Lewis said.

The common factor between the four types of identified love is the reward system of the brain that the emotion stimulates -- the same area that certain drugs target.

When a person falls in love, 12 areas of the brain work together to release euphoria-inducing chemicals. The feeling of love also affects a person's intellectual areas of the brain and cognitive functions, such as body image and social awareness, Lewis said.


Excursion Train Set To Roll

Organizers expect an excursion train from Roanoke, Va., to Bluefield to attract more than 900 riders.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports that the Amtrak Fall 2010 Excursion Train is scheduled to leave Roanoke at 8 a.m. on Nov. 7 and arrive in Bluefield at 11:30 a.m. The train will head back to Roanoke at 2 p.m. The trip is sponsored by the Roanoke Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.

The Mercer County Convention and Visitors Bureau has created color-coded maps showing dining, vendors, entertainment, history and other locations in Bluefield.


Farm Conservation Honored

West Virginia is honoring three farms for practices aimed at conserving natural resources.

The West Virginia Conservation Agency says a Mason County farm operated by Clair Cottrill and his son Tim Cottrill has been named "Conservation Farm of the Year.''

The Cottrills milk more than 100 cows and grow soybeans and corn.

The agency says a beef cattle farm operated by Charles C. and Ann Parker in Monroe County is the second place winner. Ranked third is a cattle and tree farm in the Monongahela Conservation District run by Mike Morris.


Halloween Vandalism

The Kanawha County Sheriff's Department responded to several incidents Thursday night. Fire and police responded to a tree cut down blocking the road on Derrick's Creek Road.

Several egg throwing incidents in Pinch.

An abandoned apartment building near East Bank was also set ablaze Thursday night in what fire officials are calling Halloween vandalism.

The Crown Hill apartment building on state Route 61 was reported on fire at about 8 p.m., according to fire officials. Members of the Handley Volunteer Fire Department were on the scene for several hours extinguishing the blaze.

No arrests have been made, but authorities said they have some leads and a possible suspect.


Meth Lab Fire

A meth lab caught fire over the weekend in Sissonville.
The meth lab fire was located on Walker Drive. According to dispatchers, the meth lab caused a brush fire as well.

The Sissonville Fire Department handled the fire.


Hazmat Team Cleans Up Mercury Spill

Authorities said a Hazmat team responded to a spill near the 1700 block of Harveytown Road in Harveytown Park's parking lot.

Dispatchers said Sunday night they were dealing with a mercury spill.

Authorities at the scene said there is about 5-6 ounces of mercury that needed cleaned up.

Officials with Hazmat were called to dispose of the element.


Lexington Murder Trial Jury Selection

Jury selection has begun for a former school custodian accused of fatally shooting a fellow worker at a Lexington public school.

WKYT-TV in Lexington reports the jury is being chosen for the murder trial of Brian McGuire.

Leestown Middle School was on summer break and no students were there when Daniel Donato -- also a custodian -- was shot to death in July 2009.

McGuire has pleaded not guilty.


Courts Juggling Schedules For Murder Trial

Judges in two courts and a batch of attorneys are negotiating schedules to set a resentencing and new trial stemming from a 1991 killing in central Kentucky.

Scheduling issues, appeals and changes in attorneys have delayed setting dates for Michael St. Clair to return to court for the 1991 killing of Bardstown resident Frank Brady.

St. Clair won a new trial on capital kidnapping charges in Hardin County, where Brady disappeared from in 1991. He also won a new sentencing on capital murder charges on appeal in Bullitt County, where prosecutors say Brady was killed. Both decisions overturned death sentences.

The Elizabethtown News-Enterprise reports that during a hearing in Shepherdsville on Wednesday, special Judge Ken Conliffe set a Dec. 8 hearing to discuss scheduling.

St. Clair, who has gone through multiple attorneys, also is serving multiple life sentences, without parole, for murders convictions in Oklahoma.


Plastics Company To Expand In E-Town

A plastics packaging supplier is planning to invest about $8.7 million by January 2012 to expand a central Kentucky plant.

Fischbach USA, which makes plastics packaging for sealants and adhesives, will add a food product packaging line with the expansion. The Elizabethtown News-Enterprise reports that the move comes after the company received a performance-based incentive package up to $2 million approved preliminarily by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority through the Kentucky Reinvestment Act.

Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation president Rick Games says other companies have taken advantage of the incentives, including Akebono Brake Corp.


Kentucky Man Dies In Florida Collision With Deer

Authorities say a 67-year-old Kentucky man has died after crashing into a deer with his motorcycle.

The Florida Highway Patrol says George Taylor of Harrodsburg, Ky., swerved to try and avoid the deer but the two collided anyway on Saturday night near Myakka River State Park. The impact threw Taylor off his Harley, causing fatal injuries. Fellow rider, 65-year-old James Roe of Lexington, Ky., was also injured as he veered away from Taylor and the deer. Both men were taken to Bayfront Medical Center.


Fire At Historic Lexington Horse Farm

Investigators were trying to determine the cause of a fire that raced through an old mansion at a historic horse farm in Lexington.

Lexington Fire Department Capt. David Earnest estimates that three-quarters of the mansion at Dixiana Farms, including the oldest portion of the building, were a total loss.

The fire at the unoccupied building was spotted at about 4:45 a.m. EDT Saturday. Earnest says the lack of a fire hydrant at the scene complicated firefighting efforts. Earnest says fire department tanker trucks had to shuttle water to the blaze.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the original Dixiana Farm reportedly was founded about 1877 by a former Confederate soldier who later became sheriff of Fayette County. It was a leading Thoroughbred farm of the period.



Truck Rig Spills 44K Gallons Of Liquid

A Texas tractor trailer driver crashed his rig through a guardrail in western Kentucky, spilling 44,000 gallons of food-grade lactose onto the road causing it to close.

Kentucky State Police say 59-year-old Donald Kellog of Dallas left Interstate 24 Sunday, went through a guardrail and down an embankment before stopping on Port Authority Road. Food-grade lactose is a sugar commonly found in milk.

Kellog told troopers he wasn't feeling well and may have passed out while driving the truck. Troopers say Kellog was taken to Caldwell County Hospital for a minor head injury and evaluation.

Port Authority Road remained closed Sunday afternoon while the spill was cleaned up.


Natural Gas Stabilized For Winter

The Public Service Commission says Kentucky residential gas customers will see a small increase in heating costs this winter.

The PSC said natural gas prices have stabilized, and Kentucky customers can expect to pay about seven percent more this November over last year in homes where 10,000 cubit feet of gas is consumed. But the PSC noted that the average bill would be 35 percent lower than in 2008.

PSC Chairman David Armstrong noted that winter temperatures are the main factor in determining the amount of energy consumed by a household.

Armstrong says fuel prices have stabilized in large part because the sagging economy has reduced demand.


Child ID Kits

A statement from Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo's office says students in kindergarten through third grade will receive a child identification kit through their schools.

More than 221,000 kits paid for with a $205,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation will be passed out.

The kit provides parents with a way of collecting identifiable information from their child, including fingerprints, DNA, physical characteristics and a picture. It can be stored at home, but given to law enforcement if there is an emergency.


Man Injured During Attempted Copper Theft

When the power failed for about 2,500 eastern Kentucky customers, utility workers found an injured man on the ground near an electricity substation.

28-year-old Donald Shuler was shocked while trying to steal copper Sunday evening.

Investigators say Shuler suffered burns over 30 percent of his body and has a broken arm. He was airlifted to University of Kentucky Hospital. The KSP says Shuler is in serious condition and charges against him are pending.

Jackson Energy says a lot of damage was done to the substation in Beattyville.

Utility spokeswoman Karen Thomas says the outage in Lee County lasted about five hours and power was restored about midnight to all customers.


KSP Highway Fatality Report

630 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2010. This is 29 less
fatalities than reported for the same time period in 2009. There were
485 motor vehicle fatalities and 256 of those victims were not wearing
seat belts. Sixty-eight of those crashes involved a commercial motor
vehicle. Forty-nine fatal crashes involved a pedestrian and two
involved a scooter. Seventy-four crashes involved a motorcycle and
forty-two of those victims were not wearing helmets. Fifteen crashes
involved an ATV and thirteen victims were not wearing helmets. Five
crashes involved a bicycle. A total of 128 fatalities have resulted
from crashes involving the suspected use of alcohol.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Death Sentence For Bank Robbery Killer

Carlos Ordway has been sentenced to death for gunning down two men.

A Fayette County judge sentenced Ordway in the 2007 murders of 21-year-old Patrick Lewis and 25-year-old Rodriquez Turner. Both are believed to have been accomplices with Ordway in the 2007 robbery of the Chase bank on Poplar Level Road in Louisville.

Two tellers were shot and wounded in that robbery.


Defacing Headstones At Cemetery

Three juveniles were arrested after police said they broke and defaced several headstones at a family cemetery in Daviess County.

According to a news release from Kentucky State Police, the juveniles knocked over several headstones, broke a 6 foot tall headstone and scratched profanities into other headstones. They were also jumping up and down on the headstones.

The incident occurred on Saturday at around 2 p.m. The juveniles, who are from Owensboro and Maceo were cited and released to their legal guardians.

The state police did not release their names.

Violating graves is a class D felony.


November Adoption Awareness Month

Governor Steve Beshear has proclaimed November Adoption Awareness Month in Kentucky and is reminding Kentuckians to consider opening their hearts and homes to the state’s more than 800 waiting children.

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services’ (CHFS) Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) is responsible for the state’s child protection efforts, including foster care and adoption.

Secretary Janie Miller said that while the state’s success in the area of adoption requires strong collaborations among adoptive parents, the state and local communities, the heart of the program is the adoptive families.

Most of the state’s adoptions – 85 percent -- are by families who serve first as foster families, DCBS Adoption Services Branch Manager Mike Grimes said.

Adoption Support for Kentucky (ASK) – one of the primary resources for adoptive families -- received an Adoption Excellence Award from the Children's Bureau this year. ASK is a University of Kentucky-based consortium of parent-led adoptive parent support groups throughout the state, and the group works closely with DCBS and its Special Needs Adoption program (SNAP).

Of the more than 6,900 children in state out-of-home care, more than 1,800 children have the goal of adoption. Almost 800 children have had their parental rights terminated, which means they have no identified family available to care for them and are awaiting adoption.

Families who are interested in adoption are encouraged to let caseworkers know about the kinds of special needs they can be prepared to handle and if they are interested in caring for one or more than one child. Grimes said it can sometimes be challenging to find a permanent home for sibling groups or children with special needs.


Winter Rates For Golf At State Parks

Beginning today, Kentucky State Park golf courses will move to winter rates for daily play as well as overnight golf packages.

The “Chip Shot” golf package, which includes overnight lodging and 18 holes of golf with a golf cart, start at $59 plus tax per person based on double occupancy. The rate is effective through March 31, 2011.

The park system’s popular all inclusive – “Tee’s and Zzz’s” package – includes lodging, breakfast and dinner, 18 holes with a golf cart, gift card, and preferred tee times. The winter rates for this package start at $89 plus tax per person based on double occupancy through March 31, 2011.

Daily winter rate green fees range from $11 to $17 weekdays and $11 to $22 weekends (golf cart not included) through March 31, 2011. For more information on daily rates and golf packages visit our website at

There are 18 state park courses to choose from. The courses at Grayson Lake, General Burnside, Dale Hollow, Mineral Mounds, My Old Kentucky Home, Pine Mountain and Yatesville Lake – have all received national and statewide recognition in recent years.

Kentucky State Resort Parks feature full-service lodges and restaurants, along with other recreational opportunities such as hiking trails, tennis courts and picnic areas.

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