Saturday, November 20, 2010


Rowan County Accident Sends Driver To UK Hospital

Libby Caudill of Rowan County says she, along with her mother and stepfather, were sleeping around 3:00 A.M. Saturday morning when 19 year old Jake Colvin lost control of his truck on KY 801, flattening a tree, then driving into their home. After waking up with headlights in their eyes, Libby Caudill rushed to her mother, who was in bed, and found her covered completely by a table and debris. The only person hurt was Colvin who was airlifted to UK Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.


Push Under Way To Require Prescription For Cold Medications

Another push is under way to require prescriptions for popular over-the-counter decongestants that are key ingredients in the illegal drug methamphetamine.

Some Kentucky law enforcement officials contend that it's the only way to clamp down on the proliferation of meth labs. But opponents argue that making pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient in many cold medicines, a controlled drug will simply make it harder for legitimate users to obtain it.

Two bills that would have limited access to pseudoephedrine, including one making it prescription-only, failed in the legislature earlier this year. But it's already on the legislature's agenda when lawmakers convene in January.

Democratic state Rep. Linda Belcher of Shepherdsville says she intends to file a bill.


Police Ends Search For Missing Louisville Student

After more than a week, police ended their search of a landfill in southern Medora, Indiana for the remains of a missing Sullivan University student, 18 year old Andrew Compton, who was last seen October 28th. Police in Louisville confirmed Friday that they had stopped the search, but they say the investigation remains active.

Forty year old Gregory O'Bryan of Louisville is charged with murder, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse. His arrest came 12 days after Andrew Compton of Carmel, Indiana disappeared. O'Bryan has pleaded not guilty. O'Bryan's arrest report says he told police Compton died during sex and he disposed of the body.


Harlan County High School To Get New Stadium

When Richard Gilliam sold Cumberland Resources Corp., which was the parent company of Black Mountain Resources in Harlan County, to Massey Energy earlier this year, he made a $1 million donation from his private charitable foundation to Harlan County High School for a new football stadium and the county's first track and field facility. The stadium will be named Coal Miners Memorial Stadium and will include seating for 3,000 fans in its first phase with plans for later expansion.


Tea Party Ad Leads To Complaint

A complaint has been filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance over an advertisement placed by the Northern Kentucky Tea Party, claiming the ad amounted to an endorsement of candidates in violation of a statute that prohibits corporate political contributions. The ad ran in 10 community newspapers and The Kentucky Enquirer days before the November general election and listed candidates who indicated they would support and promote Tea Party principals if elected. Northern Kentucky Tea Party president Cathy Flaig says the advertisement was designed to be informational, not as an endorsement of candidates. Jonathan Brown, who is a member of the Boone County Board of Elections, said he filed the complaint not in that capacity, but as a registered voter in the county.


Eastern Kentucky University Dorms Robbed

Eastern Kentucky University police are investigating burglaries which occurred early Saturday morning in which laptops and other electronics were stolen from five rooms in Commonwealth Hall and one room in Keene Hall.
All of the rooms had been left unlocked overnight, and the burglaries happened when students were sleeping.


Tennessee Valley Authority Triples Pay For CEO

The Tennessee Valley Authority more than tripled the pay of its chief executive and will give employees bonuses averaging more than $6,900. An annual report released Friday by the utility showed President Tom Kilgore was paid a record high $3.6 million in the fiscal year that ended in September. Overall, TVA employees got more than $94 million in bonuses after meeting most of its annual performance standards in fiscal 2010. The utility's 90 top executives will average more than $120,000 each and nonexecutive employees will get checks averaging $6,917 each. Salaried employees are also getting an average raise this fall of 2.9 percent. TVA officials defended the bonuses and pay hike by pointing out that the utility surveys comparable businesses to set compensation levels.


Kentucky Will Seek Federal Funds For Small Businesses

Gov. Steve Beshear has announced Kentucky has filed a Notice of Intent to Apply for $15,487,998 in federal funds from the U.S. Department of Treasury for state small business lending programs.  The funds, which are part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, will be used to facilitate increased private lending to Kentucky’s small businesses.  

On October 27, 2010, HR 5297, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, was signed into law, establishing the State Small Business Credit Initiative.  The initiative, which provides $1.5 billion in grants to states for support of small business lending programs, allocates $15,487,998 for Kentucky.  The funds are intended to be used to unlock credit for small businesses and provide support to local entrepreneurs. 

“The more than $15.4 million in federal funding will be used to leverage private funds so that lenders will extend more credit to Kentucky’s small businesses, which are a critical component of the state’s economic health and recovery,” said Gov. Beshear. “We look forward to working with numerous partner organizations across the Commonwealth to develop vital programs that will help stimulate small business growth.” 
Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Larry Hayes filed the Notice of Intent to Apply on behalf of the Commonwealth.  Cabinet for Economic Development staff are currently meeting with private lenders to determine how the federal funds can be used to have the greatest impact on Kentucky small businesses.  The resulting small business credit programs will be submitted as part of the state’s formal application for the funds, which is expected to be filed in the first half of 2011.

“This is an excellent opportunity to develop and implement critical programs that will greatly benefit Kentucky’s small business owners and entrepreneurs,” said Secretary Hayes. “Through our daily interactions with small businesses across the Commonwealth, it has been made clear just how important these programs are to their success.”


Federal Investigation Includes Manchin Campaign Finance Reports

A federal investigation of former Governor Joe Manchin's administration includes a request for his 1996 campaign finance reports. Lawyers with the U.S. Department of Justice asked Secretary of State Natalie Tennant's office for the documents in mid-September. A subpoena issued by lawyers with the Department of Justice's Public Integrity Section, which leads federal efforts to combat corruption among public officials, sought campaign finance reports filed by the 1996 gubernatorial campaign of Joseph Manchin III, who unsuccessfully ran for governor in 1996 but lost the Democratic primary to former state Senator Charlotte Pritt. According to reports, Manchin spent $2.2 million in that race, about twice as much as Pritt, and ended his campaign in debt. The subpoena directed Tennant to turn over the records to a grand jury on October 6th. Manchin spokeswoman Sara Payne Scarbro said Friday that Manchin "had no knowledge" of the subpoena.

In recent months, federal investigators also have subpoenaed West Virginia's Division of Highways, Department of Administration and its Aviation Division. The Manchin administration never released the contents of those subpoenas, despite numerous requests to do so.


Raleigh County Armed Robbery

Raleigh County authorities say, around 4:15 A.M. Saturday ,morning, two white male suspects entered the  U.S. 19 Sunoco gas station off Corridor L in Bradley, and, while one of them brandished a small-caliber gun, they demanded money from the clerk, before fleeing the store, getting away with an undisclosed amount of cash. Both suspects were wearing blue jeans, camouflage jackets and masks. The investigation is ongoing.


Charleston Jury Indicts Teen In Fatal Shooting And Robberies

Antonio Summers, 17, was indicted by a grand jury Thursday in Charleston after investigators say he fatally  shot 14 year old Damion Blaney in April, just a month after he robbed a man and woman outside the South Hills Fruth Pharmacy. Kanawha County Prosecutor Mark Plants just identified Summers this week. Laws protecting the identities of juveniles had caused officials to withhold his name in connection to the crimes until now. Police say Summers was involved in a physical fight with another juvenile on April 12th near the playground at Glenwood Elementary School when he pulled a gun from his waistband during the fight and fired a shot at the other teen but missed, instead striking Damion, who had been standing nearby but had not been involved in the altercation. Damion was pronounced dead at Charleston Area Medical Center's General Hospital hours after the shooting.

Police say, in March, he jumped into a vehicle outside Fruth Pharmacy, grabbed Nice Cook around the neck and stole her purse and then, while attempting to flee, brandished a handgun and stole the wallet of  bystander David Conkle. Summers was indicted on one count of murder and two counts of first-degree robbery. Summers is set to appear in court December 17th.


MSHA Extends Deadline Involving Massey Citation

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has extended a deadline for Massey Energy to resolve a citation accusing the company of impeding the government's investigation into the Upper Big Branch mine explosion.
The deadline had been set for Friday, but MSHA extended it to 3:00 P.M. November 29th. MSHA has asked Massey to supply water to the area for sprayer testing on mining equipment, but Massey officials say they want more time to examine a key area before complying.


Walmart Donates Thousands To West Virginia Programs

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have donated more than $265,000 to address hunger and health concerns in West Virginia. The latest recipients of the West Virginia State Giving program are Huntington Area Food Bank, which received $150,000 to enhance its mobile food pantry program, Share our Strength West Virginia, which received $50,000 to further its No Kid Hungry campaign, The Goshen Project, which received $40,254 to help provide backpacks with food to at-risk children in Logan and $25,000 to the Milan Puskar Health Right, a primary care clinic in northcentral West Virginia.
Interested organizations may apply for a grant, which is awarded twice a year, online at


Painting Found In West Virginia...Auctioned For Thousands

 A painting that was found under decades of dust in a West Virginia attic has been sold in Texas. Heritage Auctions said the 5-foot-by-7-foot painting of the Texas Revolution’s decisive Battle of San Jacinto was expected to go for $100,000 to $150,000, but it sold on Saturday at an auction in Dallas for $334,600.
H.A. McArdle painted the work in 1901, five years after he did a large mural of the scene in the Senate chamber of the Texas Capitol. The painting was lost for almost a century after McArdle’s family moved to West Virginia. It was discovered earlier this year in the attic of McArdle great-granddaughter Lynn Bland Buell’s home in Weston, West Virginia.


Kanawha Board Of Education Approves Traditional Calendar

The Kanawha Board of Education has voted 4-1 to accept a traditional calendar for the 2011-2012 school year. Board member Becky Jordon cast the lone dissenting vote, saying she preferred an early-start calendar. Under that proposed plan, teachers would have started school August 8th and students would have begun August 11th and would have finished the year by May 17th, without any make-up days, or May 23rd, if all six make-up days were used. Teachers would have finished May 24th. The approved traditional calendar will have teachers back in school August 17th. with students following on August 22nd and their last day being May 29th, or June 4th, if all make-up days are used.
The last day for teachers will be June 5th.


IRS Says West Virginia Refunds Still At Federal Office

 The Internal Revenue Service is unable to deliver tax refund checks to 318 West Virginians. Because of faulty mailing addresses, $277,000 worth of tax refunds are languishing at the federal IRS office. The average amount of the checks is $873. IRS officials say people move and don't give the post office their new address. Some of the taxpayers have more than one check because they have not received multiple years worth of refunds.
Anyone who has not received their 2009 federal refund check should contact the IRS office at 1-800-829-1954 or access the information online at


Board Threatens To Pull Mountain State School Of Nursing Accreditation


The West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses says the Mountain State University's School of Nursing has failed to provide sufficient learning opportunities for students and not enough students were passing the licensure examination, among other problems. The school, which has been under review for failure to meet standards since 2004, has two months to comply with the board's demands or face the possibility of losing the board's accreditation. Among other penalties, the school cannot admit new students for at least 15 months. Mountain State's vice president of legal affairs Jon Reed says the school will do what it takes to meet the requirements.


Huntington Police Locate Missing Marshall University Student


Marshall University student Ruth "Tuesday" Hovemeyer, who was reported missing on November 16th after none of her friends or family had seen or heard from her since November 11th, was found unharmed in Huntington Saturday. Hovemeyer told West Virginia State Troopers that she had gone out of town without informing her family and had just returned, unaware she had been reported as a missing person, and she apologized for the inconvenience she had caused. Friday, her mother, Sue Hovemeyer expressed concern over her daughter's whereabouts.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Santa Train Makes 68th Run

Making its 68th run, the Santa Train left around 6:30 A.M. Saturday morning from Shelbiana in Pike County, Kentucky, on its way through Virginia back home to Kingsport, Tennessee where Chamber of Commerce employees organize the train every year. The train, which was started by the Kingsport Merchants Bureau Fund in 1943, is billed as the country's longest Christmas parade.

On Wednesday, around 200 people gathered outside the Food City in Kingsport to stuff boxes and bags of donated gifts to be distributed. Meanwhile, $200,000 of donations from the Kids Wish Network in Florida were railing their way to Kentucky where CSX employees spent the latter half of the week preparing, decorating and loading the train for its start in Pike County.


Construction Progress At Pikeville College

In only two weeks, the site preparation for the new School of Osteopathic Medicine building is well underway.  Excavation of a large amount of the hillside has left a quick impression of the where it will rest as it reaches over nine stories above Hambley Boulevard.
A gigantic crane has also been erected, giving the Pikeville skyline a new look. Each day brings a new development in the construction process.


Pike County Man Convicted

After nine hours of deliberation, a Pike County jury has convicted Justin Robinson of Shelbiana severely beating his girlfriend's son in June 2009. Police said the child had severe bruising on his entire head and a fractured leg by the time his mother got home from work and took the child to the Pikeville Medical Center. Robinson's first trial in June ended with a hung jury. 


Sypher Doesn't Want Judge Disqualified

Prosecutors in the case against a woman convicted of trying to extort millions from University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino are asking a court not to grant her request to disqualify the judge in the case.

Karen Sypher's request last month that U.S. District Judge Charles R. Simpson III be disqualified was filed after she fired the attorney who represented her at trial and hired a new lawyer, David Nolan of Washington, D.C.

Sypher was convicted in August of three counts of extortion, two counts of lying to the FBI and a count of retaliation against a witness. She has not been sentenced.

In asking for a new judge, Nolan said that Simpson has too many close ties to U of L.

The response from prosecutors said the request was untimely, legally insufficient and should be denied.


MSHA Places KY Mines On Notice


Federal regulators have placed 13 mines around the nation, including four underground coal mines in Kentucky, on notice that they must improve safety or face possible increased shutdowns. MSHA officials announced Friday it issued 286 citations and orders during October impact inspections at 13 coal mines in seven states. The inspections involved mines with poor compliance histories or other problems that worry regulators. MSHA chief Joe Main says this has been a wake-up call for even the most resistant mine operators. The most problematic of the nation’s 14,500 mines in the past year has been Left Fork Mining Co.'s Straight Creek No. 1 Mine in Bell County, Kentucky. MSHA has ordered it to close 92 times between November1, 2009, and October 31, 2010. In May, a federal judge ordered Left Fork’s parent, Manalapan Mining Co., to stop warning underground miners that inspectors had arrived on site. Main said his inspectors successfully seized phone lines at the eastern Kentucky mine on October 29th. That inspection resulted in 15 citations for violations and five orders relating to such issues as the accumulation of explosive materials, equipment maintenance and venting.


Kentucky Retirement Systems Will Require Larger Contributions

The Kentucky Retirement Systems board of trustees will require larger contributions from local governments to cover the rising costs faced by the County Employees Retirement System in the coming year.

Local governments will now contribute 18.96 percent of non-hazardous-duty employees' salaries to the retirement system and 35.76 percent for hazardous-duty employees. That reflects a 2.03 percent and 2.51 percent increase respectively.

The Kentucky League of Cities said the higher rates will increase the costs to city governments by some $17 million next fiscal year. Some local officials are warning that the increase could lead to layoffs.


Passport Health Plan Admits Mistakes

The head of a Louisville group that contracts with state government to provide medical care for the poor and disabled is acknowledging "we have made mistakes" and is promising to fix them.

Dr. Larry Cook, chairman and chief executive officer of Passport Health Plan, released a statement Thursday saying an immediate search will begin for a full-time CEO to oversee a management overhaul after state auditors discovered questionable spending practices.

State officials want Passport to reimbursement the state for funds spent on luxury hotels, meals and lobbying.

Passport has received more than $2.5 billion in taxpayer dollars over the past three years to manage health care services for 164,000 people in the Louisville area.


Insurers Ordered To Sell Child-Only Policies

The state has ordered health insurers to resume selling child-only policies.

Kentucky Insurance Commissioner Sharon Clark says the order goes into effect Jan. 1.

Insurers had stopped selling such plans earlier this year because the new health-reform law would have required them to accept children with pre-existing medical conditions.

In a report on a hearing she held on the subject last month, Clark concluded that insurers decisions to stop offering child-only policies violated Kentucky law and causes unfair discrimination to some children.


Disposal Of Turkey Frying Oil In Lexington

Lexington residents who fry their turkeys will have an environmentally friendly way to dispose of the cooking oil after Thanksgiving.

The city of Lexington and Bluegrass PRIDE, or Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment, will collect used cooking oil on Nov. 26 and Nov. 27 at the city's recycling facility.

A news release from the city says the oil will be recycled into biofuel and animal feed.

Disposing of the oil is free. Hours are 9 a.m. to noon both days.


Williams Reports $500,000 Fundraiser In Lexington


The campaign mananger for Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams is reporting $500,000 banked from a fundraiser in Lexington.
Scott Jennings said Thursday that the contributions were still being counted from Wednesday's event, and that the total could exceed $500,000.

Williams, the state Senate president, is running against Louisville businessman Phil Moffett in next May's GOP primary.

Incumbent Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has drawn only token opposition from Harlan County scrap metal dealer Otis Hensley for his party's nomination.

Lexington attorney Gatewood Galbraith is running as an independent candidate.


KY Jobless Rate Falls...Slightly

 Kentucky's jobless rate has fallen slightly, but still remained in double-digits for October.

The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training said the jobless rate reached 10 percent last month, down from 10.1 percent in September.

Chief labor market analyst Justine Detzel said Thursday that new hiring in seven job sectors added about 7,300 people to the workforce in October. Detzel said rising employment is a sign that the state's economy is improving.

The state's leisure and hospitality sector accounted for 3,400 of the new jobs in October. The professional and business services sector added 2,900 jobs.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector was hit hardest by unemployment, having lost 2,900 jobs in October. The information sector dropped another 600 positions, the government sector lost 200, and the mining and logging sector lost 100.


Governor And Wife Lead Food Drive


Gov. Steve Beshear and first lady Jane Beshear are spearheading a drive to deliver help from state workers and visitors to Kentucky's hungry.
A monthlong drive is under way with collection bins outside the governor's office in the Capitol and in buildings housing the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the Department for Libraries and Archives, State Central Lab, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the State Office Building.

Donations of canned goods and non-perishable food items will be divided between two Franklin County food banks -- Access Soup Kitchen and Franklin County Women's Shelter.

The governor's office says both facilities are operating at full capacity.
The food drive began Monday and runs through Dec. 17.


Nursing Home Death Award

The family of a man for died after nine days in a Madisonville nursing home has won a $42.75 million verdict.

Attorney Lisa Circeo argued in court that 92-year-old Joseph Clint Offutt died because Harborside of Madisonville staff neglected him. She said Offutt suffered severe dehydration, malnutrition, bedsores and infections, all of which lead to his death in April 2008.

Offutt was a World War II veteran who was still planting crops at age 88. After a stroke in 2007, his wife of 58 years, Pearline, cared for him at home for eight months before the family decided he needed professional care.

Nursing home administrator Carol Britt told the Lexington Herald-Leader the size of Tuesday's verdict was "outrageous and totally inappropriate." She said the company would appeal.


Supreme Court Dismisses Lawsuit Stemming From Mingo County Slaying

The West Virginia Supreme Court has unanimously agreed to dismiss a lawsuit stemming from a State Police investigation into the 2005 slaying of drug informant Carla Collins which occurred in Mingo County. Betty Jarvis, a former Kanawha County school board member, and Wanda Carney, who were convicted of conspiracy and obstruction, claimed they were prosecuted in retaliation for their involvement in the investigation that followed the killing. The Supreme Court reversed the pair's criminal convictions in 2008.
Jarvis and Carney sued the State Police and three troopers, and the case reached the Supreme Court after Kanawha Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib refused to dismiss the lawsuit. The Supreme Court reversed Zakaib's ruling, saying that, in order for Jarvis and Carney to sue, they would have to prove the troopers acted without probable cause when arresting them. During a hearing in September, a lawyer representing the State Police and the troopers said the grand jury that indicted Jarvis and Carney found probable cause.
The State Police and troopers also asked the Supreme Court to affirm their qualified immunity from negligence lawsuits. The court did not do that.


MSHA Warns Mining Operations To Improve Safety

Friday, federal regulators warned 13 mining operations in seven states, including two owned by Massey Energy Co., to show improvement on safety or face stricter enforcement. MSHA officials say Massey's Upper Big Branch mine also meets the criteria for inclusion on the list that might qualify as having a pattern of serious violations, but actions against UBB and Massey subsidiary, Performance Coal Co., are on hold until the completion of an investigation into the April blast that killed 29 men. Virginia-based Massey says it will review the documents the agency used to formulate its list, discuss the violations with officials and take corrective action.

The 13 sites identified as potentially having a pattern of serious violations include four coal mines in Kentucky, three in West Virginia, two in Tennessee, and one each in Illinois, Alabama, Montana and Nevada.


Massey Prepared To Complete UBB Investigation

Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship says the company is prepared to complete its investigation into the April explosion that killed 29 Upper Big Branch miners, if federal regulators cooperate. Blankenship said Friday that Massey officials can tag-along with MSHA investigators, but the company isn’t being treated as a partner in the investigation. He called MSHA’s treatment of Massey unprecedented. MSHA has said it hopes to complete its investigation by mid-2011. Blankenship says besides obtaining some test results, Massey could finish its investigation before that.

MSHA has blamed improper rock dusting and excess coal dust as a factor in the explosion. Blankenship says he doesn't believe coal dust, which is flammable, played a factor in the explosion because the fire didn't spread throughout the mine. Blankenship believes natural gas is to blame.


Some West Virginia Retailers Removing Caffeinated Alcoholic Beverages


This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning against the use of caffeine in alcoholic beverages at any level, saying it was recognized as an "unsafe food additive." The West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration, the West Virginia Beer Wholesalers' Association and the West Virginia Retailers Association have signed on to voluntarily stop selling the products. Some retailers in West Virginia are opting to voluntarily remove the caffeinated alcoholic beverages that have generated a lot of controversy in recent weeks from their stores, at least until federal officials can confirm the safety of the beverages that include alcohol and caffeine. The issue is the effects a lot of caffeine and a lot of alcohol have on those drinking the products when the two are combined. Officials say the caffeine may mute the effects of the alcohol until it wears off, making it difficult for people to tell when they've had too much to drink.

Nationallly, the following companies have received notifications from the FDA that, without formula changes, their listed products could be seized:
**United Brands Company: Joose and Max
**Phusion Projects: Four Loko
**New Century Brewing: Moonshot
**Charge Beverages: Core High Gravity HG, Core High Gravity HG Orange and Lemon Lime Core Spiked


Manchin Co-Sponsors Health Care Repeal


U.S. Senator Joe Manchin announced Friday that he is co-sponsoring an amendment that would repeal the portion of the federal health care reform legislation that requires small businesses to file 1099 forms, which would report payments made for certain goods and services to the IRS. Manchin says small businesses are struggling to make ends meet, and this large paperwork burden is the wrong approach to jump-start the economy. Manchin says the entire health care bill needs to be re-examined and changes need to be made right away, and repealing the 1099 provision which puts a burden on small businesses is the right way to start. Under the reform legislation as it now stands, Form 1099 would show how much money businesses pay to corporations, while keeping track of their tax liability. That measure would take effect in January 2012.


West Virginia Citizen Action Group Files Petition With State Supreme Court

Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, in his role as Senate President, House Speaker Rick Thompson and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant are named in a petition filed Friday with the state Supreme an attorney representing the West Virginia Citizen Action Group asking the court to weigh in on the issue of gubernatorial succession. The group argues the West Virginia Constitution requires a prompt new election after the resignation of a governor less than three years into the term, making it unconstitutional for such a Special Election to be delayed for two years. It says, despite requests to correct the  statute to comply with the Constitution's intent, the Legislature, led by President Tomblin and Speaker Thompson, has not acted and has indicated that there will not be a prompt legislative special session to address this issue. The group wants an election within 90 days of the order from the state Supreme Court, and, if such an order is issued, it's asking that the case be expedited.


Deadly Obsession Nets Mercer County Man Prison Time

Thomas C. Shrader of Mercer County was sentenced this week to 19 years and 7 months by U.S. District Judge Irene Berger who opted for the maximum under proposed penalties for offenders deemed armed career criminals. Shrader was found guilty earlier this year of interstate stalking and of being a felon in possession of firearms. Prosecutors say an obsessed Shrader had tracked down his ex-girlfriend, identified as D. S., and her family in Texas before phoning her and then, last year, sending her a 32-page ultimatum that warned, "Running won't do you any good." In July 1975, Shrader went to the girl's home following their high school breakup, and, with a rifle, blasted his way in and fatally shot Howard Adams Jr., a family friend who was visiting while on leave from the military, and the girl's mother. He was sentenced to a life term with a chance for parole and was released from prison in 1993. He escaped from the McDowell County Jail in the late 1970s and went to look for D. S. while on the lam.


Miners Address New MSHA Rule

United Mine Workers officials turned out Thursday to support the Obama administration's rule to require mine operators to do more to control the buildup of explosive coal dust in underground mines, but some miners say federal officials aren't listening to their concerns. Thursday dozens of coal miners attended a public hearing hosted by MSHA about a federal rule that increases the amount of incombustible material in underground mines to prevent explosions underground. MSHA leaders say they looked at a report issued in August 2010 by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and drew from their own experiences to come up with the change. Some of those who work underground say, while it's a great thing  they're trying to do, miners have far more concern about scrubbers, saying a device that moves dust out is a more feasible method, but they say MSHA doesn't allow it. The West Virginia Coal Association spoke about the use of scrubbers. MSHA has 9 months from the time the emergency rule on rock dust goes into effect to announce a final rule. That should happen in June of 2011.


Traffic Stop Leads To Arrest


A traffic stop near the Dunbar exit on Interstate 64 Thursday resulted in the arrest of 25 year old Eric Kelly Simmons of Handley  after a small baggie of marijuana was found laying in a cup holder, and another large bag of marijuana containing 400 grams, almost one pound, with a street value of about $4,000 was found. Sheriff's Deputies also seized more than $800 from Simmons, who was placed on a $25,000 cash-only bond.


West Virginia Supreme Court Reverses Ruling Against Johnson & Johnson

The West Virginia Supreme Court has reversed a ruling and nearly $4.5 million penalty against drugmaker Johnson & Johnson, ruling that a lower court erred when it did not allow Johnson & Johnson to defend itself against evidence after federal authorities said its literature regarding two drugs was false or misleading. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration had twice warned the company that brochures on its narcotic pain patch Duragesic contained false or misleading statements. A Brook County Circuit judge also ruled the company's November 2003 letter on schizophrenia drug Risperdal intentionally modified the FDA's warning language and misled healthcare professionals.


Rockefeller Discusses Cable Disputes

In a hearing held this week by the Senate Commerce Committe's Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, turned a discussion on recent disputes between broadcasters and cable operators to a more pressing topic on his mind: the 24-hour presence of Fox News and MSNBC on cable television, and the 24-hour news cycle. In particular, he expressed concern over the need for these channels to constantly develop content, and how often the end result is a "race to the bottom. ""We have journalism that is always ravenous for the next rumor, but insufficiently hungry for the facts that can nourish our democracy," he said. Rockefeller also said that, if the companies do not address the problems ranging from money disputes, regulations and customer complaints about rising prices and blackouts, then government will be forced to step in.


West Virginia Turnpike Authority Preparing For Winter


The West Virginia Turnpike Authority is preparing for winter snow. To avoid a repeat of 2009 when several cars were stalled in snow for hours, the West Virginia Turnpike Authority has new additions scheduled for the turnpike. Nineteen variable message boards have been upgraded to alert drivers of hazardous driving conditions, and 23 cameras will be installed on boards to help dispatchers monitor traffic flow. The newest additions come after West Virginia Turnpike installed four emergency median barrier gates, in March, to allow traffic to divert to the other side of the road. More maintenance crews will also be dispatched on the roadway to make sure driving conditions are safe for motorists.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Nunn's Attorneys Appear In Court


During a hearing Thursday morning in Fayette Circuit Court, Warren Scoville, one of the attorneys  for former state Representative Steve Nunn, said the defense team has no plans to request a change of venue for the murder trial set for August 1, 2011. Nunn is charged with the murder of his former fiancee, Amanda Ross, who was fatally shot outside her home on September 11, 2009. The defense has until December 31st to give notice it intends to claim Nunn has a mental defect or mental illness, and, if the defense plans to use such an argument, prosecutors have until January 31st to have their own expert evaluate Nunn.


Former Paul Supporter Pleads Not Guilty

Fifty-three year old Tim Profitt, a former campaign volunteer for Republican U.S. Sen.-elect Rand Paul, has pleaded not guilty to assault after a news crew shot footage of Profitt and other supporters of Paul restraining Lauren L. Valle, 23, an activist with the liberal group The confrontation happened outside the debate last month between Paul and his Democratic opponent, Jack Conway. Proffit says he was concerned the woman was attempting to attack Paul, and he only acted to subdue her.


Up date On Knott County Shooting

A shooting investigation is underway in Knott County after police say a woman was shot in both wrists early Monday morning.

The incident happened just after midnight Monday in the Soft Shell community. Police say Serena Sears, 33, and Enoch Watts, 46, both of Soft Shell, had apparently been involved in an argument at another location, and ended up at their residence in Soft Shell. The dispute continued, while Sears and the couples's small child were occupying a vehicle, and a firearm was brandished. Sears received a single gunshot wound to both arms. She was transported to Hazard ARH, then later to the University of Kentucky Medical Center, for treatment of her injuries. She remains in stable condition
Watts was taken to McDowell ARH, where he was treated for minor injuries, and released. He is being held in the Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard on charges of first degree assult, domestic violence, fourth-degree domestic violence, first-degree wanton endangerment and endangering the welfare of a minor.


Newborn Comes In The Fast Lane

Baby number five came a little quicker than a northern Kentucky couple anticipated. Charlie Harmon was driving his wife, Krista, to the hospital Monday night after she started having contraction, but they hadn't gone far when she told him they weren't going to make it - the baby was coming.

Charlie Harmon pulled onto the shoulder of AA Highway and ran around to the other side of the vehicle in time to catch the newborn. Krista Harmon told The Kentucky Enquirer that they were in such shock it took them a few minutes to find out that they had a baby girl.

Mother and daughter, Karleigh Anne Harmon, were both doing well at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Edgewood.


KY Baptists Cut Funding

Kentucky Baptists have voted to cut staff and programs as part of a plan to send more money to missionaries overseas. The vote is in line with a task force recommendation to transfer funding to the mission work.

The 621-317 vote Tuesday took place at the annual meeting of the Kentucky Baptist Convention at Immanuel Baptist Church in Lexington. The Courier-Journal reports that Baptists voted to make the cuts more gradually than originally proposed, approving the task force's revised recommendation to spread out the cuts across 10 years.

The move slightly reduced the levels of cuts in the first year to programs within the Kentucky Baptist Convention and two affiliated colleges, Campbellsville University and the University of the Cumberlands.


Deputy Cleared In Civil Suit Over Shooting

A federal jury has cleared deputy sheriff in central Kentucky in a civil lawsuit over a shooting.

The lawsuit accused Bourbon County Deputy Ed Rodgers of using excessive force after he shot an unarmed man in a dark field.

Rodgers was sent in 2007 to check the welfare of Robert Brewer, who had been drinking, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported. Rodgers testified that when he arrived, he saw a weapon and thought he had been fired on so he fired his gun.

Brewer's attorneys questioned how reasonable it was that Rodgers believed Brewer had a gun since no weapon was ever found.

The jury reached the verdict Nov. 10. Two previous trials ended with juries not being able to reach a verdict.


Nationwide Fraud Program To Protect The Vulnerable

Kentucky has joined 23 other states in a nationwide program aimed at protecting older people from investment fraud and financial exploitation.

Participating states will work with medical professionals to detect cases in which the elderly are being scammed or are at risk of being ripped off by an investment con artist.

Gov. Steve Beshear's office said Wednesday that the program will train Kentucky medical professionals on how to spot elderly patients who may be especially vulnerable to financial abuse. Suspected investment fraud involving the elderly should be referred to state securities regulators or to Adult Protective Services officials.

Beshear says the best way to protect the financial security of seniors is to take action before their money is gone.


Contact With TB Patient Warrants Testing

Dozens of people have undergone testing for tuberculosis after coming in contact with a health care worker at a Lexington hospital.

The employee at University of Kentucky HealthCare Good Samaritan Hospital has been receiving treatment for a confirmed case of TB for about a month. The newspaper says the woman was previously a student at Eastern Kentucky University.

It's not known how many people had contact with the worker. At least 50 people in Madison County and 82 Good Samaritan employees have been tested.

UK HealthCare is offering more information through a toll-free number at 207-1268 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. EST, or 323-0077 after 6 p.m.


KSP Holiday Safety Checkpoints

Kentucky State Police are making their own holiday plans that include boosting road patrols during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

State police say they'll also operate safety checkpoints across the state from Wednesday evening through Sunday night of Thanksgiving week.

State police will coordinate enforcement efforts with local police and sheriff's offices.

KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer says the higher traffic volumes during the holiday period add to the risk of highway travel. Last year, he says there were 1,113 vehicle crashes in Kentucky during the four-day Thanksgiving holiday period. Eight people died and 325 were injured.


Prison Supervisor Arrested On Sex Charge

A supervisor of the sex offender treatment program at a Kentucky prison has been charged with indecent exposure.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that 48-year-old Charles Lickteig II of Louisville was arrested Oct. 14 after a woman reported Lickteig exposed his genitals while he was stopped at a traffic light next to the woman's vehicle in Louisville.

Lickteig oversees the sex offender treatment program at Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange.

Lickteig has pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure in the second degree. A judge continued a hearing in the case scheduled for Wednesday until Nov. 30.

The Kentucky Department of Corrections has placed Lickteig on administrative leave since his arrest.


House Fire Kills Three Year Old


Three year old Corey Vance, Jr. died in a fire at his home in Harts, in Lincoln County, Thursday, while his parents, Corey and Francesca Vance, along with his 2 year old sister Alyssa, were taken to a burn unit at Cabell Huntington Hospital. The father, Corey Vance, was severely burned and is on a ventilator.


U.S. Senator Manchin Casts First Vote


U.S. Senator Joe Manchin voted for the first time as a senator Wednesday when he voted with the democratic majority in favor of the Workplace Fairness Bill, which aims at achieving equal pay for equal work. Manchin says he voted for the bill to keep the debate going so it can be further amended to make it better. Some critics of the bill say it could hurt small businesses, but Manchin says that won't be a part of the bill. Manchin says lawmakers can accomplish the goals of pay equity and fairness, but they must make sure it does not hurt the ability of small businesses to compete in the marketplace. Manchin also voted yay on food safety legislation, which passed 74 to 25.


Legislative Subcommittee Discusses Gubernatorial Succession

A legislative subcommittee charged with brainstorming recommendations for how the state should replace any governor who does not complete his or her full term in office has discussed the possibility of the state treasurer  being next in line to succeed the governor when a vacancy occurs. The subcommittee asked legislative staff to draft six bills for discussion at its December meeting, each outlining a different path for gubernatorial succession. They range from leaving the current process largely intact to having the governor run with a state treasurer as a running mate so the treasurer could replace him or her should a vacancy occur. Most states have separate offices of lieutenant governor, unlike the Mountain State, where lieutenant governor and Senate president are one and the same. Other options include having another statewide officer holder run for election in tandem with the governor and having the Senate president fill the vacancy but require them to resign their Senate seat.


Former West Virginia Lottery Inspector Admitts She Lied To FBI


Former West Virginia Lottery Commission inspector, 55 year old Carolyn A. Kitchen of Chapmanville, has admitted that she lied to investigators with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service when they questioned her about her involvement with Joe C. Ferrell in February 2008. Kitchen says she lied when they asked her if she took money from Ferrell, a longtime Logan County delegate who owned Southern Amusement Co., a company that provided video lottery machines to bars and other venues. Ferrell, who pleaded guilty to racketeering and tax fraud charges last month, said he helped Kitchen, whom he had known since she was a teenager, get her job with the Lottery Commission, knowing that she would bend the rules for the machines owned by his company. Kitchen faces up to five years in prison when sentenced February 23rd.


Marshall University Student Missing


The West Virginia State Police are investigating the disappearance of  Marshall University student 22 year old Ruth "Tuesday" Hovemeyer, who was reported missing by a family member on Tuesday. Police say Hovemeyer, a student at Marshall University and member of the West Virginia Air National Guard, was last seen Novrmber 11th at her apartment at West 2nd Street and 8th Avenue in Huntington. Hovemeyer is white, 5'8" tall, weighs 149 pounds and has blue eyes and blonde hair. Police ask that anyone with information on Hovemeyer's whereabouts contact the Huntington State Police detachment at 304-528-5555.


Child Porn Charges Filed Against Fayette County Man

Federal charges have been filed against 56 year old Joseph Lies of Fayette County in connection with possession and distribution of child pornography. State Police found evidence that Lies sent images of child pornography from his computer in March and also received them. Troopers also found that in April he had in his possession hundreds of images and videos of children engaged in sexually explicit activity on his computer. If convicted, Lies faces up to 50 years in prison, a $750,000 fine and would be required to register as a sex offender for life.


Massey Blames Explosion On Natural Gas


Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship said at an investor conference Wednesday in New York that Massey investigators have discovered the Upper Big Branch mine was inundated at the time of the April 5th explosion with natural gas. Massey previously said it believed a crack in the mine floor alllowed a dangerous amount of methane gas to enter the mine, a position the company bolstered with air samples taken in the hours after the blast. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration had dismissed that theory. The company still suspects gas entered the mine through cracks in the floor,and has asked MSHA for permission to bring in specialized equipment to study the area. The company blames MSHA for changes that Massey contends weakened the mine's ventilation system. Blankenship says, if the explosion were caused by natural gas, it would prove Massey's contention that safeguards required by law were overwhelmed, and it didn't come out of the normal mining process, nor was it something you would normally be guarding against.


Gas Industry Opposes Regulation Plans


The West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association and the state's Independent Oil and Gas Association are  objecting to proposed restrictions on drilling locations and permit fees a legislative subcommittee is proposing for Marcellus shale wells. A draft bill presented to members of a joint judiciary subcommittee earlier this week would impose four permit fees ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 per well, as well as individual performance bonds of $25,000 per well. The permit fees include $15,000 for the initial application, $10,000 to modify an existing permit, $5,000 for annual renewals and a $15,000 reclamation fee that would be required before any permit is issued. Gas industry leaders say they believe the restrictions are based on opinion and speculation rather than science, or simply cut and pasted from laws on the books in other states, and the level of permitting is an absolute deal-stopper that could shut the industry down in the state.


State Parkways Authority Seeks Support Of Supreme Court

The state Parkways Authority says the Mason County Commission took an illegal vote concerning U.S. Route 35 when it voted to rescind their resolution to approve a toll road on September 30th. The Authority voted Thursday afternoon to ask the state Supreme Court to back a new state law that allows for new toll roads in West Virginia. The Authority filed a writ of mandamus seeking clear guidance after it believes it followed the new state law. State Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox says that law does not allow county commissions to vote to support a project and then change that vote. Mattox says, without the $80 million in toll bonds, the road can not be completed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Harlan County Miners Injured

Two miners were flown to Holston Valley Hospital in Kingsport, Tennessee Wednesday  after being injured at the Bledsoe Abner Branch Mine in Harlan County when a personnel carrier collided with a supply hauler. One other miner was also injured.


Harlan Teen Faces Murder-For-Hire


A Harlan teen has found himself accused of plotting a murder-for-hire. After conducting a traffic stop for an expired license plate, Kentucky State Police arrested 19 year old  Kevin S. Hubbard of Cumberland Wednesday and charged him with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery and conspiracy to commit arson. Police say Hubbard hired individuals to go to a residence in Lynch, murder the occupants, burglarize the residence and set it on fire. Eighteen year old Patricia L. Davidson, the driver of the vehicle, was charged with hindering police officers. Both were taken to the Harlan County Detention Center.


Counties Chosen For Possible Post-Election Violations

Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Special Prosecutions today announced that six Kentucky counties were chosen in a random drawing to undergo independent inquiries for any potential irregularities that may have occurred during the General Election on Tuesday, November 2, 2010. The counties are:



KY And Coal Companies Sue Federal Government

East Kentucky Broadcasting spoke with Governor Steve Beshear on Wednesday, and he voiced his displeasure with the bottleneck on mining permits created by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Beshear pointed out the obvious hardships created by the lengthy process of approval or disapproval of the permits. He said the delay affected the quality of life for the 18,000 miners in the Commonwealth.

Therefore, he has entered Kentucky into a lawsuit with several coal companies in suing the federal government over the delays. Governor Beshear used tough language in showing the frustration he experiences when dealing with the EPA responses to the crucial mining permits.


Book On Legislative Issues Available


The Kentucky General Assembly reconvenes in seven weeks, and citizens who would like to learn more about the issues lawmakers may be addressing have a new book available.

The book, "Issues Confronting the 2011 Kentucky General Assembly," includes 55 issue briefs on some of the topics that have been discussed in committee meetings. The briefs were put together by Legislative Research Commission staff members.


Pike County Schools Receive Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School Awards

Belfry Middle School and Phelps Elementary School in Pike County have been awarded  Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School awards by a South Carolina non-profit group. In 2008, Belfry had the state's seventh-best standardized test scores, and this year had the state's fourth-best public middle school scores. In 2009, May flooding filled the school with mud, destroying test papers and forcing the cancellation of the final three weeks of classes. A group from Belfry will attend Blue Ribbon's conference in Florida in December to receive the award.

Other  Kentucky schools to receive the awards include St. Michael School, Assumption High School and St. Raphael School, all in Louisville, and Summit Elementary School in Ashland.


Ax Wielding Burglar Arrested


A Nashville woman suspected of using an ax to steal cat food and liquor has been arrested in Louisville.According to a news release from Metro Nashville Police, Dawn Renee Pickle is suspected of being the burglar who was caught on surveillance video using an ax to smash the glass fronts of stores. The burglar was unable to get into one liquor store but stole liquor from a second. She stole cat food and cat litter from a Dollar General.

The ax believed to have been used in the burglaries and the getaway van were located by detectives at the Nashville home of one of Pickle's relatives. The 39-year-old Pickle was arrested last week in Louisville on a fugitive warrant. She is being brought to Nashville to face charges.


Mining Permit Challenged By Lynch


The Lynch City Council has voted to appeal a state mining permit issued to Meadow Branch Coal to determine whether the company has a backup plan to provide water for the southeastern Kentucky city if necessary.

Councilman Carl Collins was quoted in the Harlan Daily Enterprise questioning the permit at a recent city council meeting. The city has until Dec. 2 to appeal the permit issued by the state Division of Mining Permits.


Cecil New Sentencing Scheduled


A Louisville judge will decide next month whether to sentence a convicted sex offender to death for the kidnapping and killing of a 4-year-old boy in 2007. Jefferson Circuit Judge Judith McDonald-Burkman heard evidence and arguments Monday and Tuesday in the sentencing hearing for Cecil New II.

Final sentencing will be Dec. 14. New pleaded guilty last month to murder, kidnapping and other charges in the death of Cesar Ivan Aguilar-Cano. The Courier-Journal reports family members testified Tuesday that he had a harsh childhood, enduring abuse from his father, who died in January. The parents of the slain boy testified Monday that they still struggle with the youngster's death, saying they sometimes feel like they don't want to live.


Talented And Gifted Children's Council Moved To WKU

The World Council for Gifted and Talented Children has moved its international headquarters to Western Kentucky University.The headquarters has been located at the University of Winnipeg in Canada but is moving to Bowling Green with help from a gift from a Bowling Green family that has supported gifted and talented programs and endowed a professorship in 2003.

The world council holds a biennial conference and publishes the journal Gifted and Talented International.Western President Gary Ransdell says locating the council headquarters at Western will make the university's commitment to gifted and talented studies stronger.


First Salesman For Jack Daniel's Whiskey Honored

The Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn., has released a limited edition bottle of Jack Daniel's Old No. 7 to celebrate the 90th birthday of the brand's first salesman, Angelo Lucchesi.

According to a news release Tuesday from the company, Lucchesi helped build the brand to worldwide fame, and has spent many years as an ambassador for the product. He now lives in Memphis, Tenn., and still travels occasionally on behalf of the brand. The bottle, available in the 750 milliliter size at 90 proof, will have a suggested retail price of $29.99. It is available at stores throughout Tennessee and in several states. The commemorative bottle will include a brief story about Lucchesi's 57-year career with the brand.


Federal Appeals Case To U.S. 6th Circuit Court Of Appeals

A federal appeals court has set oral arguments in January for a former U.S. Army soldier convicted in civilian court of rape and murder in Iraq. A three-judge panel from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear the case of 25-year-old Steven Dale Green on Jan. 21, 2011, in Cincinnati.

Green, once a member of the Fort Campbell-based 101st Airborne, is challenging his convictions in the March 2006 rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the slaying of her family while he was on active duty. Green's lawyers say the law used to prosecute him, the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, is unconstitutional. Federal prosecutors say the law passes constitutional muster. A federal judge in Paducah last year ordered Green, of Midland, Texas, to serve five life sentences in the killings.


Mingo County Lawsuit Going To Court


Some 700 people in Mingo County have sued Massey Energy and its subsidiary Rawl Sales & Processing, claiming coal slurry polluted their well water, causing a variety of health problems. Mediation to settle the long-running water pollution lawsuit has failed, and the case will head to court August 1, 2011. Massey says it looks forward to demonstrating that their mining activities had no impact on local wells.


Tractor Trailer Bursts Into Flames

A tractor-trailer hauling vehicles burst into flames Wednesday evening at the rest area near the 10-mile marker of Interstate 64 in Cabell County. Although no one was injured, fire spread to the fuel tanks of the cars, and fire burned through the truck's hydraulic lines.


West Virginia Caregiver Sentenced


A West Virginia caregiver has been sentenced to 90 days of home confinement. Brandon Dewayne Watts, 27, of Dunbar had pleaded guilty to one count each of neglect of an incapacitated adult and battery after being accused of leaving the woman he was hired to care for bound in his vehicle for more than an hour. Watts was arrested April 27th after Dunbar Police Lt. Bill Moss found a 26-year-old unresponsive woman with her hands bound with clear tape in a vehicle parked near Watts' home. Moss said he also found a knot on the back of her head. Watts told Moss he worked for ResCare as the woman's caregiver, and he tied her hands together because she sometimes became violent while he was driving. He claimed she had only been in the car alone for seven minutes, but he later admitted the woman had been in the vehicle for more than an hour and that he was angry with the woman and bound her hands.


Customers Oppose AEP Rate Hike Request

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             WEST VIRGINIA....

American Electric Power is asking the Public Service Commission to approve a 13.8 percent rate hike, but customers are asking for a break. For the average customer that's almost a $13 per month increase added to the 7.6 percent increase which took effect July 1st, or $6 a month. AEP customers are angry. Senate Majority Leader H. Truman Chafin, D-Mingo, says he has received 5,580 signatures on a petition protesting the rate hike. Representatives for American Electric Power say the increase is needed due to a spike in coal costs and environmental requirements, but leaders from West Virginia dispute their claims and have demanded their request be denied. The current plan would mean residential customers who use 1,000-kilowatt hours per month would pay $99.22 instead of $86.44 every month. Company officials say the new rate increase proposal would bring in $155 million in additional revenue. An evidentiary hearing is set for December 13th.
If approved, the hike wouldn't take effect until April 1st.
Written comments can be sent to the Public Service Commission's office in Charleston. They can be mailed to:
West Virginia PSC
201 Brooks St., P.O. Box 812
Charleston, WV 25323
Those who mail comments should reference PSC case No. 10-0699-E-42T.


Charleston Man Shot In Huntington


Twenty-five year old Andrew Harrison of Charleston was taken to St. Mary's Medical Center after police say they found him shot in the head inside an apartment on 8th Street in Huntington's South Side Tuesday night. After further investigation, police say the wound was self-inflicted. Thirty-one year old Joe Ray Dakota Smith of Huntington, who was also at the apartment, was arrested on an unrelated charge of destruction of property.


License Of Charleston Lawyer Revoked

  The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has revoked a Charleston lawyer’s license to practice law for one year, ruling he violated state ethics codes while representing a coal company in a case involving black lung benefits. Justices ruled that Douglas Smoot of law firm Jackson Kelly withheld medical evidence from an administrative judge indicating that miner Elmer Daughtery had developed black lung as the result of employment with the Westmoreland Coal Co.


Citynet Alleges State Favors Frontier


Last spring, the state received $126 million in federal stimulus funds to expand high-speed Internet in West Virginia. Citynet alleges that, with $126 million in federal stimulus funds in hand, state officials are buying expensive equipment that many public agencies in West Virginia don't need and are allowing Frontier Communications to build a high-speed Internet network that shuts out competitors.

Jim Martin, Citynet's president and CEO, says state commerce and homeland security officials have little or no concept of what they want to accomplish other than spend a lot of money, and Frontier and Verizon are driving the whole process. Martin says the state plans to spend $24 million on 1,064 commercial routers for the broadband network, but the state never checked to see whether the public agencies receiving the equipment needed it. State Homeland Security Director Jimmy Gianato says the state received a multimillion-dollar discount on the 1,000-plus routers, the vendor agreed to provide free maintenance for five years and the state technology office ultimately signed off on the purchase.

Citynet alleges the state is using the federal broadband grant to extend old, outdated telephone lines for Frontier instead of building a network that Citynet and other telecommunications companies could tap into.

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