Saturday, December 04, 2010


Winter Weather Hits Commonwealth

For some, Saturday's snow was beautiful, but, for others, wet and icy roadway conditions caused drivers across the state to lose control of their vehicles, causing several accidents. The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory as the first significant snow of the season blanketed parts of Kentucky, including Pike County. A mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain  hit much of northern and eastern part of the state with bad weather moving west to east throughout the day.

KSP reported dozens of traffic accidents, some with minor injuries, after morning snow and accumulation increased as the weather moved east. Up to 1 to 3 inches of snow  fell early in the northeast portion of central Kentucky and up to 5 inches fell at higher elevations. Officials warned travelers to expect poor road conditions and visibility.

Within an hour-and-a-half, there were a total of 20 traffic accidents within Prestonsburg city limits, averaging out to more than one accident every five minutes. Accidents, beginning just after 6:00 A.M., forced Prestonsburg officials to shut down all bridges coming into town, such as the Bert T. Combs Bridge and the bridge at Cliff near the college. Most of the wrecks were attributed to black ice coating bridges and access ramps.


Ohio Man Falls To Death In Red River Gorge

Authorities say 44 year old John W. Pacey of Waynesville, Ohio died Friday night after he lost his balance while walking along a narrow trail with friends in Kentucky's Red River Gorge. He slipped and fell about 150 feet down an embankment. Emergency responders say Pacey died at the scene of the accident, which occurred in the Chimney Top Road area of Wolfe County. Pacey is the second Ohio man to die in the gorge this year. Ronald J. Trick, of Powell, Ohio fell to his death in February in a similar accident.


KSP Seize Thousands In Drugs And Cash

Kentucky State Police arrested 62 year old JoAnn Jarbeau of Stanton Friday after seizing 1,487 pills of various narcotics, 19 guns, $50,000-$75,000 worth of electronics, about $10,000 worth of hand tools, and about $23,000 in cash from her home on James Crow Hollow Road. Six vehicles were impounded for evidence, and animal control officers removed dozens of dogs.


Former Hardin County Teacher Charged With Sexual Abuse

Kentucky State Police say 28-year-old Steven Blake Gray, a former Hardin County high school teacher, has been charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. Police say Gray was sexually involved with two students at Central Hardin High School. An arrest warrant alleges he had sex with a 17-year-old student between October 2009 and February 2010, and he had an encounter with a 16-year-old student at a park in November. Gray was charged according to state law because he was an adult in a position of authority. He is also facing a charge of unlawful transaction with a minor.


University Of Kentucky Upgrading Campus Buildings

In an effort to reduce energy costs, the University of Kentucky is upgrading 61 campus buildings with modern lighting, new pipes, insulation and boilers and encouraging those on campus to turn out lights when leaving a room, consolidate several small refrigerators into a large one or wear a sweater at work. The work is estimated to cost $25 million, but UK officials say savings could amount up to $2.4 million a year. Bob Wiseman, UK’s vice president for facilities management, says more savings will be realized as energy prices go up. Louisville-based Ameresco, the company in charge of the retrofits, has done work for the state. The university's contract guarantees the annual savings will be enough to pay back the $25 million investment in a dozen years. If that doesn't happen, Ameresco is responsible for the difference.


MSHA To Hold Public Hearing In Prestonsburg

MSHA has added Prestonsburg to a list of locations that will host public hearings on a proposed rule that would affect exposure to coal mine dust. The Prestonsburg hearing, which will be held at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, is scheduled for February 10th. The hearings will deal with the proposed rule titled, “Lowering Miners’ Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust, Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors.”

MSHA will hold its first public hearing at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beaver, West Virginia on Tuesday, December 7th. Hearings are also scheduled for Evansville, Indiana, Birmingham, Alabama, Salt Lake City, Utah, Washington, Pennsylvania and Arlington, Virginia. The hearings will begin at 9:00 A.M. and are expected to last until the last presenter speaks.


Louisville Orchestra Files For Bankruptcy

The Louisville Orchestra has filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 weeks before its 75th anniversary.

The filing includes a request to break its collective bargaining agreement with its players in the Louisville Federation of Musicians Local 11-637, The Courier-Journal reported. Orchestra CEO Robert Birman and board president Chuck Maisch told musicians about the move Friday at rehearsal.

The orchestra is seeking to reduce its number of full-time musicians from 71 to 55 and supplement that with 16 part-time professional musicians. It is seeking to reduce costs by about $1 million.

Birman said musicians have been paid through Dec. 15, and they weren't expected to miss any scheduled performances through that date. The newspaper reports that it wasn't clear what happens after that date.


Massey Energy Holds Annual Christmas Extravaganza

 For the 8th year in a row, Massey Energy held its annual Christmas Extravaganza in South Williamson Saturday, handing out toys to 4,000 underprivileged kids in the Mingo and Pike County area. Each toy is hand-picked by volunteers, and bought from local stores. Leftover toys go to the Union Mission.


Mercer County Accident Kills Bluefield Man

Thirty year old Jason Thomas of Bluefield, who worked at the federal prison in McDowell County, died after being involved in a  four vehicle accident on Route 460 between Old Bluefield Princeton Road and Mercer Mall Road in Mercer County around 2:48 A.M. Saturday morning. Five other people were transported to the Bluefield Regional Medical Center, and two were transported to Princeton Community Hospital after suffering minor injuries.


Coal Truck Driver Killed

Kanawha County officials say a coal truck driver was killed in a single vehicle accident when, while traveling on Carbon Road at Cabin Creek, his truck overturned on Republic Energy mine peoperty around 5:00 P.M. Saturday afternoon, trapping the driver.


Dunbar Car Wreck Knocks Out Power

Power was knocked our for about 1,700 Kanawha County residents Saturday morning after a car hit and snapped a pole in half at about 2:00 A.M. on Roxalana Road in Dunbar. The incident knocked out power to American Electric Power customers in Dunbar, Institute and Cross Lanes. AEP workers restored power to all customers by noon.


Bond Denied For Summers County Man

Nineteen year old James R.L. Meadows was charged with murder and death by a custodian after 18-month-old Isabella Danielle Hurley died last month after being declared brain dead and removed from life support at Women and Children’s Hospital in Charleston. The state medical examiner said Isabella sustained brain and abdomen injuries, and State police say an autopsy report showed the injuries were inconsistent with Meadows’ claim that the child fell off a couch and bed several times. Hurley’s bond had been reduced to $75,000, but, during a hearing Friday, Meadows was denied bond. Summers County Prosecutor Amy Mann explained that because Meadows is charged with a capital crime, he is not entitled to bond unless a circuit judge chooses to set bond. The child’s mother, 24 year old Cristen Lynn Hurley, was charged with child abuse resulting in injury and child neglect resulting in death. A status hearing for both defendants is set for January 28th.


Tomblin Refuses To Vacate Senate Seat

Citing the state Constitution Friday, Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, insisted he can serve both as Senate president and West Virginia’s chief executive. Tomblin said he has no intention of vacating his legislative seat or being dislodged from it. Tomblin said a special election would cost the state $12 million and the way he reads the state code is that the next election shall be scheduled during the regular election in 2012.


WV Ski Areas’ Association Looking Forward To Busy Season

The West Virginia Ski Areas’ Association is looking forward to a busy season as all five of the state’s resorts, from Timberline in Tucker County to Snowshoe in Pocahontas County, are planning to be up and running by no later than December 22nd. Spokesperson Joe Stevens says, while Florida makes up 15-17 percent of the skiers in West Virginia, and probably 80-85 percent of those Floridians will come in a three-week period, to see a white Christmas, the resorts will attract an estimated 800,000 visitors, most from neighboring states such as Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio. The ski season, which continues through at least the end of March, is expected to bring with it about 5,000 jobs at resorts and related businesses and an estimated $250 million in economic impact.


PSC To Conduct Hearings On Utility Rate Hikes

The Public Service Commission will begin conducting evidentiary hearings Monday in Charleston on requests that could hike West Virginia American Water Co. rates by 13 percent and Appalachian Power Co. rates by 13.8 percent. The PSC has received hundreds of letters and petitions protesting both proposals. The West Virginia chapter of AARP, an especially outspoken opponent, urged its members to speak out during public comment hearings held last month around the state. Thousands of West Virginia consumers are facing a potential 40 percent increase in home utility costs in less than a year, and the AARP says, with consumers acting responsibly and being more efficient in their energy and utility usage, it's particularly alarming that two major utility providers are seeking steep rate increases.

Friday, December 03, 2010


Christmas At The Courthouse

The annual Christmas at the Courthouse event will be held Friday, Dec. 10, at 1 p.m. in the main hallway of the courthouse.

The event is sponsored by the Pike County Fiscal Court Office of the Judge-Executive.

Christmas Carols will be performed by the Pike County Central High School Chorus and refreshments will be served.


Kentucky Energy Cabinet Sues ICG And Frasure Creek Mining

The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet sued International Coal Group and Frasure Creek Mining Friday, challenging the validity of water quality reports filed with state regulators. The agency also filed a proposed settlement agreement under which International Coal would pay $350,000 in penalties and Frasure Creek Mining would pay an additional $310,000 in penalties. Both companies are based in West Virginia but have mining operations in Kentucky. At issue is the accuracy of wastewater discharge reports produced for the coal companies by independent laboratories working under contract.

Governor Steve Beshear, who blamed the problem on a lack of regulatory oversight of independent wastewater labs, says he called on the General Assembly to support this proposal, saying, "We must work cooperatively to bring about changes in statutes and regulations that help protect our environment while, at the same time, allowing our coal industry to continue its work in meeting the energy needs of the Commonwealth." He called on lawmakers to pass legislation that would require them to meet basic standards and be certified by the state.


Reward Offered For Pike County Vandalism

Officials say, days before Thanksgiving, thieves stole copper wire and did extensive damage to the cabin at Grants Branch Park in Pond Creek and hit the nearby Mountain Water District facility, adding up to around 10 to 15-thousand dollars worth of damage. District 6 Magistrate Chris Harris and Utility Management Group are offering a $2,000 reward to catch those responsible for the vandalism. Pike County Parks and Recreation Director Jarrod Hunt says Grants Branch Park is a popular location for many events held on Pond Creek.


UK Seeks To Submit Additional Information Regarding Kanter

The University of Kentucky has requested an "opportunity to submit additional information regarding the eligibility" of basketball recruit Enes Kanter, who was declared ineligible to play for UK by the NCAA last month. Kanter played with the Turkish sport club Fenerbahce from 2006-07 to 2008-09. Although he competed primarily for the club's under-18 junior team, he did compete on the club's senior team in 2008-09. According to facts agreed to by the university and the NCAA Eligibility Center, Kanter received $33,033 more than his expenses for the 2008-09 season. Kanter moved to the United States in 2009 and attended a prep high school before enrolling at Kentucky this fall. UK confirmed Friday that Kanter continues to practice with the team.


Former University Of Kentucky Administrator Sentenced

Sixty-eight year old Robert S. Tannenbaum, a former University of Kentucky administrator and educator, was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison on four counts of first-degree sexual abuse. Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael ordered that sentences be served consecutively. Among several letters written to Ishmael on Tannenbaum's behalf were letters from state Sen. Kathy Stein and UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. Tannenbaum was director of the undergraduate research office in UK's undergraduate education office when he was arrested in March. He was placed on administrative leave after his arrest. He retired from UK in April.


Louisville Judge Sentences Teen

A judge in Louisville has sentenced 18 year old Herbert Lee to one year in prison and one year of probation for a wreck in which four teens were killed in December 2008. Lee was found guilty in October of second-degree manslaughter in the deaths of Demar, Jemar and Marc Claybrooks and Aaron Shields.
Authorities said Lee wrecked a stolen car while fleeing police after a church youth event.


Yum Brands Inc Reports Growth In Earnings


Yum Brands Inc., which runs fast food chains including Taco Bell and KFC, said Friday it is on track to make its forecast of 14 percent growth in earnings per share in 2010. The forecast implies net income of $2.53 per share, up from $2.22 per share a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, expect earnings of $2.50 per share. The company credited new unit development in China and Yum Restaurants International for the growth.

In 2011, the company expects at least 10 percent earnings per share growth and plans to open 1,400 new international units, including 475 in China and 900 elsewhere internationally. The earnings forecast would translate to about $2.78 a share. Analysts expected earnings of $2.81 a share.


Zenyatta Will Parade At Keeneland

Racing fans will get another chance to see champion Zenyatta when she is paraded at Keeneland on Monday.

Zenyatta was retired from racing after suffering her only defeat in 20 races in last month's Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs.

The mare is scheduled to be paraded in the saddling paddock and walking ring after arriving at Keeneland Monday afternoon. She will then be taken to Lane's End Farm near Versailles, where she will become a broodmare.


Death Investigation Of Louisville College Student Aided By FBI

The FBI is aiding the investigation into the death of a college student in Louisville.

WHAS-TV reports the federal agency is examining the computers of Sullivan University student Andrew Compton and the man charged with murder in his death.

Greg O'Bryan is also charged with abuse of a corpse. He told police Compton died as they were having sex and he put the 18-year-old culinary student's body in a trash bin. An extensive search of a southern Indiana landfill failed to find evidence. Compton was from Carmel, Ind.

Compton met O'Bryan online and was last seen alive Oct. 28 on campus.

The commonwealth is pushing for the death penalty if the 40-year-old O'Bryan is convicted.


Bluegrass Fire Leaves Two Children Dead

 Two children have been killed in a house fire in the Bluegrass region.

The blaze was reported shortly before midnight Thursday in Woodford County.

County Coroner Steve Ward confirmed the deaths and said there would be autopsies performed in Frankfort.

A neighbor said two other children got out of the burning home and ran to the neighbor's house to get help.

Ward declined to release the names of the victims, but said the family that lives in the house lost a daughter in a traffic crash earlier this year.


Hundreds Of Sex Abuse Charges Against Former Minister

A former minister in Georgetown is charged with nearly 300 counts of sex with a young boy.

A police official said 58-year-old Currie Pat Clark Jr. turned himself in to police Wednesday evening.

Georgetown Police Lt. Robert Swarnigan says Currie is charged with 296 counts of second-degree sodomy. The allegations involve one boy, who was 12 years old when abuse is alleged to have begun. Investigators say the abuse occurred from 2006 to 2008.

Clark is a former minister at First Presbyterian Chuch in Georgetown.


Don Blankenship Retiring

The Massey Energy Co. Board of Directors announced Friday that Massey chairman and CEO Don Blankenship has chosen to retire from the company, effective December 30th after holding the position since November 2000. He's been with the company since 1982. Baxter F. Phillips, President of Massey Energy, will succeed Blankenship as CEO. Phillips has been with the company since 1981. Admiral Bobby Inman, lead independent director for Massey, will succeed Blankenship as chairman. Inman has been a director with the company since 1985. Blankenship says he and Baxter have worked together for 28 years and he will provide the company great executive leadership. Massey has grown from 3,662 employees  in 2000, to over 7,3000. With Blankenship as CEO and chairman, Massey's market capitalization rose from $758 million to about $5 billion.


WV News Anchor Named As Tomblin's Press Secretary

WCHS and WVAH's joint television news anchor Deborah Linz has been named as acting Governor Earl
Ray Tomblin's press secretary. Linz, a Virginia Tech graduate, began her TV career in Roanoke, Va. as
a noon weather anchor and medical reporter. She then worked at a TV station in Illinois where she won several awards for her work, including her investigative reporting.


North Carolina Man Arraigned In Putnam County

Robert Norris Jr., 58, of Garner, North Carolina entered a plea of not guilty during his court arraignment in Putnam County Friday. Norris was indicted last month on a charge of bigamy. Court records say, while he was still married to a woman he married in 1987, he married a Putnam County woman in 2004. Norris was released on $10,000 bond and allowed to return to North Carolina. His trial is set for February 2011.


PSC Approves Methane Gas-Fueled Power Plant

The state Public Service Commission has approved Charleston Clean Energy's application to build a methane gas-fueled electric power plant at the Charleston Landfill in Kanawha County. Gas, produced naturally as landfill material decays, is burned to generate electricity that can be pumped out onto the grid. When it's finished, the plant will produce two megawatts, or enough electricity to power two thousand homes. The project is aimed at meeting the growing need for renewable energy in West Virginia and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the Charleston Landfill.


DuPont Workers Taken To Hospital

Two DuPont workers in Belle were taken to the Charleston Area Medical Center as a precaution Friday after the chemical Monomethylamine, or MMA, was released from a rail car. The employees were treated for minor burns but did not shown any respiratory symptoms. DuPont says proper emergency notification was made and proper response occurred. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, methylamine can irritate the eyes, nose and throat, and more serious exposures can cause burning, coughing, difficulty in breathing and lung congestion.


Calhoun County Man Sentenced To Two Life Terms

Kirk Miller from Calhoun County has been sentenced to two life terms in prison after pleading guilty to two first degree murder charges in the April 14, 2009 shooting deaths of Michael and Julie Flanagan. Miller told police he had been delivering marijuana to the Flanagans when he got into a fight with them at their home on Left Fork Road near Millstone in Calhoun County because he hadn't been paid. Prosecutors say Miller owned a shotgun Flanagan wanted to buy. Flanagan already owed Miller money so Miller decided if Flanagan told him he would buy the gun, he would shoot him. Flanagan offered to buy the shotgun, and Miller shot him three times. When Flanagan's wife Julie asked what was going on, Miller shot her twice.


Man Escapes West Virginia Mental Facility...Located In Virginia

The man who escaped from a West Virginia mental facility was located in Richmond, Virginia early Friday. Huntington Police say, on October 31st, Harvey Roberts walked away from Mimosa Manor, a mental facility in Huntington, where he had been since 2007. Roberts was at the facility after being declared incompetent to stand trial in a 1994 homicide in Mineral County. The court ruled he was incompetent to stand trial because he suffered from delusions. Roberts spent 12 years in mental hospitals before ending up at Mimosa Manor. Police say he was found at the Charity First Adult Assisted Living Center where he had been for about 30 days.


Supreme Court Consolidates Gubernatorial Election Cases

The West Virginia Supreme Court agreed Friday to consolidate two cases seeking a special gubernatorial election in 2011. The West Virginia Citizen Action Group filed the first case, and South Charleston resident Thornton Cooper filed the second. The cases name Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, House Speaker Rick Thompson and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant as defendants. Gubernatorial succession is before the court because legislative lawyers have concluded that relevant state law won't allow for an election before November 2012, when the office is already on the ballot for a full four-year term. Questions at issue include does the West Virginia Constitution require a special election if a vacancy in the governor's office occurs during the first three years of the term and does the state's law dealing with succession violate the constitution. A December 27th deadline has been set for all parties to respond to both cases.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


Unsolved Murder Cases In Eastern Kenucky

Investigators with Kentucky State Police Post 9 in Pikeville are currently seeking help in resolving six unsolved murder cases spanning Floyd, Pike and Magoffin counties.

Listed currently are six cases beginning with the murder of Richard Strable on April 15, 1986 in Prestonsburg.

There are two cold cases in Pikeville that police are also seeking help with — the murder of Oakie Hall, whose remains were found in Pikeville on July 11, 1982, and the murder of Kevin Adkins, who was killed on Oct. 11, 2000 near Pikeville.

Two other cold case files existing in Pike County are also listed at the state police’s website. Police are hoping to resolve the murders of Donnie Ray Sullivan, whose remains were found on Aug. 23, 1982, and Brian Keith Mullins, who was killed on Dec. 12, 1987.

Another 1987 cold case that is included in the six investigators are still working involves the murder of Jack David Combs, whose remains were found on March 4, 1987, in Magoffin County.

The Prestonsburg case of Richard Strable’s unsolved murder dates back to Tuesday, April 15, 1986. It was on this date that Strable, a Cincinnati native, was traveling to Prestonsburg for a business meeting when he stopped to assist a possible stranded motorist, police records say.

Strable made his stop at the old toll plaza on the Mountain Parkway just west of Salyersville. During the stop, Strable was shot and killed in a robbery. Anyone with information on this case should contact KSP Det. Lt. Michael Kidd at Post 9 at (606) 433-7711 or my email at


Ruling Soon On Instant Racing

A ruling could come early next year on a proposal to allow slot machine-type gambling at Kentucky horse racetracks.
The judge hearing the case has said he plans to rule by early January.

The state's racetracks and racing regulators have asked for a ruling from Franklin Circuit Court on whether the gambling used in Arkansas would be legal in Kentucky before implementing it.

The plan is opposed by the Family Foundation of Kentucky, which claims state law would not allow it.

The wagering -- called Instant Racing -- lets gamblers bet on randomly selected past races.


Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony In Frankfort

A Christmas tree lighting ceremony is set for Saturday evening at the state Capitol.

Gov. Steve Beshear and his wife, Jane, will be on hand for the event, featuring a 28-foot Norway spruce donated by a Frankfort couple, Tom and Marilyn Grissom.

Frankfort Children Singers will perform during the tree lighting ceremony that begins at 7:30 p.m. EST. Afterward, the Western Hills High School Choir will sing carols in the Capitol Rotunda, and the Franklin County High School Chamber Choir will perform at the Governor's Mansion.


PSC Rules On Magoffin County Water

The Kentucky Public Service Commission has ordered the Magoffin County Water District to take steps to ensure customers can run their faucets during droughts.

Magoffin County Water District, which serves nearly 3,500 customers, purchases water from the Salyersville Water Works, which draws its supply primarily from the Licking River.

A severe drought in late summer of 2008 reduced the stream to a trickle, leaving Salyersville and Magoffin Water without an adequate water supply.

The PSC on Wednesday ordered Magoffin County to take steps necessary to purchase water from the city of Paintsville and from the Morgan County Water District. Failure to do so could result in Magoffin County water commissioners being fined or removed from office.


Kentucky Woman Sentenced In Money-Changing Scam

A Kentucky woman who Arizona authorities say ran a "quick-change" scheme at Walmart stores that netted her more than $2,300 at one store alone has been sentenced to two years in prison for fraud.

The Louisville woman used slight of hand to confuse inexperienced cashiers as she asked them to make change for large bills.

Police reports also show that 30-year-old Lakeda Cain has warrants for operating similar schemes in Arkansas and Missouri. And a prosecutor in northwest Arizona's Mohave County says Walmart distributed a flyer to its stores that said a woman matching Cain's description had hit stores in 12 states.

Deputy County Attorney James Schoppmann said Wednesday that Cain bought two items for $2.96 at a Kingman Walmart in August and managed to walk out of the store with $2,390.


KSP Grants Are Available

Proposals for programs to fight underage drinking in Kentucky can be submitted through Jan. 18 to the Kentucky State Police to be considered for part of more than $300,000 in grant funds being offered.

State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer says enforcement is an important part of the battle but that there also needs to be an educational approach to make people aware of the dangers of young people drinking alcohol.

Previous funding has gone for retail enforcement and education, campus enforcement projects, youth-led multimedia projects, community coalitions and student alcohol education programs.

Applications are available on the state police website at


Roy And Wanda Campbell Update

A prominent Perry County businessman and his wife were found dead in their home on the evening of Friday, November 26, and police believe their deaths may have been the result of a double homicide.

Police were called to the home of Roy and Wanda Campbell, 81 and 79 respectively, in the Brownsfork community after family members became concerned when they were unable to contact the couple.

Upon arrival, police found the couple inside the residence, dead from apparent gunshot wounds, according to a press release from Kentucky State Police. Their bodies were sent to the state medical examiner’s office for an autopsy.

KSP Post 13 information officer Tony Watts said no arrests have been made in the case at this time, and no new information is known about the case. He said police are continuing to investigate.

“They’re (the detectives) still digging and turning over rocks and things like that,” Watts said. He added that police are continuing to conduct the investigation as a homicide.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Kentucky State Police at 1-800-222-5555 or 606-435-6069.

Roy Campbell was well known in the local community and played an important role in the development of Hazard. He gifted the land on which the Hazard ARH medical center currently sits, which allowed for not only a new hospital but the development of Hazard in that area of the county.

Perry County Clerk Haven King said he remembered Campbell as a great friend of more than 45 years.

“It’s just a devastating thing for this to happen,” King said. “Roy was so good to the community of Hazard and Perry County.”

He said there are over 3,000 jobs and 100 homes on the two ridges of land where the hospital, Whayne Supply and the Veterans Center currently sit. It’s all land that Campbell gifted to the city, he said.

He spoke fondly of Campbell and said his death was a tremendous loss.

“We lost a jewel when we lost him,” King said.

Charles Allen, Assistant Perry County Commonwealth Attorney, said he was Campbell’s attorney and friend for over 20 years.

“I always thought of him as an instinctive visionary,” Allen said. “He always foresaw that Hazard would grow.”

He said Campbell was always helpful to local government in helping the public of the city and county receive water lines and new roadways through land and road donations. He also provided land to churches, Allen said.

“He was generous to a thought with no obligation to do so,” Allen said.

He said Campbell always wanted to think the best of people, and would think the best of them unless those people proved him wrong. He also said he felt Campbell was probably happiest when he was running heavy equipment, adding that Campbell never had a specific business address, but instead conducted business from his truck.

“He concluded a great many deals from the front seat of his truck,” Allen said.

He said Campbell was a very intelligent person with great insight and that his generosity to Perry County and the City of Hazard was matched by few.


"Cram A Cusier" Set For Sunday

Kentucky State troopers will be filling police cars with food this weekend.

WLKY-TV in Louisville reports the goal of the "Cram the Cruiser" food drive on Sunday is to fill a cruiser at the KSP headquarters in Frankfort and at each of the 16 posts across the state...including Pikeville Post 9... with nonperishable food items.

The collected food will be given to shelters, churches and other organizations that aid needy families.


Corvette Museum Fundraiser

A fundraiser at the National Corvette Museum has benefited 14 Bowling Green area nonprofit agencies.

The Holiday Bash Thursday night included country music performances and a silent auction.

The WBKO-TV-sponsored event drew about 400 auction bids.

Mandy Baker of United Way of Southern Kentucky says the event sold out, but online auction bidding was available.


Deaf Defendant In Murder Trial

The murder trial of a deaf defendant is under way in Louisville and the state is seeking the death penalty.

Jeston Murray is accused in the December 2008 killings of a store clerk and another man later on the same day.

Murray's co-defendant, Michael Knights, entered a plea bargain and is serving a life prison term. Murray pleaded not guilty and is on trial.

WDRB-TV in Louisville reports graphic photos were shown in a courtroom on Wednesday as prosecutors explained how clerk Darrel Spencer was killed with a hatchet and Marcus Penney was stabbed under the left armpit. The state claims Penny was killed with a knife stolen from the army surplus store where Spencer died.

Murray and several potential witnesses are deaf and sign language translators are in the courtroom for them.


Measurable Snow Possible In Northern Kentucky

The first measurable snowfall is likely this weekend across parts of Kentucky.

Forecaster Allen Randall with the National Weather Service said1 to 3 inches of snow is likely Saturday for the greater Cincinnati area, including northern Kentucky.

The Weather Service is calling for accumulation of less than a half-inch in Louisville and Lexington on Saturday.

Snow is also expected in eastern Kentucky, but the precipitation in western locations should be rain.

Cold temperatures are expected with daytime highs in the 30s for the weekend and lows in the 20s.


MSHA Issues Massey Imminent Danger Order

Massey Energy said in a regulatory filing Thursday that the MSHA issued an imminent danger order Wednesday involving a rain saturated pile of rock and other material on the surface at its Camp Branch mine about 58 miles southwest of Charleston. Massey says two inches of rain that fell overnight left the pile in danger of falling on mining equipment and miners. The company says it's considering options for fixing the problem.


West Virginia Urges EPA To Approve Arch Coal Permit

West Virginia said Thursday it submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this week regarding the agency's proposed veto of Arch Coal's Spruce No. 1 mine. The mine was permitted in 2007 but has been delayed by lawsuits. The state is urging the EPA to allow the permitted activity to continue, but EPA contends the nearly 2,300-acre mine would cause irreversible damage to the environment. EPA has received more than 50,000 comments on its plan to veto a crucial Clean Water Act permit.


Alabama Teen Found Dead In Charleston

Police are investigating after the body of an out of state teen was found in an apartment in West Side Charleston. Police say the body of 19 year old Michael Vincent Rogers of Mobile, Alabama was found shot to death in an apartment at 824 Central Avenue around 9:50 A.M. Thursday morning. Sgt. Eric Hodges says Rogers had been shot in the left front of his torso.


Sissonville Man Admits To Setting Home On Fire

Guy Jones, the man accused of setting his home on fire because his dinner wasn't ready, has been sentenced to three years home confinement after pleading guilty to arson charges. Jones was arrested in May and charged with first-degree arson after his wife told police he came home from drinking with friends and got mad because dinner wasn't ready to be served, and he set their house in Sissonville on fire.


Trucking Company Supervisor Sentenced

A trucking company supervisor was sentenced to three years probation and fined $2,500 Thursday for violating the federal mine safety law. Forty-five year old Jeffrey L. Potter of Crum pleaded guilty in September, admitting that while working as a supervisor for a trucking firm that services a Boone County coal mine, he falsely certified that he had provided the required annual refresher training to a driver.


Cross Lanes Man Charged

Police say 28 year old Kenneth Paul Gallaspie got drunk Wednesday and got into a fight with his girlfriend, 27 year old Emily Beth Carter at the couple's home on Walnut Valley Drive in Cross Lanes. Kanawha County Sheriff's Deputies say, when they arrived at the home, they found Carter with a softball-sized lump on her forehead. Carter told deputies Gallaspie hit her with his fists and a wooden chair leg. Carter's sister, Melody Carter, 34, and another friend, Lisa Marteny, 39, who were at the house and tried to help Emily Carter ward off Gallaspie, were also attacked. Gallaspie allegedly hit Marteny in the head with a chair leg, splitting open her forehead. Gallaspie was charged with two counts of malicious wounding, one count of battery and one count of obstructing an officer after he fought with deputies who were forced to fire a Taser gun at Gallaspie to subdue him.


Former Jefferson County Employee Wins Lawsuit

George Privitera, a former Jefferson County employee, has won a lawsuit that accused County Commissioner Patsy Noland of defaming him with an Internet posting. The jury ordered Noland to pay Privitera $3,700 in compensatory damages and $1,300 in punitive damages. Privitera's lawsuit said Noland defamed him by criticizing his job performance in a posting on a local electronic mailing list. The lawsuit sought $70,000 in damages, but Privitera's attorney, Harry Waddell, said he and his client were happy with the verdict. The county's insurance will pay the damages.


nTelos Completes Purchase Of FiberNet

Va.-based telecommunications provider nTelos completed its purchase of FiberNet for $169 million Thursday. The deal includes 30,000 customers in West Virginia and neighboring states. nTelos has hired nearly 200 FiberNet employees and gave non-sales staff a raise Thursday, their first salary increase in several years. Frank Berry, president of wireline operations at nTelos, pledges to spend $40 million to expand high-speed data and fiber optic networks in West Virginia during the next three years. The money will be used to upgrade facilities and equipment. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration rejected CityNet’s request to suspend the federal stimulus grant.


West Virginia General Revenue Budget In The Black

West Virginia officials say the state's general revenue budget $121 million in the black. November state tax collections brought in $278 million, or $26 million more than expected, marking the seventh straight month for better-than-projected revenues. West Virginia is 8.2 percent ahead of its forecast for the budget year. State government has banked on raising $3.7 billion for its general revenue budget by the fiscal year's June 30th end, and it has collected nearly $1.6 billion of that.


PEIA Approves Health Insurance Plan

Thursday, the state Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board unanimously approved its 2011-12 health insurance plan that provides for premium increases of $14-a-month for all types of coverage. Insurees can wipe out the premium increase by undergoing a four-step wellness screening to measure waist circumference, total cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose, a $10-a-month premium discount, and submitting an affidavit verifying they have filed an advanced directive for end-of-life care, sometimes called a "living will." That provides an additional $4-a-month discount.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


Federal Regulators Close Pike County Mine

 Massey Energy Co. says it's idling an eastern Kentucky mine that federal regulators had sought to close as a serial violator of safety laws.

Virginia-based Massey announced the closure of the Freedom Energy Mine with headquarters in Belfry in Pike County on Wednesday.

The U.S. Department of Labor had filed an unprecedented lawsuit seeking to close the troubled mine Nov. 3. The action was the agency's first attempt to obtain an injunction to protect coal miners.

Massey says the mine was safe, but decades of mining left vast workings that were difficult to maintain. Some employees will remain to recover equipment, but others will shift to other mines.

The Obama administration has targeted problem mines since the April 5 explosion that killed 29 miners at Massey's Upper Big Branch mine in southern West Virginia.


Beshear Demanding Passport Managers Resign


Governor Steve Beshear is demanding the resignations of top managers at Louisville-based Passport Health Plan, the state's largest Medicaid provider, after an audit found lavish spending by the company.
State auditors found that the organization had spent nearly $230,000 on travel and $73,000 on meals over the past three years, in addition to about $1 million for lobbying and public relations. Passport received $793 million in state and federal money in the last fiscal year to provide medical care to needy residents in the Louisville area. Dr. Larry Cook, chairman and chief executive officer of Passport, has said the agency made mistakes and was working to fix them.


Judge Dismisses Part Of Clay County Conviction


U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves has dismissed part of a conviction against former Clay County  election commissioner Charles Wayne Jones who was found guilty in a vote-buying case. Reeves
found Wednesday there was insufficient evidence that Jones' attempts to get money from a candidate were based on an agreement for him to use his official position to help the candidate. Jones, who is a Democrat, and seven other Clay County residents were convicted in March of conspiring to buy or steal votes in the 2002, 2004 and 2006 local elections. The count that was dismissed alleged that Jones and former election officer William Stivers tried to extort $1,000 from a candidate for city council in 2006 to use to buy votes. Reeves earlier dismissed the count against Stivers. Jones' other convictions in the case still stand. None of the defendants, all of whom are fighting convictions, have been sentenced.


Judge Rules Former Miss Kentucky Latina Violated Order

A Madison County judge ruled Wednesday that former Miss Kentucky Latina, 22 year Daniela Gaskie, violated a plea deal order. Gaskie pleaded guilty in an assault case against her just one day before she was spotted inside Sling Point Firearms, a Lexington gun business owned by her husband, after it had been burglarized. Gaskie had pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor assault for stabbing a gas station employee with a pen and beating up a 59 year old pharmacist in September. Gaskie's plea deal included guidelines that she could not own a gun or work at a business that sold them. Judge Brandy Brown told Gaskie that she was also ordered to stay away from her husband's gun shop. On Wednesday, Brown ruled that Gaskie violated the terms of her disorder charge, but that the violation is technical. Brown told Gaskie she needed to learn some personal responsibility. Gaskie spent several hours in the Madison County Detention Center until she secured a spot at The Ridge in Lexington for in-patient treatment for seven days, as ordered by Brown.


Hardin County Teen Shot During Break-In

Kentucky State Police say a Hardin County teen was transported to University Hospital in critical condition  Tuesday evening after he was shot while attempting to break into a home. Police say 18 year old Kevin Scott Puckett threatened homeowner Loretta Hawkins and then tried to break into her home on Tomahawk Trail. Police say Hawkins shot Puckett once with a handgun.


McConnell Top Aide Resigning

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is losing one of his top aides and political advisers. Billy Piper said in a statement Wednesday that he will resign as of December 31st to pursue opportunities outside government service. Piper joined McConnell's staff in 1991 as special assistant and held a variety of positions over the years. He was named chief of staff in 2002, a position he has held since. Piper said in a statement that serving Kentucky and McConnell had been the absolute honor of his professional life, but he's excited about taking on new challenges.


Religious Theme Park Proposal

Gov. Steve Beshear held a press conference to unveil plans for a religious theme park in the northern Kentucky city of Williamstown.
Beshear was joined by representatives from Answers in Genesis, operators of the Creation Museum, at the to announce construction of the "Ark Encounter" theme park.

The proposal involves a full-scale wooden ark that would include associated museums, theaters, amenities, event venues and outdoor parking. Preliminary indications are that the attraction could draw as many as 1.6 million guests per year and would cost $24.5 million to build.

The Creation Museum, which opened three years ago, has drawn more than 720,000 visitors.


Firefighter Reprimanded

The Winchester City Commission has reprimanded a firefighter who balked at working three back-to-back 24-hour shifts.

Commissioners discussed the case of Raymond Patrick late into the night on Tuesday, then decided to place a letter of reprimand in his personnel file. Mayor Ed Burtner says Patrick will not lose pay or be suspended.

In October, the department responded to five fires in four days.

As Patrick was ending a shift, his supervisor told him to stay over for a second time. The usual scheduling is 24 hours on followed by 48 hours off.

Patrick -- who is also the firefighters union president -- told his supervisor he couldn't work 72 hours straight.

Commission members found Patrick violated city personnel rules.


Son Kills Father

An 18-year-old from Lexington has been charged with shooting and killing his father after what police describe as a confrontation.

Verdis Kyle Pennington III, 18, has been detained in the Fayette County jail, charged with murder in the shooting death of 50-year-old Verdis K. Pennington Jr.

The Fayette County Coroner's Office says the elder Pennington died Tuesday evening from a gunshot wound to the head.

Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts told The Lexington Herald-Leader that witnesses initially reported the shooting as an accident, but investigators later determined it happened after a confrontation Tuesday evening.


State Police Involved In Fatal Standoff


State Police say it appears 34 year old Robert Scott Lambert of Tucker County was ready to shoot at them from every room of his house Tuesday night when they went to his home on Pierce-Benbush Road in  Thomas to arrest him on a murder warrant. Police believe he shot and killed his mother, 54 year old Marianne Lambert, in her Bridgeport home Monday night. State Police say they tried to contact Lambert for several hours on Tuesday, but he refused to answer the phone and did not respond to them when they arrived on the scene. Lambert came out of the house after troopers fired tear gas inside. Members of the State Police Special Response Team shot and killed Lambert by returning fire after he displayed two weapons and shot at officers. Troopers searched the house and found 13 weapons scattered in nearly every room. Police say it appears Lambert was ready for a long fight.


Attorney Seeking To Subpoena Massey Official

Attorney Roger Forman said Wednesday he has filed an appeal for Mike Roselle, asking the state Supreme Court to allow them to subpoena a Massey Energy official to testify at his trespassing trial
scheduled for December 20th. Roselle was arrested in February at Marfork Coal and charged with trespassing, misdemeanor conspiracy and obstructing an officer. Forman says Roselle was waiting to serve a citizen's arrest warrant on Chris Blanchard, and Raleigh County Circuit Judge John Hutchison shouldn't have quashed a subpoena for Blanchard, president of Massey subsidiary Marfork Coal.


Caregiver Sentenced For Beating Incapacitated Woman


Twenty-six year old Natasha Grimes has been sentenced to two to ten years in prison for an attack on an incapacitated woman she was caring for. Police say she beat 29 year old Christina Starcher in the Bard Avenue, St. Albans, home where Grimes and her two children were living with Starcher. Grimes was caring for Starcher during her recuperation from back surgery. Police say, when they were called to the home on September 25th, they found Starcher lying in the doorway with cuts, bruises and missing clumps of hair. Under a plea agreement and after Grimes pleaded guilty to abuse, a charge of first-degree robbery was dropped. Police say Grimes stole prescription medications from the woman and left the house with her cell phone and debit cards.


Charleston Police Investigating Shooting


Charleston police are investigating after 44 year old John Stanley Ford was injured in a Wednesday morning shooting on the city's West Side. Ford was taken to Charlrston Area Medical Center General Hospital after he was hit once in the left calf by a bullet that broke a bone in his leg. Police say Ford told them he was shot from the street around 4:40 A.M.


Driver Charged After Crashing Into Car Lot

St. Albans Police have charged Brian McCallister with reckless driving and failure to maintain control after he crashed into six cars on the Moses Ford lot. St. Albans Police say they were getting calls just before 9:00 A.M. Wednesday morning about a driver on Route 60 who was weaving in and out of traffic and driving across the center line. Police were already trying to catch up with the driver when he lost control and crashed. Officers also found a bottle of liquid Methadone in the car.


Felon Charged With Possession Of Firearm

A domestic disturbance call involving a convicted felon who had firearms in the house has led to an arrest. Ronald Truman, 47, from St. Albans, has been charged with misdemeanor possession of a firearm after St. Albans Police offficers searched his home and discovered a shotgun and a 22-caliber pistol. Truman has been convicted of two felonies, grand larceny and third offense DUI.


Walmart Helps Huntington Area Food Bank

Wednesday, Walmart gave the Huntington Area Food Bank more than $220,000 dollars in grant money and a new refrigerated truck. The food bank will hit the road after the first of the year with stops in Putnam County, West Virginia and Lawrence County, Kentucky. The food bank also hopes to begin a school pantry program in 2011. The Huntington Area Food Bank serves 17 counties in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio, and through partnerships with its member agencies, including food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, senior centers, youth programs, and many other charitable organizations, it helps feed more than 91,000 individuals each month.


Kanawha County Commission President Rejects Pay Raises

A proposal developed by Kanawha County Manger Jennifer Sayre and presented to commissioners at the November 18th regular meeting would have restructured the Kanawha County Commission staff and given promotions and pay raises to at least nine different employees. Commission President Kent Carper, who has staunchly supported a series of payroll cuts and other budget reductions, voted in favor of the proposal at that meeting, while Commissioners Hoppy Shores and Dave Hardy voted against it. Carper said Tuesday he will not support any changes to the commission staff that involve pay raises, even small pay raises. Since August, commissioners have trimmed more than $250,000 from payroll, eliminated two property maintenance positions, the deputy county manager position, an administrative position at Camp Virgil Tate and Carper's administrative assistant. Projections for next fiscal year's budget show no increases in revenues.


Millions Approved For Charleston Area Medical Center

The West Virginia Health Care Authority has approved a $9.5 million project to build a four-story clinic and office building at Charleston Area Medical Center Women and Children's Hospital. The new building. which will be attached to the Women and Children's Hospital, will house the hospital's clinics and physician offices, and allow the hospital to expand its services to include private postpartum care rooms for mothers, as well as a step-down unit for babies leaving the neonatal intensive care unit. The new building is part of a three-phase project to expand the hospital's parking lot and begin renovation projects within the existing hospital. CAMC officials plan to add about 500 parking spaces beside the hospital and construct a 40-foot walkway along the riverbank that will connect the parking lot to the hospital grounds. The Health Care Authority has also approved a certificate of need for an $8.2 million construction project to expand the emergency room at CAMC Memorial Hospital which will more than double the ER from about 11,000 to 27,000 square feet, and increase from 22 to 32 beds.


Princeton Community Hospital Nurse Manager Receives Award

Princeton Community Hospital and Surgical Unit Nurse Manager Janet Shrewsbury has received the Patriotic Employer Award for helping employee and soldier William Thompson. The award is given to employers who support employees in the National Guard and Reserve. Shrewsbury was nominated for the award by William Thompson, a staff sergeant with the National Guard and a licensed practical nurse on Janet's unit. Thompson said he nominated Janet for the award because she went above and beyond just working around his schedule...she also helped his family during his deployments to Iraq, and sent care packages to him during his deployment.


Kanawha County Teacher Honored

During a special assembly Wednesday morning, 30 year old Amanda Mays, a fifth grade teacher at J.E. Robbins Elementary School on Charleston's West Side was honored for her exceptional contributions to education when she was awarded the Milken National Educator Award. Mays won a $25,000 cash award and a trip to Los Angeles, where she'll collaborate at a forum with other Milken winners. Mays, an eight-year classroom veteran, says she loves her job and her students. Educators are recommended for the Milken Award without their knowledge by a panel appointed by the West Virginia Department of Education. Mays holds degrees from West Virginia State University and Salem International University.


Class AAA State Championship Football Game Delayed

On Wednesday, officials with the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission delayed the Class AAA State Championship Football Game that had been set for Saturday at Wheeling Island Stadium.
The Commission is appealing a Tuesday decision from Kanawha County Circuit Judge Carrie Webster that would allow four South Charleston High School football players to play in the game. Those players had challenged one game suspensions that came after on field fight during the playoffs against Hurricane. The Commission does not agree with the decision from Judge Webster, and is hoping to get an expedient resolution from the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.


Zappos Needs 1000 Workers

Online apparel company Zappos needs temporary workers at its distribution center in Bullitt County.

WAVE-TV in Louisville reports the company has 1,000 job openings for seasonal employees.

There will be a job fair on Monday at the Paroquet Spring Conference Center.

Applicants must be at least 18, have a high school diploma or G.E.D. and present photo identification and proper documentation.


Teenager Found Dead In Louisville

A teenager found dead in Louisville was the grandson of a man charged with shooting and killing a teenager who allegedly threw rocks at his home in October.

Louisville police say 19-year-old Thomas Ashley was found dead at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in an alley near his home. His grandfather, 62-year-old Archie Ashley, is charged with killing 15-year-old Andrew Elliott, who was allegedly throwing rocks outside the older man's home on Oct. 9.

Lt. Barry Wilkerson, head of the Louisville Metro Police homicide unit, told The Courier-Journal that investigators were looking into whether Thomas Ashley's death is related to the charges against his grandfather, who remains in jail.

Thomas Ashley's father, Archie Ashley III, said that he doesn't believe the two slayings are connected.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Unemployment Benefits Set To Expire


More than 21,000 Kentuckians are expected to lose their unemployment benefits this week after Congress failed to act Tuesday to extend emergency benefits. Officials with the state Office of Employment and Training say, within the next eight weeks, the number of Kentuckians affected by the benefit cut will surpass 75,000. It is the third time this year the nation's lawmakers let the emergency benefits expire, even though the nation's unemployment rate remains steady at 9.6 percent. In those cases, jobless workers got retroactive benefits once legislation was passed. Kentucky Republican Senators Mitch McConnell and Jim Bunning oppose the benefit extension, saying the extra spending would increase the national deficit. Nationwide, the number of people slated to lose benefits is estimated at 2 million.


Elkhorn City Candidates Seeking New Election

Current Elkhorn City Mayor Billy Powell, who lost his bid for re-election to challenger Mike Taylor, has filed a lawsuit alleging vote fraud, asking the results be thrown out and a new election held. Five hundred seventy five votes were cast in the race, but losing candidates claim not all of the votes came from people who live in Elkhorn City. Attorney Steve Owens says people were allowed to use city ballots without any verification they were city residents. Owens, who represents Richard "Hank" Salyers and Mayor Billy Powell, has filed a suit claiming city ballots were sent to the Upper Elkhorn precinct, so residents not in the city received a ballot with city races on it. The suit also alleges the voting machines were on Central time instead of Eastern, which candidates claim means votes cast in the first hour might not have been counted. Taylor has denied the allegations and says he's the new mayor of Elkhorn City. Pike County Clerk Lillian Pearl Elliott says she cannot comment while the case is in court.


Murder-For-Hire Case Goes To Grand Jury

The case against a man accused in a murder for hire plot has been sent to a grand jury. On November 17th, Harlan police initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle for an expired license plate. After further investigation, police arrested Kevin S. Hubbard, age 19 of Cumberland for conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit robbery 1st degree, conspiracy to commit burglary 1st degree and conspiracy to commit arson 1st degree. Also arrested was the operator of the vehicle, Patricia L. Davidson, age 18 of Lynch, KY for hindering prosecution. Police say Hubbard hired someone to rob and kill people in a house in Lynch. Hubbard’s bond was reduced to $500,000.


Beshear Requests Political Appointees Jobs Be Spared


Governor Steve Beshear has requested that dozens of political appointees who would lose their jobs at the end of December be spared. Beshear's office says the group of 81 officials includes policy advisers and special assistants whose positions are essential. The governor wants the Kentucky Personnel Board to exempt the employees from a new budget-cutting law. Kentucky Association of State Employees Vice President Melissa Jan Williamson says most public service is done by merit workers who make less money and are being furloughed. Williamson says many of these jobs don't actually do anything that serves the public.


Scholarships For Women

A nonprofit foundation striving to create business and leadership opportunities for Kentucky women is accepting applications for college scholarships through Feb. 1.

The group Women Leading Kentucky says about eight students will be selected for $1,000 and $1,500 scholarships.

Applicants must be female freshmen, sophomores or juniors enrolled full time at a Kentucky college or university. Applicants must have at least a 3.0 grade point average and have shown leadership abilities.

The executive director of Women Leading Kentucky, Janet Steele Holloway, says the group's scholarships have gone to traditional and nontraditional students throughout Kentucky.

Applicants must complete the online application, submit a copy of their transcript and an essay of 300 words or less.


Escapee From Lexington Prison

Authorities are looking for a fugitive in the Bluegrass region after an inmate escaped from a state prison.

Kentucky State Police say 34-year-old Basil Dewayne Gilpin escaped from the Blackburn Correctional Complex in Lexington late Monday night. The institution is a minimum-security prison.

Gilpin is a white man, weighs 180 pounds and is six feet, two inches tall. He has brown hair and brown eyes and several tattoos.

The KSP says Gilpin could be trying to reach Bell or Harlan counties in southeastern Kentucky.


Turn Into Path Of Concrete Truck Results In Fatality

Kentucky State Police say a young Finchville man has been killed when he made a turn in front of a concrete transport truck.

Troopers say 21-year-old Samuel C. Wantye was pronounced dead at the scene in Taylorsville on Monday.

The truck driver wasn't hurt. He is Earl F. Sharp.

The KSP says Wantye made a left turn from Ky. 1633 onto Ky. 44 into the path of the truck.


Unemployment Rates Drop From Preceding Year

Unemployment rates fell in 113 Kentucky counties between October 2009 and October 2010, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 6.6 percent. It was followed by Webster County, 7 percent; Fayette and Livingston counties, 7.2 percent each; Carlisle County, 7.3 percent; Calloway and Oldham counties, 7.4 percent each; Larue County, 7.5 percent; Franklin County, 7.6 percent; and Caldwell, Rowan and Shelby counties, 7.8 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate — 16.8 percent. It was followed by Jackson County, 14.9 percent; Menifee County, 13.9 percent; McCreary County, 13.4 percent; Powell County, 12.9 percent; Clay and Grayson counties, 12.8 percent each; Wayne County, 12.5 percent; Wolfe County, 12.4 percent; and Leslie County, 12.2 percent.

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working. Civilian labor force statistics include non-military workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks. The statistics in this news release are not seasonally adjusted to allow for comparisons between United States, state and county figures.


MSHA Attempts To Resolve Massey Citation

MSHA federal regulators have given Massey Energy until 10:00 A.M. Wednesday morning to resolve a citation accusing the company of impeding the investigation of the April 5th explosion that killed 29 miners at its Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia. The agency cited Massey for impeding the investigation November 10th. Spokesman Jeff Gillenwater says Richmond, Va.-based Massey is working with MSHA to resolve the matter, but the company still disputes that it impeded the investigation.


Senate Majority Leader Says Caucuses Private For A Reason

Senate Majority Leader Truman Chafin of Mingo County on Tuesday reminded his colleagues that, essentially, what happens in caucus, stays in caucus.Ghaffin said House and Senate part caucuses are not open to the public or the press for a order to permit frank, open and sometimes very personal discussions of sensitive matters, including the selection of Senate leadership. He says matters are discussed and debated in a private setting to protect the comments of the members and encourage each member to enter an honest and open dialouge for the benefit of the state. The House and Senate will hold party caucuses on December 13th, at which time each party will select its nominees for Senate president, House speaker, and clerk, sergeant-at-arms and doorkeeper for each house. Those officers will be formally elected when the 80th Legislature convenes on January 12th.


U.S. Postal Service Announces Consolidation

U.S. Postal Service Spokeswoman Cathy Yarosky said Tuesday evening that operations at the Beckley and Huntington post offices will be consolidated into the Charleston processing and distributions center.
Yarosky said she had no details on the number of affected jobs, but a dramatic decline in mail volume has left the Postal Service with excess equipment and facilities. Representative Nick Rahall called the consolidation a "meat axe" to good mail delivery in southern West Virginia.

The Postal Service also is looking at consolidating mail processing operations in Martinsburg with a processing center in Maryland. That study could be completed by next spring.


Boone County Clerk Facing Sexual Harassment

A lawsuit filed in Boone County Circuit Court alleges that County Clerk Gary Williams sexually harassed office assistant, 24 year old Ashley Parsons Jackson and that the three-member Boone County Commission knew of "coerced sexual relations" and did nothing to protect Jackson or punish Williams.
The suit says that four months after Jackson was hired to a part-time position in August 2004, Williams asked her to go out with him, promising she would get promoted to a full time position. As a condition, she was allegedly required to continue a sexual relationship with him. The suit claims the relationship lasted from January 2005 to June 2008, although she repeatedly tried to break off the relationship. The woman says Williams would tell her that if she broke things off he would not be able to stand to be around her and she would lose her job.


Hurricane Man Pleads Not Guilty

Robert Gene Kidd, 42, of Hurricane, pleaded not guilty to 13 felony charges of sexual abuse, sexual assault, and incest Tuesday. Police say Kidd started performing sexual acts on his stepdaughter in 2004, when she was 10 years old. During the next six years, police say Kidd used obscene material to seduce the girl, forced her to have sex with him several times, and filmed her during various sex acts. Sheriff's deputies began investigating Kidd in June and arrested him after the girl gave deputies a detailed description of his genitals. Kidd's court date is set for February 22nd. He is being held in the Western Regional Jail on $50,000 bond.


AAA State Title Game In Question

 Tuesday, Kanawha County Circuit Judge Carrie Webster ruled that suspended South Charleston players are eligible for the class AAA state title game. Webster ruled the jurisdiction of referees ended when they declared the game over, meaning they couldn't go back and suspended players. Brooke County tried to intervene Monday in the case after last Saturday's game, a 29-28 South Charleston win. Four South Charleston football players, Tyler Harris, Pierria' Henry, Emerson Gagnon and Trevond Reese, were suspended after the game ending fight in the November 19th playoff game against Hurricane. Ohio County Circuit Judge Arthur Recht issued a temporary restraining order delaying the AAA championship game after a legal challenge was filed by the Brooke County Board of Education to stop the game scheduled for Saturday at noon at Wheeling Island Stadium. While Webster's ruling clears the way for a final Saturday between South Charleston and Martinsburg, Recht's decision appears to put that game on hold.


U.S. Senator Joe Manchin Disappointed

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin says he's disappointed that two attempts to repeal the 1099 provision of the health care bill have died. Two separate amendments, the Johanns amendment 4702 and the Baucus amendment 4713, would have ended the requirement for small businesses to file 1099 forms with the IRS on payments for goods and services of more than $600. The measures needed 67 votes to move forward in the Senate. Manchin. who co-sponsored the Baucus amendment, says he will continue to try to get rid of the 1099 requirement. Manchin says he's committed to working with Republicans and Democrats who share his concern for jobs and small businesses and the need to repeal this provision from health care reform.


Police Chase Ends With Arrest


Shortly before 3:30 A.M. Tuesday morning, a West Virginia State Police Trooper was trying to stop Robert Dillon of Harts on I-77 near Malden for having an improper license plate. Instead of stopping, Dillon took off and led police on a chase that took them on Route 94 through Kanawha State Forrest before he was caught on Clark Road near Charleston, where he and a passenger jumped out and ran. Police discovered Dillon was wanted on a fugitive warrant from Lincoln County for fleeing from home confinement. He is charged with fleeing from police, wanton endangerment and fleeing while driving under the influence of alcohol.


Bond Reduction Denied

Tuesday, Walter Hudnall was in court seeking a bond reduction after being accused of starving his mother to death. Hudnall's mother, 86 year old Helen Hudnall, was emaciated, had bone fractures and bed sores infested with maggots when she died in March. Hudnall was indicted on charges of first degree murder, abuse of an incapacitated adult and neglect of an incapacitated adult. He was only her only caregiver, but his attorney says Hudnall wasn't able to care for her and in fact isn't even able to care for himself. The request was denied.


Teens Sentenced To Life With Mercy


Jimmy Thompson and Michael Thompson, who are not related, were each sentenced Tuesday to life in prison with mercy, making both eligible for parole in 15 years. Each pleaded guilty in June to the first degree murder of 51 year old James Gillespie which occurred in his South Charleston home in November 2009. Jimmy Thompson said that he had been high on drugs at the time, and that Gillespie had given them alcohol. Police say Gillispie was beaten, strangled, kicked, stabbed more than 70 times and had bleach poured over his body. Gillispie's brother says his body was removed from the home in two body bags. After the murder, the men took prescription drugs, a pistol, a PlayStation and Gillespie's iPhone and car keys.

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