Saturday, January 01, 2011


Knott County Man Arrested

Kentucky State Police arrested 31-year-old Jason Amburgey at his home in Mallie in Knott County Friday morning and charged him with theft by unlawful taking. Police say he robbed Handy Dan's in Vicco Thursday.


Pedestrian Death In Lincoln County

A 77-year-old central Kentucky man has died after walking into a lane of traffic and being hit by a sport-utility vehicle.

Kentucky State Police say Bobby Henson of Stanford was pronounced dead at a Danville hospital where he was taken after being hit Thursday afternoon.

Police say Henson suddenly appeared in the SUV's northbound lane on U.S. 127 in Lincoln County. Three people were inside the SUV, but no one was injured.

No charges have been filed.


Paducah Family Loses Home To Fire For Second Time

A family has lost their home to fire for the second time.

Rick Morgan says his family lost their first home to a blaze 13 years ago this month. Earlier this week the tragedy repeated itself when the Morgans lost all of their possessions in the fire.

Morgan told WPSD-TV in Paducah the family will be living out of the funeral home they operate in Princeton, just like they did when their first home burned.

Morgan says harsh winds on Wednesday night fueled the blaze, making it difficult for firefighters to extinguish. Morgan says he believes the fire started with a heat lamp being used in an outdoor breezeway. The family turned the lamp on during cold nights to keep their outdoor pets warm.


The New Year Welcomes New Arrivals

Cabell Huntington Hospital officials say Erin Darst of Leon in Mason County welcomed the city’s first baby into the world at 1:03 A.M. Saturday morning. The baby boy weighed 6-pounds 5-ounces and was 20 inches long. Charleston Area Medical Center’s Women and Children’s Hospital welcomed its first delivery at 3:16 A.M. Officials described it as a 7-pound, 8-ounce baby girl.


State Police Arrest Huntington Man

A New Year’s Eve stabbing took the life of a former Wayne County coach. West Virginia State Police arrested Clinton Douglas Skeens of Huntington and charged him with the first degree murder of Jess “Scott” Jarrell after troopers responded to Jarrell’s residence and found him dead. From 1966 to 1985, Jarrell was the head football coach for the Wayne High School Pioneers. He also worked as a teacher and a guidance counselor.


McDowell County Earmark Rejected

McDowell County will lose $900,000 in federal funds originally earmarked for a proposed interchange of the King Coal Highway and the Coalfields Expressway in Welch. Officals say the appropriation has been rejected by the U.S. Senate after passing in the House of Representatives. The interchange was planned near the new $232 million federal prison that recently became operational in Welch. Senator Richard Browning, D-Wyoming, says U.S. Senator Joe Manchin has pledged to help with finding additional funding for the interchange project.


Gilmer County Man Jailed

Saturday afternoon, State Police arrested 27 year old Robert Cottrill of Duskcamp Road in Gilmer County after they say he pointed a loaded rifle at his mother and then fled. Cottrill is charged with wanton endangerment involving a firearm.

Friday, December 31, 2010


Rogers Named Coal Miner Of The Year

The Kentucky Coal Association has named U.S. Representative Hal Rogers the 2010 Coal Miner of the Year. KCA President, Bill Bissett, says Rogers was selected for the honor because of his "tireless support" in stressing  the importance of Kentucky's coal miners in Washington.


Northern Kentucky Meth Labs

State and local authorities have charged four people with a variety of drug charges after finding two methamphetamine labs in a house in northern Kentucky.

State police say 27-year-old Victoria A. McDaniel, 34-year-old Wendy L. Mercer, 34-year-old James R. Noel and 42-year-old Billy G. Sturgeon II were arrested Wednesday night.

All four were also charged with wanton endangerment because a juvenile was in the home.

They were taken to the Carroll County Regional Detention Center.

Jail records show all four remained incarcerated Friday morning. It wasn't clear whether they had attorneys.


Recycled Tires A Problem

Add tire recycling to the long list of causes of the bad economy.

While the Kentucky Division of Waste Management estimates that about 4 million scrap tires are generated every year in the state, there's very little money to recycle them. County waste management officials tell the Messenger-Inquirer those tires are ending up in landfills by the thousands.

A highly successful 2008 state program that provided the funding to promote tire recycling has been abandoned due to state budget cuts.

A pilot of that program in a seven-county western Kentucky region took in tens of thousands of tires. County officials said they were overwhelmed by the response.

Now, the state is offering $3,000 grants for tire recycling, and county officials say they don't know what they can accomplish with such a small amount of funding.


Homicides Down In Louisville For 2010

Kentucky's largest city saw a sharp decline in homicides in 2010.

There were 62 homicides in Metro Louisville this year, down from 71 in 2009. The city had a six-week stretch during which no one was killed.

Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert White says he was pleased to see the number decrease.

Half of the year's homicides stemmed from arguments that boiled over into violence, including domestic disputes. More than half involved victims under the age of 30.

The majority of killings were clustered in downtown and western Louisville. Two-thirds involved guns.

Homicide detectives have solved about 60 percent of Louisville's cases, about the same as last year.


St. Albans Shoplifting Ends With Drug Arrest

St. Albans Police responding to K-Mart on a call of shoplifting, arrested Kevin P. Johnson, 35, of St. Albans, for possession with intent to deliver. Officers discovered Hydrocodone and Xanax Johnson said were not his. Johnson was taken to South Central Regional Jail.


Charleston Police Make Arrests

Charleston Police arrested John Burdette, 18 year old Shane Peck and 20 year old Brandi Bowles after they were spotted at a Southridge hotel. Police say Peck broke into numerous houses in the Kearse and Chandler Drive areas of Charleston. Burdette, who is Peck's cousin, is facing similar charges, but police aren't sure if the two were working together. Bowles is facing misdemeanor charges, but police won't say if those charges are related to the burglaries.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Family Of Jailed Inmate Sues Whitley County

The family of Ronald Shannon Lawson, a man who died after being jailed in the Whitley County Detention Center four days earlier, is suing Whitley County. Lawson was in jail charged with driving under the influence and possesion of a controlled substance. The lawsuit says Lawson death from diabetes was unnecessary and preventable. The family's attorney says Lawson's treatment was not unusual but part of a pattern of the jail ignoring the medical needs of inmates.


Handy Dan's Offers Reward

The Handy Dan's gas station and convenience mart in Vicco is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of a male suspect who ripped the cash drawer, containing around $800 from the desk, then fled out the door. Police and store management are asking for your help in identifying the man who was caught on camera. If you have any information, call Kentucky State Police.


Stumbo And Williams Reveal Illegal Immigration Proposals

 Illegal immigration is being billed as one of the top issues Kentucky lawmakers will confront during the 2011 legislative session that begins Tuesday, but House and Senate lawmakers don't agree on how to deal with illegal immigrants living in Kentucky. Senate President David Williams is pushing a proposal that would allow police to arrest illegal immigrants on trespassing charges, while House Speaker Greg Stumbo is endorsing legislation that would require employers to check the citizenship status of people before hiring them. Stumbo says illegal immigrants won't stay in Kentucky if they can't get jobs. Williams says the immigration proposal Senate Republicans are pushing would be similar to a law passed in Arizona. It would allow illegal immigrants to be charged with criminal trespass if found on public or private property in the state and would make it illegal to harbor or transport illegal immigrants. The controversial Arizona measure is being challenged in court. Stumbo says police are already authorized to check a person's citizenship status and take appropriate action. He said he would prefer legislation that holds companies accountable if they hire illegal immigrants.


New Regulations In Kentucky

New regulations in Kentucky that take effect Saturday will require contractors to apply for permits and have inspections conducted for new heating or air conditioning systems. The regulations also apply to homeowners installing a system in a new home or an initial system in an existing home. Inspections aren't required for replacements, but they're available upon request from the Kentucky Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction.


Owsley County Sheriff's Deputy Accused Of Assaulting Ohio Man

State police and the FBI are investigating an Ohio man's claim that Owsley County sheriff's deputy Michael Havicus assaulted him without provocation, breaking his left eye socket and nose, and Booneville Officer Timothy Marshall failed to stop the attack. John Adkins of Clinton County, Ohio has filed a lawsuit alleging he was attending a horse-riding event called the Fall Trail Ride in Owsley County with his fiancée, Kerri Vandiver, on October 8th, when the two went to hear a band perform at the Owsley County Saddle Club grounds. That night, Havicus and Marshall came to the event because of a report of an intoxicated woman. The lawsuit says the band was told to shut down, and Adkins, who was not drunk, wanted to see the rest of the performance and asked "quietly and calmly" that the band be allowed to continue playing. Immediately after he made the request, Havicus hit Adkins in the face with an expandable baton, the lawsuit says. Adkins says he did nothing to provoke the attack.


KSP Investigating Inmate Death

Kentucky State Police are investigating after a a western Kentucky jail inmate who was found unresponsive. Police say 21 year old Desmond Dunlow of La Center in Ballard County was taken by ambulance to a Paducah hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:00 A.M. CST Thursday.


Murder Detainee Now Charged With Assault On Jail Nurse

A man being held in Paducah on a murder charge is now accused of assaulting a jail nurse.

46-year-old Mark Taylor has been charged with third-degree assault.

Jail officials say the attack occurred on Christmas Day, three days after Taylor, his wife and their daughter were charged with murder in the death of Casondra Evrard, who was a friend of Taylor's daughter.

McCracken County Jailer Bill Adams says Taylor asked to have his blood pressure checked and then punched the male nurse several times.

Taylor, his 44-year-old wife Jamie Taylor and their 21-year-old daughter Jasmine Taylor remain in the McCracken County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond each.


Woman Pleads Guilty To Vote Buying

A Tompkinsville woman has pleaded guilty to buying votes in a 2006 election in Monroe County.
The U.S. Attorney's office for the Western District says 50-year-old Wanda Moore entered a guilty plea last week to a charge of conspiring to buy votes and buying votes during the general election.

A press release says Moore admitted to paying voters to vote for judge executive Wilbur Graves and instructed voters to cast absentee ballots.

The statement says Moore paid voters $40 on two occasions.

Moore faces up to 20 years in prison for the convictions. She will be sentenced on March 25.

A trial for Graves on vote buying charges is pending. Graves was defeated in the 2010 primary election.


Gas Supplier Ordered To Pay Royalties

A jury in western Kentucky has ordered a Texas-based natural gas supplier to pay $31.35 million to a group of landowners and investors who claimed they were owed royalty payments.

The ruling against Atmos Energy came at the end of a five-week trial in Edmonson Circuit Court.

The suit was filed last year. The plaintiffs alleged the utility breached a contract that should have paid one-eighth of total royalties of its Park City gas project.

A.V. Conway, a Hartford attorney who represented the landowners, said Atmos had paid only about 1 percent of total royalties on the project.

The jury awarded about $7.7 million to the landowners, and the rest to a company owned by Robert Thorpe, which acted as a third-party producer in the project.

An attorney for Dallas-based Atmos did not respond to a request for comment.


Bill Monroe Celebration Is Set

Bluegrass music fans need to reserve some vacation time for a long weekend in mid-September.
That's when virtually every active member of the International Bluegrass Music Association's Hall of Fame is scheduled to perform in the celebration for what would have been Bill Monroe's 100th birthday.

The Bill Monroe Centennial Celebration is set for Sept. 12 to 14 in Owensboro. Monroe, known as the "father of bluegrass music," was born on a farm in the town of Rosine near Owensboro on Sept. 13, 1911, and died on Sept. 9, 1996.

He is buried in Rosine Cemetery.

Gabrielle Gray, executive director of the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, says the birthday bash will mark the first time so many bluegrass legends have performed at one event.

Performers include Earl Scruggs, Ralph Stanley and Doc Watson.


Exotic Dancer Torches Other Dancers' Clothing

Louisville authorities accuse an exotic dancer of heating up a lounge to felonious levels.

23-year-old Kayla Anderson -- known as Summer to patrons of Deja Vu -- faces arraignment Monday on charges of arson and wanton endangerment. A bench warrant for her arrest was issued after she was indicted.

Louisville Fire Department Maj. Henry Ott says Anderson raided other dancers' lockers, piling up bras, underwear, lingerie and other clothing and then torched it. Investigators say Anderson thought the others were stealing her customers.

There were five people in the lounge when the fire began in March, and they quickly extinguished it. It caused minor damage to a pool table, carpeting and a wall.


Kentucky City To Broadcast Salaries

Newport city officials hope to answer residents' questions about city finances with a plan to broadcast city salaries and other information starting next month.

The city will start broadcasting on public access television in January but hasn't picked a specific date.

City Manager Tom Fromme says he hears questions from citizen neighborhood groups frequently, many of them about city salaries.

He says about 60 percent of the city's $15 million in annual expenses is from police and fire department salaries.


Water Taxi In Louisville To Discontinue

People who have been using a water taxi to go back and forth to Louisville men's basketball games from southern Indiana will have to find another way after the Cardinals' game against Kentucky on Friday.

Jeffersonville, Ind., Mayor Tom Galligan told The Courier-Journal in Louisville that not enough people were using the taxi.

The city had been using Louisville's Spirit of Jefferson boat for two trips each before and after games, hoping fans would be lured to Jeffersonville restaurants across the Ohio River from the new KFC Yum Center and allowing them to avoid traffic congestion in downtown Louisville.

The boat can hold 260 riders, but Galligan says only 12 to 40 riders have used the taxi each of the last three games.

The service has been offered for a cost of $10 per round trip.



Boone County Native Found Dead In Florida

Corey Sean Burdette, 20, a native of Boone County, West Virginia, was found stabbed to death in Plant City, Florida Thursday afternoon. Police Captain Jerry Stwan says the stabbing was related to an argument over a woman. Stwan says 20 year old Christopher Michael Henderson had a prior relationship with the woman and Burdette was at her home, where the alleged stabbing took place. Henderson was charged with second-degree murder. Family members of Corey Burdette say he moved to Florida with his mother and brother 7-8 years ago. An investigation is ongoing.


Deadliest Year For Miners In Nearly Two Decades

For the U.S. coal industry, 2010 is going into the record books as the deadliest year in nearly two decades. According to federal Mine Safety and Health Administration records, 48 miners were killed while working in the nation's 1,500 mines this past year, the highest since 55 miners died in 1992. Most of those deaths occurred in West Virginia where, on April 5th, 29 miners died in an explosion at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch mine. West Virginia's total death toll for the year is 35, while Kentucky recorded 6. Other mining deaths occurred in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana and Montana. National Mining Association spokeswoman Carol Raulston says the death toll has prompted the entire industry to reconsider all aspects of safety.


Union Accepts WVU Hospitals Contract

Local 814 of the AFL-CIO Union members voted 414-190 to accept a new contract with West Virginia University Hospitals Thursday, averting a strike set for Friday. The new contract provides raises, smaller increases in health insurance premiums and better workplace policies. In an earlier offer, half of employees’ raises would have gone to pay for increased health insurance premiums. In the new deal, employees who participate in a wellness initiative will only see an increase of 9 cents per hour on their premiums for the first year and none in the second and third years. Employees will receive a 50-cent per hour raise the first year of the contract, followed by a 40-cent raise the second year and 35 cents the third year. Policies regarding emergency leave also were changed so that employees can no longer be terminated for leaving without prior approval on the first instance.


Cross Lanes Man Sentenced

Forty-two year old Bradford Corder of Cross Lanes has been sentenced to five years in prison and 10 years of home confinement for sexual abuse. Corder was found guilty on three counts of third-degree sexual abuse for a year-long sexual relationship he had with a 15-year-old female.


Boone County Man Charged

A warrant was issued Wednesday in Boone County Magistrate Court for one count of breaking and entering against Frank Toath of Prenter, a man who was found inside Dorothy Duke No. 2 Mine in Prenter Hollow. He was transported to Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital for an evaluation. Authorities say Toath entered the mine and was attempting to steal a large amount of copper, but Toath says he entered the mine to stay warm.


Fayette County Man Charged With Breaking Into Vehicles

Fayette County Sheriff's Deputy N.D. Hall says he spotted 32 year old Joel Leighton Sowder of Scarbro breaking into several vehicles on the parking lot at Chuck's Pawn Shop near Hilltop Thursday morning. When Hall confronted Sowder, he fled into the woods behind the pawn shop, and Deputy, Cpl. S.R. Morris, brought in his police dog and tracked Sowder, who refused to surrender until Morris released his dog. Sowder was charged with four counts of breaking and entering of an automobile, as well as attempted grand larceny, destruction of property, fleeing and obstructing an officer. His bond was set at $15,000.


Charleston Couple Charged With Operating A Meth Lab

Twenty-three year old Joshua Allen Hutchinson and 21 year old Amy Roth, both of Charleston, have been arrested and charged with operating a meth lab and conspiracy. After receiving a tip concerning a meth lab in a house on Bigley Avenue, Charleston Police went to the home, where Roth allowed officers to search the residence. Police found a bag containing coffee filters, jars containing clear liquid, drain cleaner, tubing and a plastic bottle stuffed behind a hot water heater. Inside the closet were an empty hydrogen peroxide bottle and a Coleman fuel can. Police found another empty hydrogen peroxide bottle in the bathroom trashcan, and its lid had a tube coming out of it. 


Delaware Man Faces WV Drug Charge

Twenty-six year old Jasper Wemh of Dover, Delaware was arrested during a traffic stop on Washington Street West in Cross Lanes Wednrsday after a search of his vehicle turned up crack cocaine  Detectives say they had been investigating Wemh since October after he allegedly sold a quantity of crack cocaine to a confidential informant working for Charleston's Special Enforcement Unit.


Man Pleads Guilty To Burglaries And Larceny

James Edward Smith, 45, of Institute, has pleaded guilty to five burglaries and larceny-related felonies in Kanawha County Circuit Court. He admitted to a series of burglaries from April to September 2010 at Shawnee Park Golf Course where more than $4,000 was stolen from a safe at the pro shop. Smith was arrested in September after a lengthy investigation. He is scheduled to be sentenced January 27th.


Former Ripley High School Secretary Sentenced

Former Ripley High School Secretary Robin Wise has been sentenced after pleading guilty in February to embezzlement. Wise was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay $500 each month for the next 15 years in addition to $267 in court costs. She admitted to embezzling more than $52,000 from various school funds during the 2008 fiscal year, while she served as the school's financial secretary. Wise was arrested in March 2010 after having been employed at Ripley High School for 10 years.


New Judge Sought In Huntington Mall Rapes Trial

John Laishley, attorney for Donald Eugene Good, the man charged for the 1987 Huntington Mall rapes, has filed a motion in Cabell County Circuit Court to recuse Judge Dan O'Hanlon from the case, citing concerns over his client receiving a fair trial. The state Supreme Court of Appeals had appointed O'Hanlon to preside over Good's trial. Good faces a 22-count indictment charging him with multiple counts of kidnapping, aggravated robbery, first-degree sexual assault, second-degree sexual assault and first-degree sexual abuse. Laishley says his client is entitled to a fair trial and he isn't certain that would be capable under O'Hanlon. In 1987, O'Hanlon sentenced Glen Dale Woodall to two life without mercy sentences plus 335 years for the crimes, but DNA evidence freed him five years later. O'Hanlon is now required to transmit a copy of the motion, together with a letter stating his response to the motion, to the Chief Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals. Upon receipt, Chief Justice Robin Jean Davis is required to enter an order within 14 days providing for the judge to either remain on the case or be removed. If   O'Hanlon is removed, Davis would appoint another judge to hear the matter.


Retiring St. Albans Police Chief Honored

Retiring St. Albans Police Chief Joe Crawford was honored Thursday as dozens of fellow police officers, friends, family and public officials came to an informal retirement party at St. Albans City Council chambers. Crawford, 46, is retiring after 23 years at the St. Albans Police Department to take a private security job. He worked as a police officer at the Dunbar Police Department for a year before moving to the St. Albans force in 1987. Current Mayor Dick Callaway asked Crawford to be police chief in 2006. He accepted the job and now says he has no regrets.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Pike County Manslaughter Case Goes To Grand Jury

Twenty-six year old Jeffrey Mullins of Pike County has pleaded not guilty, while requests to reduce a manslaughter charge and his $100,000 bond were denied when he appeared in court in Pikeville Wednesday. The case against Mullins has been sent to the grand jury. State police say in the early afternoon of December 17th, Mullins had crossed to the wrong side of the road while driving on U.S. 460 when he hit a car head-on and then hit another. Seventy-six year old Marie Stiltner died at Pikeville Medical Center, while 55 year old Janice Baker and 57 year old Linda Walker, who were seriously injured. were sent to UK Hospital in Lexington. Police say, while at PMC, they discovered a bag of pills on Mullins, and they believe he was under the influence at the time of the crash. Police are awaiting results of blood tests.


Leslie County Woman Dies In Head-On Accident

Doris Morgan lost control of her vehicle due to ice on the roadway while she was traveling on Highway 11 near the Knox-Clay County line Wednesday morning. Police say she hit a log truck head-on, killing her. Police say she crossed the center line, right into the path of Bobbie Henderson, who was driving the  logging truck, and, although Henderson attempted, he could not avoid the accident. Henderson was not injured.


Gambling Won't Be Part Of Legislative Session

After three years of heated debate over gambling, Kentucky lawmakers will get a reprieve in the upcoming legislative session. House speaker Greg Stumbo says, when the legislative session begins in Frankfort Tuesday, proposals to legalize slots at horse tracks or to allow casinos won't get a hearing because it has no chance of passing. Scores of other bills have already been drafted and are ready to be introduced.
Among the high-profile proposals is one that would allow Kentuckians to carry concealed weapons without first obtaining government-required permits. Another would require pregnant women to undergo ultrasounds before having abortions so they could see images from inside their wombs.

State Representative Mike Harmon, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, is proposing the measure that would eliminate the need for concealed weapon permits, insisting that all law-abiding citizens have the constitutional right to carry guns to defend themselves.


Judge Upholds Betting On Previous Races At KY Horse Tracks

Franklin County Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate issued a ruling Wednesday upholding regulations that allow betting on previously run races at Kentucky horse tracks.  In an effort to boost the struggling industry in the self-proclaimed horse capital of the world, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved the regulations in July. Horse tracks and racing regulators sought the ruling on the legality of the regulations. The Kentucky Family Foundation, an anti-gambling group, intervened in the lawsuit, arguing against the proposal. The ruling is expected to be appealed, so it could be some time before Kentuckians can begin wagering on race replays.


Martin County Courthouse Goes Smoke-Free

The Martin County Courthouse is now smoke-free after the second vote on a no smoking ordinance passed with a 4-0 vote Wednesday afternoon. The first vote on the oridnance was held two weeks ago and also passed with flying colors. The purpose of this ordinance is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of employees and members of the public by providing a smoke-free environment. As soon as the paperwork is complete the courthouse and the annex will be smoke-free. Executive Judge Kelly Callaham hopes to have the paperwork complete by the end of the week.

Starting this weekend, you will no longer be able to smoke on the Knox County hospital's campus. This also includes smokeless tobacco. All smoke shacks on campus will be torn down and removed.


Thomas More College Gets Top Approval

Thomas More College has been reaffirmed for accreditation.

The Catholic liberal arts college in northern Kentucky is under the Diocese of Covington and has about 1,900 students.

The U.S. Department of Education defines accreditation as assurance that a college's education meets quality benchmarks. Universities and colleges which are not accredited can't participate in federal student loan programs.

College President Sister Margaret Stallmeyer issued a news release, quoted by The Kentucky Enquirer which reports the extensive review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools covered academic program quality, finances and several other areas.

Thomas More's next extensive review will be in 2020.


Radcliff Woman Found Dead..Could Be Exposure

Kentucky State Police are investigating the death of a central Kentucky woman found outside the morning after Christmas.

Police say 45-year-old Pamela A. Brown of Radcliff left a party in Rineyville Saturday night on foot and never made it home.

The News-Enterprise of Elizabethtown reports her family tried to find her, but called the fire department early Sunday requesting help. Firefighters found her body later that morning.

Police say an autopsy was performed, but the cause of death wasn't determined. State police spokesman Bruce Reeves said exposure to the elements is suspected.


Wildlife Town Hall Meetings Rescheduled

Kentuckians with an interest in the outdoors will have two more opportunities to give their concerns to state Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources officials at town hall meetings next month.

The meetings had been scheduled for December but were canceled because of bad weather.

They are rescheduled for:

--7 p.m. EST Jan. 10 at the Carl Perkins Center in Morehead, for the Eighth Wildlife District, including Bath, Bourbon, Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Fleming, Greenup, Lewis, Mason, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Rowan and Wolfe counties.

--7 p.m. EST Jan. 11 at the Edgewood Senior Center in Edgewood, for the Fifth Wildlife District, including Boone, Bracken, Campbell, Carroll, Gallatin, Grant, Harrison, Henry, Kenton, Owen, Pendleton, Robertson and Trimble counties.


Kentucky Stoneware Sells For Record Price

A 174-year-old stoneware butter churn made in Kentucky has sold at auction for $55,200.

The 8-gallon churn was made and decorated in Maysville by Isaac Thomas in 1836. Case Antiques Inc., which sold the piece, said it "is the earliest known marked piece of Kentucky pottery."

The Knoxville auction house said the price at the Oct. 16 sale was a record for a piece of Kentucky pottery sold at auction.

Case Antiques told The Ledger Independent in Mayville that the piece was consigned by someone from East Tennessee and that the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Winston-Salem, N.C., purchased the churn.

The butter churn is decorated with a cobalt flower sprig and marked "Kentucky 1836" in cobalt script. It is stamped "I Thomas" for Maysville potter Isaac Thomas. Case Antiques President John Case said Thomas' skill level as a potter is comparable to that of Paul Revere as a silversmith.


Kentucky Artist Found Dead

A Kentucky artist whose work has been displayed in galleries across the globe has been found dead at the artists' collective where he worked.

A fellow artist found 51-year-old Stephen Irwin of Louisville dead on Monday at Zephyr Gallery, where he worked.

Chris Radtke, who found Irwin, told The Courier-Journal that "a light has gone out" with Irwin's death.

Irwin, a native of Vine Grove and one-time student at Murray State University, has garnered attention with group and solo exhibits in galleries in New York, New Orleans, Berlin, London and Munich.

His work is scheduled to be shown in a group exhibit opening in January at Galerie Stefan Roepke in Cologne, Germany.

Funeral arrangements have not been made yet. The cause of death hasn't been determined.


Louisville Orchestra Bankruptcy

The CEO of the Louisville Orchestra has defended the organization's bankruptcy filing, saying the group had a rapid financial deterioration in the 10 months leading up to the filing in early December.

Orchestra head Robert Birman told a federal bankruptcy judge on Tuesday that the group had $15,000 on hand as of Dec. 27. The Courier-Journal reported that the orchestra has relied for the last decade on last-minute bailouts and bequests averaging $1 million to stay solvent.

In filing for bankruptcy protection, the orchestra has requested to break its collective bargaining agreement with its players in the Louisville Federation of Musicians Local 11-637.

Bankruptcy Judge David Stosberg did not rule on Tuesday on a request by the musicians to end the bankruptcy proceedings.


Logan County Crash Kills Female Driver

State Police in Logan say Vickie Lynn Albright, 37, of Lorado, died shortly after crashing her vehicle into another on Route 10  near Niebert around 5:30 A.M. Wednesday morning. The driver of the other car was taken to Logan Regional Medical Center.


Man Pleads Not Guilty To Killing Mother

Walter Hudnall was arraigned Wednesday in Kanawha County Circuit Court on multiple charges, including murder after being accused of starving and abusing his mother until she died. Hudnall was arrested in November after an investigation revealed 86 year old Helen Louise Hudnall was suffering from multiple stage IV bleeding bed sores embedded with live maggots. When Hudnall was discovered at her home in Belle on February 14, 2009, she was "lying in her own urine and feces, and her bed dressings had not been changed for sometime. She was transported to CAMC General Hospital where she died March 7, 2009. Walter Hudnall pleaded not guilty to three charges and will be back in court February 28th. His attorney told the court Hudnall suffers from dementia.The judge denied bond and ordered a mental evaluation, making sure Hudnall is competent enough to stand trial. A trial is set for February 28, 2011.


Woman Arrested Over Forged Checks

The Kanawha County Sheriff's Department has identified a man and a woman attempting to pass forged checks. Police say 35 year old Jerry Wilson of Charleston fled City National Bank in Cross Lanes Monday after being asked for idebtification while trying to cash a check, but he left his driver's license with a teller. His girlfriend, Robin Laton, 25, also of Charleston, was waiting outside. Laton was arrested Tuesday and charged with four counts of forgery and uttering and one count of being an accessory to a crime. She was released Wednesday on $1,000 cash-only bond. An investigation revealed a total of more than $15,000, had been used since December 21st. Police are continuing to attempt to locate Wilson.


Teens Charged With Possession Of Stolen Vehicle

Eighteen year old Shane Peck of Sissonville and 19 year old Christian Bowles of Charleston have been charged with possession of a stolen vehicle. Police say they stole a 1998 Artic Cat all-terrain vehicle which was found parked behind Peck's house, and the keys to the ATV were in Bowles' front pants pocket. If convicted, each face one to five years in prison.


Police Continue Investigation Of Deadly Shooting

West Virginia State Troopers continue to investigate a deadly shooting which occurred in Putnam County Tuesday, but they say it still appears to have been self-defense. Some questions have surfaced after Steven King was shot to death. Friends of King say Jeff Walker had made a previous threat to kill King. Walker told police he awoke to find King in his kitchen pointing a revolver at him and that he shot King to save his own life. King's friends say Walker was angry at King because he thought the 30-year-old with a minor criminal record was a bad influence on his teenage son. Troopers will submit the results of their investigation to a Putnam County Grand Jury sometime next year.


BOE Peaks At Designs To Replace Marsh Fork Elementary

Tuesday, the Raleigh County Board of Education got its first peak at preliminary designs for the new Marsh Fork Elementary School. The present location, next to a Massey coal preparation plant and coal waste impoundment, has been the subject of an ongoing feud with Massey Energy, prompting local residents to fight to replace it. The county has purchased a 50-acre site 3 miles from the existing school to build the new school. The state is also providing $9 million and Massey has pledged $1 million for the school. Site work is expected to start in the spring, with construction wrapping up by the fall of 2012.


WV Legislative Session Preparing To Begin

Lawmakers will head to Charleston next month for a 60-day legislative session that begins at noon January 12th. Lawmakers will be voting on nearly 2,000 bills. With many issues for legislators to tackle, one major issue will be whether to hold a special election for governor, and what lawmakers are hearing from some is that an election is necessary. Another issue lawmakers will discuss is redistricting. There's going to be two new senators up north and population has shrunk in the southern part of the state, creating a loss of a couple senators and house of delegate members. The work won't end when the 60th day approaches. When the session ends, interim monthly meetings from May through the following January when lawmakers go back into session.


Senate Minority Leader Says Tolls Could Be Costly

Senate Minority Leader Mike Hall, R-Putnam County, say $65 million is all that's needed to finish making Route 35 a four lane highway, and there's a better way to fund it than tolls. He says tolls should only be used as a last resort to finish the road. Hall says that in years past the legislature has earmarked money for several economic development projects across the state. He plans to ask his fellow lawmakers to vote to set aside money for the project because he sees it as helping the entire state as it runs to businesses, including those in Cross Lanes and Charleston. Hall says tolls could be costly for the state, if they take away business from those areas. Hall and Senator Karen Facemeyer, R - Jackson, plan to introduce a bill in the legislature saying that, when the road project is paid off, the tolls come off.


Air Force Considering Conversion In WV

The C-5A transport planes operated by the West Virginia Air National Guard's 167th Airlift Wing could be replaced with more versatile C-17 aircraft. The 167th is one of three Airlift Wing units that the Air Force is considering for the conversion. The others are in New York and Tennessee. A draft environmental assessment says the conversion would result in a reduction of 216 personnel at the 167th's base at Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport near Martinsburg. According to the assessment, the C-5A aircraft have limited strategic function, while the C-17 planes are more able to accomplish multiple tasks. The conversion would be completed by 2012.


A Familiar Ring At WV Gas Pumps

As New Year celebrations prepare to ring out the old and ring in the new, there's another familiar sound ringing at the gas pumps that are not as joyous. Gasoline prices in West Virginia are rising as the year winds down. Figures released Tuesday by AAA East Central show the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gas is $3.148, up 7 cents from last week. The national average price is $3.04, an increase of 6 cents. Clarksburg’s average price, $3.178 a gallon, is the highest in the state. The lowest price, $3.09, is in Weirton.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Fatal Accident In Pike County


Kentucky State Police say 22 year old Allison Logan of Pikeville was killed in a two car crash on U.S. 460 near Draffin in Pike County Monday morning. Troopers say Logan's car drifted off onto the shoulder, and, when she tried to get back into her lane, she overcorrected, causing her car to cross the center line and hit another car head-on, sending the driver of that vehicle, 54 year old Ferlin Pruitt, to Pikeville Medical Center. Logan was pronounced dead at the scene.


Former Prestonsburg Mayor Dies

Ann Roberts Latta, who served in former Governor Paul Patton's cabinet from 1995 to 2003, as well as being the first woman elected mayor of Prestonsburg in 1986, died at her home in Prestonsburg at the age of 73. While she served as tourism secretary, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife reintroduced elk into the state. She also worked to create the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. Her funeral will be Thursday in Prestonsburg.


London Woman Pleads Not Guilty To Murder

Twenty-two year old Roi Collett pleaded not-guilty in Laurel County District Court Tuesday morning to a charge of murder after being charged with killing her boyfriend, 29 year old  Christopher Allen, on Christmas morning. Police found Allen stabbed to death in a driveway along Whitley Street in London. The judge ordered Collett to remain jailed on a $200,000 cash bond. A preliminary hearing is set for next Tuesday.


Trial Set For Perry County Man

A pre-trial hearing is set for April 27th and a jury trial scheduled for June 13th for Ira Hall III, who has been arraigned in Perry County. Police say Hall was traveling in October on Highway 451 Krypton when he crashed his vehicle, killing his 12 year old son  Ira II.


KSP Gearing Up ‘Over The Limit Under Arrest’

KSP are gearing up their ‘Over the Limit Under Arrest’ campaign for the New Years Eve holiday. Statistics show that the holiday season has the greatest number of crashes involving alcohol. Increased enforcement begins Thursday, December 30, 2010 and runs through Sunday, January 2, 2011. KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer says his agency has a ‘no-tolerance’ policy. If you are caught driving under the influence, you will go to jail.” In 2009, KSP made 30,430 DUI arrests. Citizens can call 1-800-222-5555 toll-free to report impaired or erratic drivers.


Mobile Home Fire Sends Three To Hospital

A mobile home fire Tuesday morning on Brush Creek Road, about 6 miles northwest of Clay City in Powell County injured a paramedic and caused three people to suffer burns. Criss Chaney said he woke up to discover his neighbor's trailer engulfed in flames. Chaney entered the burning trailer through the front door and found Keeper Watkins on the floor. Chaney helped Watkins outside, where Watkins begged him to go back in and get his girlfriend, 24 year old Heather Bailey. Chaney returned and pulled an unconscious Bailey out and covered her in blankets until emergency crews arrived. Bailey, who was burned on her back from her neck to her pelvis, was flown to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital, where she was listed in critical condition. Bailey's boyfriend, Keeper Watkins, also was taken to UK for treatment of burns on his hands. Criss Chaney was treated at Clark Regional Medical Center in Winchester for burns to his fingers and smoke inhalation.


AK Steel Announces Closure Of Ashland Coke Plant

AK Steel announced Tuesday afternoon the Ashland Coke Plant will permanently close next year, affecting  263 people. Procedures for the closure are expected to be completed early in the second quarter of 2011. AK Steel officials say that while the company's goal is to be more self-sufficient in steelmaking raw materials, increased maintenance and increasingly stringent environmental regulations have resulted in the coke plant no longer being cost competitive, and further operation of the plant is not in the best interests of the company and its shareholders. The company says it will do its best to provide jobs for the affected employees at its Ashland Works or elsewhere in the company.


eWarrants In Boyd, Lewis And Greenup Counties

Attorney General Jack Conway announced Tuesday that his office has completed implementation of an electronic warrant management system (eWarrants) in Boyd, Lewis and Greenup counties bringing the number to 16 counties that have received the eWarrant system under an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant. Kentucky's eWarrant system began as a pilot project in 2005 to address a backlog of nearly 300,000 un-served warrants in the state. The eWarrant system replaces the manual protocols for processing warrant information with an electronic method for making warrants available through the Law Enforcement Information Network of Kentucky.


Federal Appeals Court Reinstates Inmate Lawsuit

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday reinstated a lawsuit brought by inmate 32 year old Demetrius Hill against the federal Bureau of Prisons. Hill claims he was transferred from the federal prison in Pine Knot to the federal prison in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania in retaliation for filing grievances against prison staff. U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar in London dismissed the suit in 2009 as frivolous. A three-judge panel ruled that Hill made a plausible case that his threatened transfer was in retaliation for the complaints. Hill is currently in the Lewisburg facility and is due for release in 2020.


Louisville Police Arrest UPS Employees


Louisville police say they've charged two UPS employees with theft by unlawful taking. Police say 24 year old Sean J. Frank and 20 year old Courtney D. Allen stole gift cards from parcel shipments and used them to purchase items that were shipped to their homes.


Bunning To Leave Congress At End Of Week

Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning is in his final week in Congress. His retirement at the end of the week will bring an end to a 24-year career in Washington.

The 79-year-old Bunning, who hails from Southgate in northern Kentucky, will leave a legacy of conservatism that stretches from the halls of Congress to the back roads of northern Kentucky's Fourth Congressional District.

Before devoting himself to Congress, Bunning had a highly successful 17-season Major League Baseball career that earned him a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame, The Kentucky Enquirer reported.

He threw a no-hitter for the Detroit Tigers in 1958, pitched a perfect game for the Philadelphia Phillies on Father's Day 1964, and is the only pitcher ever to strike out legendary slugger Ted Williams three times in one game.


TVA Freezes Base Pay

TVA is freezing the base pay of about 3,500 managers and specialists until 2013.

TVA President Tom Kilgore said Monday the federal utility is joining the two-year pay freeze that Congress adopted for 2 million other federal employees.

Although TVA is a federal utility, it no longer receives direct government appropriations, so the move won't save the government money.

Kilgore says it's being done in the spirit of the pay freeze.

While the nonunion workers at TVA won't receive pay hikes, they will be eligible for performance-based bonuses. Those workers also just received a pay increase in the fall.

The freeze doesn't apply to 8,600 union employees of the utility, who negotiate labor contracts with TVA.


Solid Waste Schedule For Pike County

Pike County Deputy Solid Waste Commissioner Mike Lyons has announced the garbage pickup is back on regular schedule. where roads are accessible. Lyons said those on regular pickup who do not receive services as of Tuesday will be picked up later in the week. All solid waste lots are open until 5 p.m.


Scott Depot Man Fatally Shoots Neighbor

West Virginia State Police say Jeff Walker was sleeping on his couch at his house along Teays Valley Road in Scott Depot Tuesday afternoon when his dogs began barking, and he got up and found his neighbor Stephen King in his home. Walker says King pointed a gun at him, and that's when he shot King in the torso. King was taken to Putnam General  Hospital, where he died a short time later. Members of the Walker family told the West Virginia State Police that King was not welcome in their home, but he was in the process of stealing a handgun when the barking dogs woke Walker up. State Police say the investigation is continuing and the case has been turned over to the Grand Jury.


Revocation Hearing Continued

Kenneth Ziegler, a former Huntington High School basketball standout and father of NBA player O.J. Mayo, appeared Tuesday morning in Cabell Circuit Court to argue his case against alleged probation violations
stemming from a November 2009 drug conviction. On December 23rd, Huntington Police charged him with felony attempted murder of a police officer, two counts of felony drug trafficking, along with misdemeanors of fleeing and obstruction following a pursuit in Fairfield West. Ziegler's lawyer asked for the hearing to be continued to request the transcripts from prior hearings. Senior Status Judge John Cummings continued the home confinement revocation hearing until January 7th. A preliminary hearing on the charges related to the chase are scheduled for next week.


ARH Files Lawsuit

Appalachian Regional Healthcare has filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Health and Human Resources, making good on a threat made in November. Appalachian Regional claims Medicaid payments are inadequate, and, officials had filed a notice of intent that, if DHHR didn't adjust its rates to treat low-income and disabled residents at Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital, they would be forced to seek relief. Beckley ARH CEO Rocco Massey says, during 2009, Beckley ARH provided nearly $15 million in services to Medicaid patients, but was only paid about $10 million while the low rates threated the hospital's finances. Numbers from the hospital indicate about 22% of the patients treated at Beckley ARH are Medicaid beneficiaries. For every dollar spent on their care, Massey estimates the hospital loses about 33 cents.


MSHA Plans Upper Big Branch Briefing

In a letter to U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, Senator Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., has asked the Obama administration to update the families of the victims of the Upper Big Branch mine explosion about the government's investigation. Rockefellers says the families of the 29 miners who died haven't been briefed since September, and Rockefeller says that's too long. Rockefeller also wants an update, including some idea of when the probe will be finished. MSHA says it plans to hold a briefing after the holidays.


Hepatitis A Outbreak In Cabell County

Eleven cases of Hepatitis A have been confirmed in Cabell County, according to the Cabell-Huntington Health Department. The agency is referring to the cases as an "outbreak." In late November, the number of Hepatitis A cases was referred to as "sporadic." The hepatitis A vaccine is a two-dose shot and is available at the Health Department.


Cabell County Commission Welcomes Newest Member

During a ceremony Tuesday morning, Republican Anne Yon was sworn-in as the newest and the youngest person in the history of the state to become a Cabell County commissioner. Yon defeated Democrat Scott Bias in the general election in November. The makeup of the Commission now changes with Republicans in control. Commissioner Yon says she has seen this position as non-partisan and will serve without letting politics get in the way. The other commissioners are Republican Nancy Cartmill and Democrat Bob Bailey.


Lawmakers Say Tolls Should Not Be Permanent

During a public meeting on U.S. 35 tolls Monday night, Senator Mike Hall from Putnam County announced  he and Jackson County Senator Karen Facemyer plan to introduce legislation during the 2011 regular session that calls for removing any tolls once all construction-related bonds are retired. Hall says planned tolls shouldn't be permanent. The majority of people who spoke at the meeting opposed the state's plan to install tolls on the highway, but the West Virginia Parkways Authority says tolls are needed to pay for upgrading a 14.6-mile section in Mason and Putnam counties to four lanes. A public meeting took place in Winfield Tuesday evening.


Snowshoe Mountain Resort Evacuates Guests

Officials at Snowshoe Mountain Resort in Pocahontas County say no guests were injured during a leak of carbon monoxide this past weekend, although, five maintenance and housekeeping workers were hospitalized for treatment because of exposure. Reports indicate the leak started with a problem in the boiler room of the Seneca Complex which is located near the Snowshoe Village. As a precaution, the building was evacuated Sunday, the day after Christmas. The leak has now been fixed.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Operation UNITE To Launch New Initiative

Karen Kelly, Director of Operation UNITE, says, in southern and eastern Kentucky the average age of first-time drug use is age 11. Kelly says the majority of youth who experiment with prescription drugs for the first time obtain these drugs from family members or friend's of family member without consent, making them an 'accidental dealer." UNITE is set to launch a new initiative to raise awareness about the need to properly secure over-the-counter and prescription medications. The Accidental Dealer Community Campaign will be implemented from January through March and will specifically target parents, grandparents and other caregivers.

UNITE will hold meetings in four counties at the following dates and locations:
 Martin County - January 13 - 6 p.m. - Roy F. Collier Community Center in Inez
Floyd County - January 7 - 9:30 a.m. - Big Sandy Area Development District in Prestonsburg
Johnson County - January 10 - 12 p.m. - Paintsville Recreation Center in Paintsville
Lawrence County - January 13 - 6 p.m. - Lawrence County Community Center in Louisa

To learn more about the meeting or about the campaign, contact Ashley Shepard at 606.213.3556 or visit


Man Charged With Robbing Pike County Pharmacy

Kentucky State Police were called to the Care More Pharmacy in Dorton shortly after 9:30 A.M. Monday morning following an armed robbery. KSP say John Wesley Wright, 30, of Dorton, entered the pharmacy, and, at gunpoint, demanded drugs before leaving the store on foot. Wright was arrested a short time later on unrelated warrants and was later charged with first degree robbery. Wright was taken to the Pike County Detention Center.


Massey Closing Pike County Mine

Last week, U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar in Pikeville rejected Massey Energy Co.'s request to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to close the Freedom Energy Mine as a repeat violator of safety laws. The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration brought the lawsuit in November, seeking to have the mine closed until problems were fixed. Since Thapar's ruling, Massey has announced plans to close the mine, saying its advancing age and extensive underground workings make it too difficult to avoid violations.


Pike County Solid Waste Schedule

Pike County Solid Waste will only be doing commercial pickup this week  This will be in effect
until the current winter storm passes. The solid waste department will attempt to doall missed pickups later in the week. All solid waste lots will be open until 5 p.m.until further notice.


Appeals Court Reinstates Death Sentence

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated a death sentence for Kentucky inmate 65 year old Parramore Lee Sanborn. Then-Governor Paul Patton signed Sanborn's death warrant in December 1996, which a judge later stopped. Sanborn was convicted for the 1983 kidnapping, rape and murder of Barbara Heilman in Henry County. Sanborn was originally convicted and sentenced to death in March 1984. The Kentucky Supreme Court reversed that decision in 1988 and granted Sanborn a new trial. He was convicted and sentenced to death again in 1991.

Psychiatrist Victoria Skelton questioned Sanborn in 1991 about his planned defense. Skelton had examined Sanborn because he was claiming extreme emotional distress at the time of the murder. U.S. District Judge Karen Coffman threw out the death sentence in 2007, saying Skelton violated Sanborn's right to attorney-client privilege by asking him about confidential conversations then telling prosecutors and testifying about what she learned. The court concluded there was no legal violation when Skelton questioned Sanborn about his planned defense.

The Kentucky Supreme Court at one time called the case a particularly vicious and shocking premeditated murder.


Floyd County Drug Round-Up

Armed with arrest warrants for alleged  drug offenders, Police in Floyd County began an early roundup Monday morning. The first stop was in Tram, where police arrested Larry Dallas Taylor and Dusty Sargent on drug trafficking charges. From Tram, police made stops in Betsy Layne, Harold, and Allen. Four were arrested in the Wheelwright area, two for theft and two on drug charges.

The following people were arrested:
Jimmy John Adkins
Randy Bentley
Mary Burchett
Ricky Wayne Castellanos
Crystal Davis
Samantha Fife
Vicktor Rhea
Dusty Sargent
Lisa Beth Shaipiro
Harry Skeans
Larry Dallas Taylor


Hazard Police Investigating Break-Ins

Four Perry County businesses were burglarized this weekend...Food City, K-Mart, and two pharmacies, leaving police searching for suspects. Hazard Police have arrested Larry Richey of Glomawr. They say Richey and another man broke into King's Pharmacy in Hazard Christmas Eve night, by breaking a back window of the pharmacy, and took medications. Police say substantial evidence linking Richey to the crime scene was found.


Circuit Court Judge Faces Lawsuit

Last week, Corbin residents Elvert Mays and Glenda Sexton filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in London against 34th Circuit Court Judge Paul Braden. In the complaint, the couple alleges Braden engaged in activities away from the courthouse such as meeting with Sexton, sexual advances and several cell phone calls to her from his cell phone, and abusing his contempt powers, by calling one of Sexton’s friends and telling him that he better control her or she would be “on the inside looking out.” They claim that Braden wanted her to drop charges with the Judicial Conduct Commission, which stemmed from his refusing to recuse himself or allow a change of venue after a complaint was made to the Commission. Mays and Sexton asked in the complaint that the U.S. court issue an injunction to require Braden to recuse himself from the state cases against them and move them from Whitley County. Mays and Sexton are also seeking the costs of the suit and loss of personal and real property.


KSP Highway Fatality Report

Preliminary statistics indicate that one person died in a crash during the Christmas holiday enforcement period (Thursday, December 23 through Sunday, December 26, 2010). Last year there were three highway fatalities during the same enforcement period. 

The crash involved a motor vehicle and the victim was not wearing a seat belt.  The crash occurred in Warren County. Through December 26, preliminary statistics* indicate that 740 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2009.  This is 42 less fatalities than reported for the same time period in 2009.   There were 578 motor vehicle fatalities and 211 of those victims were not wearing seat belts. Eighty-one of those crashes involved a commercial motor vehicle.  Fifty-nine pedestrians and six bicyclists have been killed.
Two fatal crashes involved a scooter.  Seventy-nine fatalities involved a motorcycle and sixteen fatalities involved an ATV.  A total of 151 fatalities have resulted from crashes involving the suspected use of alcohol. 
Citizens can contribute to highway safety by reporting erratic drivers to the Kentucky State Police toll-free at 1-800-222-5555. Callers will remain anonymous and should give a description of the vehicle, location,
direction of travel and license number if possible.


KSP "Cram The Cruiser" Food Drive Results

Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer
announced that the 'Cram the Cruiser' food drive netted 21,586 pounds of
food statewide. 

Brewer challenged each post to promote the campaign in an effort to give
back to their local communities.

"The project was an over whelming success that allowed our agency to
reach out to families in need during a critical time of the year," says
Brewer.  "Amazingly, personnel from the Campbellsburg Post gathered over
four tons of food."

Posts distributed the non-perishable food items to local shelters, food
banks and needy families during the Christmas holiday.


Snow In The Mountains

Forecasters say parts of eastern Kentucky would receive several more inches of snow, but the precipitation was tapering off the rest of the state.

The National Weather Service office in Jackson reported Sunday that brisk north to northwest winds from the backside of the massive snowstorm that walloped the East Coast would bring continued snow to eastern Kentucky through early Monday.

Snow totals from the storm that began Friday were expected up to 6 inches in some parts of the region.

The weather service warned that mountain highways would be especially hazardous.


Daviess Fiscal Court Asked To Fund Drug Court For Juveniles

Some Owensboro court officials who like the results they have seen from a yearlong drug program for juvenile offenders say they will ask county government to pick up funding that has been dropped by the state.

Both District Court Judge Lisa Payne Jones and County Attorney Claud Porter will ask Daviess Fiscal Court to pay for the program, in which juveniles can have drug-related charges reduced or dropped by completing a 12-month plan.

Because of the state's financial problems, the state Administrative Office of the Court pulled back on the funding. Porter tells the Messenger-Inquirer newspaper that noney ran out Dec. 15 as the last two participants graduated.

Juveniles who participate are required to attend weekly drug court sessions, undergo substance abuse counseling and take drug tests.


First Time Parole Hearing For Woman Who Killed Husband

A northern Kentucky woman, convicted of fatally shooting her husband, has her first chance of parole next month.

Cheryl McCafferty has a scheduled parole hearing Jan. 13.

The 46-year-old McCafferty was convicted in March 2009 of manslaughter in the 2007 death of Robert McCafferty in the couple's bedroom in Fort Thomas.

She is eligible for parole after serving 20 percent of an 18-year sentence for first-degree manslaughter.

McCafferty's 16-year-old son is living with Robert McCafferty's sister. Her 19-year-old daughter is attending college and living with Cheryl McCafferty's parents.


New Mingo County School Under Roof

Next fall, Mingo County students will move into a brand new high school as Gilbert, Birch, Matewan and Williamson High Schools and the Mingo County Career Center will all become Mingo Central High School. The $37 million project is already under roof. The building covers 172,000 square feet and is wired for the latest state of the art technology.  The 90 acre site, donated to the county by Alpha Natural Resources and Nicewonder Contracting, is on top of an old surface mine near Williamson and right next to a section of the soon-to-be completed King Coal Highway. The building is set to be finished by June.


Gay Coal Miner Sues Massey Energy Subsidiary

Sam Hall, a gay coal miner, has sued Massey Energy Co. subsidiary Spartan Mining Co. and No. 2 Gas Mine foreman Randy Thomas. The suit alleges that co-workers and supervisors in several mines have repeatedly harassed him with verbal abuse and invective and lewd gestures because of his sexual orientation. Last week, Massey Energy vice president and general counsel Shane Harvey called the conduct alleged by Hall "despicable," while saying they are serious allegations, and we take them seriously. Hall first went to work as a "red hat" at the Winifrede Mine in November 2005, and , after horseback riding with the mine's superintendent, Scott Lansenese, who allegedly said Hall had a "Brokeback Mountain" moment, the alleged harassment continued. Hall alleges that, when he complained to management, the harassment escalated, including vandalism of his car.


Huntington Bans Synthetic Cocaine

Huntington City Council members voted Monday night to ban the sale or possession of bath salts, or synthetic cocaine, making it now illegal to sell or possess in Huntington city limits.


Nitro Police Arrest Man Following Accident

Nitro Police arrested 35 year old Timothy Scott Carter of Tornado Sunday night and charged him with operating a clandestine meth lab after his vehicle struck the median wall along Interstate 64 and a police dog and officers found ingredients used to manufacture methamphetamine. He also faces a warrant for violating a protective order and failing to appear in court on a drug charge. Carter, who faces charges in both Kanawha and Putnam counties, was lodged in the South Central Regional Jail in lieu of $85,000 bond.


Charleston Arrests

Acting on a tip, State Police went to a home on Kearse Drive in Charleston late Sunday night where troopers found materials to make meth inside the home and a nearby car. Officers arrested Alan McClanhan. Early Monday morning, acting on another tip, troopers went to a home on Violet Street in Charleston where they found materials used to make meth, along with a white powdery substance in a baggie. There they arrested John Cantrell. Both are charged with operating a meth lab and possession of pseudoephedrine. The Kanawha County Sheriff's Department arrested 31 year old Evelyn Kay Price of South Charleston shortly after 10:00 P.M. Sunday night. Price is wanted by the state of Ohio for taking drugs into a prison.


Bust At Nitro Walmart

Nitro police responded to the Nitro Walmart Sunday night after receiving reports of an unresponsive person. Upon arriving, officers found 20 year old Joshua Michael Elswick slumped over in the front seat of a car. A pat down search turned up a loaded .22 caliber pistol in Elswick's pants, six Oxycodone and 17 generic Xanax pills. Police also found a Christmas box, with Elswick's name on it, which contained seven grams of marijuana, a small bag of cocaine and digital scales. Elswick was arrested and charged with possession of drugs with intent to deliver. He was taken to the South Central Regional Jail and placed on a $50,000 bond.


Shooting In Beckley

The Beckley City Police Department is continuing to investigate after 23 year old Darnell Mitchell was shot in the upper arm after multiple shots were fired at the Little General store, sending him to the Raleigh General Hospital for treatment. 


Proposed Agreement For Union Workers And WVU Hospitals

A proposed agreement between 868  AFL-CIO Local 814 union workers and West Virginia University hospitals could prevent a strike planned for January 1st. Last Tuesday, union workers had given a ten-day strike notice to hospital officials after failing to reach an agreement on a contract set to expire December 31st. Information sessions on the new proposal are set for Wednesday, and a vote is expected to come Thursday. Hospital officials say compromise over pay, healthcare costs and other issues were hammered out during a meeting between both sides Monday. Union leaders had previously expressed concern over a $150 hospital admission fee, a doubling of emergency-room co-pays and pay raises.


Kessler Claims Acting Senate President Seat

Marshall County Senator Jeff Kessler is claiming victory in the race to become acting president of the West Virginia Senate. Monday, Kessler announced he had secured the support of 20 of the Senate's 34 members to win the nomination. Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin's elevation to acting governor left the Senate needing an acting president to run the Senate's day-to-day business.


Regional Heart Institute Director Retiring

Binnie Howard, who has served as director of the Regional Heart Institute at St. Mary’s Medical Center, will retire January 7th after 40-years. Hired in December 1970 by Sister Diane Bushee, Howard started her career caring for heart attack patients in the medical intensive care unit. She later founded a surgical intensive care unit, a cardiac care unit, housing for ill patients and their families and a HEART program that has tested more than 6,000 area schoolchildren in the past 10 years. Her AED grant helped place 103 automated external defibrillators in the Huntington community. Howard served as director of the Heart Institute for four years and was clinical director of the institute for a decade previous to that. In her last weeks, Howard is helping her successor, Regina Campbell, ease into her new role.


WV School Food Programs To Share $2 Million

As part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 signed into law earlier this month by President Barack Obama, West Virginia public school food programs are expected to share about $2 million in federal funding to improve the quality of school lunches. Kanawha County schools child nutrition director Gary Cochran says the funding will give schools room to experiment with better quality lunch items.
Schools also can buy shredders and other smaller kitchen appliances that will help cooks create more varieties of dishes.


New Ban On The Disposal Of Electronics

Beginning Saturday, a new ban on the disposal of electronic equipment in West Virginia landfills will prohibit televisions, computers and electronic devices with video screens 4 inches and larger from being put in landfills. The Legislature approved the ban earlier this year.

Since 2002, the state Solid Waste Management Board has been working since 2002 to divert electronic scrap from landfills through various collection efforts. The board says 7.3 million pounds of electronic scrap has been collected through various collection drives in the past eight years.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Labor Committee Chairman Vows To Focus On Miner Safety

In 2006, three tragedies killed 19 men in Kentucky and West Virginia mines, causing Congress to enact sweeping changes to the nation’s mine safety laws. Voting “yes” was Representative John Kline, R-Minn., who in January will become chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, which has jurisdiction over coal-mine safety. In early December, the lame-duck House was unable to pass follow-up mine safety legislation. Kline was among those who voted against it. Kline said the latest bill which sought to close loopholes in the enforcement process, provide additional subpoena power to the Mine Safety and Health Administration, protect whistleblowers and impose tougher penalties for certain safety violations was flawed and premature, given that the causes of April’s Upper Big Branch Mine explosion in West Virginia were not known. Kline says we have a responsibility to ensure federal law is both tough and straightforward and that it is followed by mine operators and enforced by federal authorities. He says he will focus on miner safety.


Teen Bill Sparks Controversy

Representative Tom Burch, a Louisville Democrat who is chairman of the House Health and Welfare Committee, says he will file a bill in the 2011 session requiring teen drivers to place decals on their vehicles  letting law enforcement know whether the drivers are in Kentucky's graduated driver-licensing program. The program requires teens to abide by state rules such as staying off the roads between midnight and 6:00 A.M. and traveling with no more than one unrelated person under age 20 in the vehicle. The proposed law in Kentucky has been endorsed by former classmates of 16 year old Natalie Thompson, who was killed after being ejected from an SUV that rolled over in July 2009. She was one of eight teenagers in the vehicle, including the driver, a violation of Kentucky's graduated-license program.

A similar law that took effect in May in New Jersey already has opponents working for its repeal, arguing that the decals make teen drivers targets for predators and haven't reduced the number of teen-related crashes.


Switchgrass As Biofuel

A new program to explore the viability of biofuels is seeking to establish 700 acres of switchgrass fields and is offering financial assistance to Kentucky farmers.

The project follows another that began in 2007. That study established 20 research plots of switchgrass in the Buffalo Trace area and in Mason, Lewis, Bracken, Robertson and Fleming counties.

The Ledger Independent in Maysville reports that the Natural Resources Conservation Service is also offering funding assistance to farmers who are interested in planting switchgrass.

That program offers the producer a conservation payment of about $354. They will also receive another $100 per acre from the new switchgrass program once the crop has been harvested.


Gilbert Man Offers Reward

Fred Lewis Cook, of Gilbert, W.Va., is offering $5,000 for information that would help authorities find the body of his stepson, Steve Buchanan of Dandridge, Tennessee. Buchanan hasn't been seen since July 20th, when he went out and shot pool with some friends. Buchanan moved from West Virginia to Tennessee about 11 years ago with his second wife and stayed after their divorce. Once an amateur boxer, he stayed active in the sport as a coach and trainer. He has coached neighborhood children, Olympians, professional boxers and his own daughter. Cook said the reward is for the location of his stepson or his stepson's remains, and that no arrest or conviction is necessary to collect the money.


Composting Animals Requests Rise

Kentucky is seeing a surge in the number of permits being issued to compost dead animals.

The Courier-Journal reports that Washington County began offering an animal composting service in April. Oldham County plans to start doing the same next month. And lots of others are expressing interest.

University of Kentucky environmental compliance director Steve Higgins said composting is a cheap, easy way to dispose of dead livestock and road kill.

Animal composting has been allowed in Kentucky for more than a decade, but state lawmakers eased the process this year by removing a requirement that large animals be cut up before composting.


Weather Service Issues Winter Warning

According to the National Weather Service in Charleston, a winter weather advisory is in effect for Kanawha, Lincoln, Boone, Logan, McDowell, Wyoming, Clay, Calhoun, Roane, Braxton, Gilmer, Lewis, Harrison and Taylor counties until Monday afternoon. Parts of West Virginia are placed under a winter storm warning until Monday night. Snow showers are expected to drop about an inch or two in the low-lying areas and 3 to 5 inches in the more mountainous counties. The weather service says up to 1 foot of snow is possible in elevations above 2,500 feet in Greenbrier, Mercer and Summers  counties.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?