Monday, January 31, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...2-1-'11
- A substantial rockfall about 7am Monday morning,sent massive boulders onto Bypass Road in Pikeville, also destroying traffic signals at Don Combs Bridge. Bypass Road is closed to all traffic from Dorsie's Dairy Bar, past Combs Bridge, to the intersection of KY 1426 and KY 1460 at Ferguson Creek/Town Mountain Road. Pikeville Fire and Police Department officials joined Highway District 12 maintenance and signal specialists to close that section of Bypass Road and begin cleanup efforts. Sara George, spokeswoman for Highway District 12, said the road will remain closed until further notice. Assuming the rock can be removed before Tuesday morning, plans are to open the road for early morning traffic, from around 7-8:30 a.m., then close it again for at least one more day, maybe two, while new traffic signals are installed.
- In a conference call with shareholders and reporters Monday, Alpha Natural Resources CEO Kevin Crutchfield said Alpha and Massey Energy are confident the combining of the two companies will create a market leader ready to tap a lucrative world market for coal, while creating a true global leader in metallurgical coal resources, metallurgical coal production and metallurgical coal sales. Alpha believes the addition of Massey's reserves and production capability will enhance the new company's ability to meet any and all demands in emerging markets overseas. Abingdon, Va.-based Alpha and Richmond, Va.-based Massey announced the $7.1 billion takeover Saturday.
- Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine in the murder case against former state Representative Steve Nunn on Monday granted a prosecutor's request to have a mental evaluation performed on Nunn. Nunn, is charged with fatally shooting his former fiancee, 29 year old Amanda Ross, outside her Lexington townhouse on September 11, 2009. Nunn's trial is set for August 1st and is expected to last anywhere from two weeks to a month.
- State Police say they believe Kevin Stamper was under the influence of drugs Sunday when his car crossed the center line on Highway 160 in the Litt Carr community of Knott County, hitting Arietta Martin's car. Both drivers were airlifted to a hospital where Martin died.
- The case of against a Madison County man was sent to the grand jury after police testified Monday that Jason Singleton put four Super Service Trucking Company employees in Somerset up against the windows and used them as human shields after taking them hostage. Singleton will face a murder charge in Madison County for the death of his wife, Angela. The grand jury is scheduled to hear Singleton's case in March.
- Friday, Operation UNITE charged 23 year old Abdulkadir Mahmed Areys of Knoxville, Tennessee, with one count of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance after they confiscated a large quantity of crack cocaine and cash during a search at a Lynch residence in Harlan County.
- Police arrested Randy Turner of Corbin and charged him with robbery and impersonating a police officer after they say he and three others tried to rob some victims while pretending to be a UNITE officer.
- Tamara Wilson, a Pulaski County woman convicted of manslaughter in the 2008 shooting death of her husband, Frankie Wilson, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Her children say she suffered years of physical abuse.
- According to the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission, companies and advocacy groups spent $16.65 million lobbying Kentucky lawmakers last year during a 60-day regular legislative session and a six-day special session. Lobbyists were paid $14.3 million and spent $1.2 million on expenses, such as office rent. Expenses for employers amounted to $902,000, and total spending for receptions, meals and events was $217,000. The 2010 total is just below the $16.9 million spent on lobbying in 2008.
- The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will get another 15,000 tons of salt from Kansas City and will distribute it statewide. Transportation Cabinet spokesman Keith Todd says the state has used more than 400,000 tons of salt so far this winter -- about 24,000 tons more than was used all of last winter. Todd says the state orders salt periodically to match the amounts used for each snowstorm.
- Police in southeastern Kentucky have made another arrest in the theft of heating and air conditioning units from two churches. Laurel County Sheriff's deputies arrested 28-year-old Matthew R. Woods on Friday. The equipment was stolen from Soul's Harbor and New Harvest Church. Both churches were able to continue to conduct worship services, despite the thefts. Copper stripped from the units was brought to a scrap yard to be sold.
- Authorities in Bourbon County are investigating the apparent shooting deaths of a couple in a home. Police identified the dead as 42-year-old Paul Barbree and 39-year-old Maryanne Barbree. Investigators said on Sunday that there were no signs of forced entry at the home. Neighbors say the couple leave four children, from 15 years old to 21 years old.
- The Kentucky Community and Technical College System has been given 30 acres of unused state park property in Carroll County for a new regional campus. The campus will be overseen by Jefferson Community and Technical College. Gov. Steve Beshear's office, which announced the transfer, says the college system must obtain funding for the campus. The property was once part of General Butler State Resort Park in Carrollton.
- The University of Kentucky announced an initiative Monday to integrate Apple's iPad into its Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce professional graduate education. The university says the entire professional school -- including faculty, students and staff -- will use the iPad. UK says the initiative will cover student recruitment, admissions, seminars, graduation and more. The 18-month trial will be supported by Apple, app developers, media companies and hardware providers.
- Former Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Walker had a simple reaction to being sworn in as Kentucky's new Secretary of State: "Wow." Walker took the oath of office on Saturday in the Supreme Court chambers, ending her six-year run as the southern Kentucky city's mayor. Gov. Steve Beshear appointed Walker in early January to replace Trey Grayson, who left the office to take a position at Harvard University.
- Western Kentucky lawmakers are hoping to lift a moratorium on new nuclear power plants as the state's General Assembly comes to a close. State Rep. Brent Housman, R-Paducah, said lifting the 27-year-old ban is the most important bill for western Kentucky as the session moves towards a finish. Sen. Bob Leeper, I-Paduah, told The Paducah Sun that Senate Bill 34, if passed, would secure local energy jobs.
- In 1984, Kentucky joined a handful of other states in requiring a permanent federal storage facility become operational before any new plants can be built. Housman says the moratorium would limit the ability of employees of USEC Inc., a supplier of low enriched uranium for commercial nuclear power plants, to find jobs if the plant closed.
- A southern Kentucky judge has been charged with judicial misconduct for contributing money to U.S. Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign and for sending campaign material for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul. Circuit Court Judge Daniel Ballou, who works in McCreary and Whitley counties, was charged by the Judicial Conduct Commission for violating a judicial canons that says judges "shall refrain from inappropriate political activity." That includes making contributions or publicly endorsing or opposing candidates for office. He also argued he has a First Amendment right to express his opinions.
- A committee looking for the next University of Kentucky president is recommending that the nationwide search remain strictly confidential until the end of the process. The search committee approved a motion Friday to keep the search closed until the finalists are selected. At that point, the process would become open to the public only if all the candidates agreed.
- Preliminary statistics indicate that thirteen people died in thirteen separate crashes on Kentucky roadways from Monday, Jan. 24, through Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011. The crashes in Knott, McLean and Metcalfe counties involved the suspected use of alcohol. Through Jan. 30, statistics indicate that thirty-seven people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2011. This is twenty-three less fatalities than reported for the same time period in 2010. A total of seven fatalities have resulted from crashes involving thesuspected use of alcohol.
Links to this post: