Wednesday, June 15, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...6-16-'11
- A jury has convicted 38 year old Sherman "Doug" Perry of Pilgrim, a Martin County man charged in what prosecutors say was a DUI related crash. Perry was charged with the November 2010 death of 40 year old Fred Marcum of Warfield. Prosecutors say Perry was driving under the influence when he crossed the center line on Highway 2032, hitting Marcum’s truck head-on. Robin Crum, a passenger in Marcum’s truck, was seriously hurt. The trial began Monday. Sentencing is set for June 21st. The jury recommended up to 10 years for manslaughter, 20 years for assault, and six months for DUI and recommended they be served consecutively.
- More than $3.5 million is being awarded to local governments in Kentucky to expand recycling and manage household hazardous waste. The Kentucky Pride Fund is awarding the 73 grants, 59 for recycling and 14 for household hazardous waste. Governor Steve Beshear says the household hazardous waste grants allow residents to safely dispose of chemicals and other materials that threaten health and the environment. The Kentucky Pride Fund is administered by the Energy and Environment Cabinet's Division of Waste Management. It is funded by a $1.75 fee for each ton of municipal solid waste disposed of in Kentucky landfills.
- Two Blytheville, Arkansas police detectives are in Hardin County, Kentucky while investigating the death of a Kentucky man with ties to Radcliff who was found dead in Blytheville. Dexter Burgess, 33, was found Friday slumped over the steering wheel of his car with injuries consistent with a homicide. Darvin Burgess, Dexter’s uncle who lives in Radcliff, says his nephew was shot, and the family believes Dexter was in Blytheville for a work-related project. Dexter Burgess went through the electrician program at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College before moving to Richmond to study construction management at Eastern Kentucky University. Captain Scott Adams of the Blytheville Police Department. says tools in his car suggest Dexter Burgess was an electrician and possibly in town working at a local factory. The investigation is ongoing.
- U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves has scheduled a hearing for July 13th in Frankfort to determine an appropriate sanction for radio personality Eric Deters and Larry Forgy, a lawyer who sued the Kentucky Bar Association and state Chief Justice John Minton Jr. The lawsuit, filed in January, was an attempt to stop the bar from proceeding with disciplinary charges against Deters. Forgy withdrew the suit when Reeves declined to issue an injunction blocking the release of a suspension recommendation that Deters be suspended from the practice of law for 181 days. Reeves said Deters "must learn to think before he acts." Deters said he would appeal any sanction handed out by Reeves, and Forgy said Deters had done nothing wrong.
- Whitley County Sheriff’s Deputies have arrested 25 year old Travis L. Wilson and charged him with first-degree robbery after he allegedly stole lottery tickets from the Circle K off Cumberland Falls Highway in Corbin Monday night then tried to cash those tickets the following day at the Pilot station in Williamsburg. Deputies caught up with Wilson at a residence on Cumberland Falls Highway, less than a mile away from the Circle K. The gun he was armed with when he robbed the store, a child’s BB gun, was found outside the residence.
- An important highway improvement project started Monday, June 13th, on KY 15 in Letcher County. A section of the road will be widened so a left turn lane can be added northbound to access KY 160 and southbound to access KY 1811. Chuck Childers, Whitesburg Section Engineer for Highway District 12, says the project was let out for bids in March, and the contract was awarded to Mountain Enterprises in the amount of $1,140,179.60. The contract is for 64 working days and should be finished by the end of September. This is a project included in the current State Highway Plan, formerly called the Six-Year Plan, and the funding is from the federal government's HES program.
- Gil Lawson, spokesman for the state Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, says his office plans to apply for a liquor license to sell alcoholic beverages at five state parks. He said the intent is to offer alcohol at state resort park restaurants located at Lake Barkley, Jenny Wiley and General Butler, and to offer beer at golf courses in Audubon State Park and My Old Kentucky Home. He said there's no plan for additional bars or lounges so that parks will keep their family-friendly environment. Lawson says the change is being made because studies have recommended it.
- Eleven employees of the Kentucky Division of Forestry reported Wednesday in Florida to help with the state's wildfire emergency after about 300 fires burning more than 100,000 acres prompted Florida Governor Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency on Monday. Kentucky sent equipment as well to assist with the emergency. The Kentucky firefighters are to be assigned to Flagler County northwest of Daytona but may be transferred to other areas if wildfires in the Flagler location are controlled quickly. The detail is expected to last two weeks, and the Kentucky agency says Florida will reimburse the state for personnel and equipment costs.
- City officials in Lynch have turned to the county for help in getting the thousands of dollars needed to match a grant to restore the old fire station. Lynch Mayor Taylor Hall says he was told by Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop the city needed to change its stance against mountain-top removal, quit being stiff-necked and be cooperative, and encouraged him to negotiate once again with the coal companies. Hall says what Grieshop said to him falls under criminal coercion. Grieshop said Harlan County makes its living from coal, and if the funds will come from coal severance, everyone needs to work together. Mayor Hall says he plans to speak with the Commonwealth's Attorney's office.
- The Kentucky Department of Health announced Wednesday that regulations governing the state’s immunization schedule for infants, toddlers and school-age children have been amended to put the Commonwealth in line with national pediatric standards. The new regulation, taking effect on July 1st, requires age appropriate vaccination with pneumococcal vaccine and a dose of meningococcal vaccine for 6th grade entry. A second dose of T-Dap vaccine will be required for entry into 6th grade, and a second dose of MMR vaccine is now required for children by the age of 6 years old. All certificates for school or day care entry submitted on or after July 1st should meet the new requirements. For more information, visit www.chfs.ky.gov.
- MSHA director Joe Main says the long-awaited deadline has arrived to improve safety in the nation's 540 underground coal mines by adding technology capable of tracking miners and communicating with them after a disaster. Whether the mandate will immediately improve safety for the nation's 46,000 underground coal miners is unknown because it's uncertain how many mines installed everything they needed in time. The most recent numbers from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration show that as of April, 64 percent hadn't fully installed the required wireless equipment, but Main says mines are obligated to have their communications systems in, and MSHA is going to be applying the strength of the Mine Act. He says communications and tracking equipment will be checked during regular inspections. Former President George W. Bush signed the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act on June 15, 2006. The National Mining Association estimates that companies have since spent $1 billion complying with the law. The final piece is communications and tracking.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon announced Wednesday that Tennessee, Kentucky and Illinois have been chosen as the first states for a new federal program making it easier to provide school meals to children in low-income areas. The program will give needy children better access to healthy school meals and reduce paperwork for schools and parents. Under the option, schools can use the percentage of children from households receiving food stamps as the basis to provide free meals to all children free of charge. The schools will be responsible for paying costs above the federal reimbursement amount. The program will be available by the 2014-2015 school year.
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