Wednesday, June 01, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...6-2-'11
- Pike County Central High School will be the site of the Pike County Remote Area Medical Expedition on June 11th and 12th. Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford says “RAM is one of the greatest things to ever happen to the people who have fallen through the cracks in regard to medical care.” He says the groups, individuals and local businesses who are involved every year are what makes RAM possible. The publically supported, all-volunteer program offers free dental, vision and medical to people in need of medical attention. Medical services include screenings for cholesterol, diabetes and cardiovascular disease; exams for males and females including breast, cervical and prostate; diabetes management; and education and screenings for all major cancers. The event is sponsored by Kentucky RAM, the Pike County Government and the University of Louisville School of Dentistry.
- The 15th annual Shelby Railroad Homecoming Reunion will take place on June 25, 2011, on the grounds of the Grace Baptist Church at Shelbiana. Registration, which is free, will begin at 9:30 A.M., and the opening ceremony will take place inside the church at 10:45 A.M. The ceremony will be open to the public, Attendees are asked to bring a dish. The meal and drinks will be provided. The reunion is sponsored by the Shelby Railroad board and is a county event. Everyone who registers will be eligible to win two tickets on Amtrak’s New River Train Excursion, which leaves from Huntington and goes to Hinton, West Virginia, valued at around $400 and sponsored by the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Society. It will take place in October. Inductees chosen by the board for the Shelby Railroad Hall of Fame for 2011 are Terrell Coleman, Charlie Potter, Richard Lowe, Ruby Bevins and Ruth Jackson. The Joyce Charles Clark Scholarship winners will also be announced and presented at the reunion. The scholarships are made possible by William Lee Clark Enterprises and the reunion committee.
- Wednesday, Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard arrested James D. Warren age 54, and Preston Halcomb Jr. age 22 both from Blackey, in connection with numerous copper thefts in the Letcher and Perry County area. Preliminary investigation led police to a scrap yard in Letcher County which had received over two tons of copper from three individuals. Warren and Halcomb were lodged in the Letcher County Dentention Center charged with receiving stolen property over $500. Additional charges are pending. A third perpetrator is being sought. The investigation is continuing by Det. Joel Abner and Det. Billy Pollard. State Police are asking anyone with information relating to copper thefts to please contact them at 1-800-222-5555 or 606-435-6069 and you may remain anonymous.
- A cooperative agreement among the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, The Pike County government and Pike County Sheriff’s Office was recently signed to provide law enforcement services at Fishtrap Lake. The law enforcement officer will patrol the dam site recreation area, Grapevine recreation area and Lick Creek recreation area. The agrement was recently concluded among Charles Holbrook of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford and Pike County Sheriff Charles “Fuzzy” Keesee.
- Former Prestonsburg High School basketball star Warren Blackburn has pleaded guilty after being arrested in January for drug trafficking within one thousand yards of a school. Blackburn will be sentenced July st. The recommended sentence is one year in jail.
- Timothy S. Briggs, 46, the FBI special agent who headed an investigation into public corruption in Clay County, died Tuesday after apparently suffering a heart attack. While jogging with another agent near the FBI office in London, Briggs suddenly collapsed. The other agent and a bystander immediately began CPR but were unable to resuscitate him. The Clay County case began with a drug investigation that turned up evidence of vote-buying and corruption by public officials, including former Circuit Judge R. Cletus Maricle, and former school Superintendent Douglas C. Adams. Briggs had been with the FBI since February 1997, working all that time at the London office.
- Eric Hubert Hayden, one of two men convicted of murder in the 1986 stabbing death of 36 year old Stafford Clay Nelson of Richmond, a former restaurant manager at Columbia Steak House on Alexandria Drive in Lexington, appeared before Kentucky parole board members Wednesday at Otter Creek Correctional Center in Floyd County, where he is housed. Parole board chairman Verman Winburn and board member Caroline Mudd, after interviewing Hayden in his first parole hearing since his 1987 conviction, decided he should not be considered for parole again for 60 months. Nelson was stabbed 51 times, and his body was left inside the restaurant, which was set on fire during the robbery in which more than $4,600 was stolen. Hayden and Clarence Lee Jones were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 25 years on the murder charge and 20 years for robbing the restaurant. Jones was a busboy at the restaurant, and Hayden was his roommate at the time. Fayette Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Larson had sought the death penalty for Hayden and Jones. Jones has a parole hearing scheduled for next week.
- In a speech to the Kentucky Coal Association, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell bashed the Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday, claiming federal regulators have "declared war" on the coal industry, while putting many Kentucky mining operations in limbo. McConnell said what the EPA is doing is outside the scope of its authority and the law, and it represents a fundamental departure from the permitting process as originally envisioned by Congress. McConnell said it's time for Congress to rein the EPA in. He accused the agency of "changing the rules in the middle of the game." McConnell has proposed legislation that would require the EPA to move faster in granting federal permits needed to open coal mines. He said the agency's intent is to "run out the clock," a strategy he said is backed by President Barack Obama's administration and fellow Washington Democrats. The EPA and the Justice Department have been suing electric utilities to get them to install the latest technology to capture pollution-causing emissions from coal-fired power plants in an effort to bring the utilities in line with the Clean Air Act. McConnell said that would amount to a backdoor national energy tax that would hit consumers every time they start their car or turn on a light bulb. McConnell said the EPA's real goal is not to see the Kentucky coal industry comply with its boatload of regulations and red tape but to see the Kentucky coal industry driven out of business altogether. McConnell said the stakes are high for Kentucky, the nation's third-leading coal producer. He said we cannot just rely on solar, wind or other energy sources that may be viable in the future but can't come close to fulfilling this country's energy needs today.
- Fifty-five year old Enoch Ray Smith of London, a former candidate for jailer in Laurel County, was named in a three-count indictment last week for allegedly selling HydroCodone to police informants. Smith has a prior felony conviction from 2006 when he was found guilty of trafficking a controlled substance and received a 2 year sentence. Smith later requested to have his voting and candidate filing rights reinstated, and they were restored in 2009.
- Officials say an elderly woman was abducted at gunpoint and taken across state lines. Seventy-four year old Ann Lee Ernst of Fort Wright, Kentucky, was shoved into her car outside the Crestview Hills Mall in Crestview, Kentucky Tuesday afternoon by a man armed with a knife and pistol. The man then drove her to a wooded area in Ohio, gagged her and left her tied to a tree before taking off in her car.
- Shannon Davidson of Flat Lick was arrested and charged with 2nd degree and 3rd degree burglary after Knox County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Smith responded to a burglary complaint at 7 Boone Way in the Gray community in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Smith went to Davidson's residence where he found numerous items that had been reported stolen. Around $6,000 worth of items were recovered and returned to their owners. Police say Davidson confessed to all the crimes.
- Attorney General Jack Conway announced that six Kentucky counties were chosen in a random drawing Wednesday afternoon to undergo independent inquiries for any potential irregularities that may have occurred during the primary election on Tuesday, May 17th. The counties are Wolfe, Boyd, Muhlenberg, Nelson, Estill and Clark.
- Salyersville Mayor Stanley Howard is stepping down but giving no reason for his retirement. The next meeting is scheduled for June 13th. Officials are planning for a special election in November to elect a new mayor.
- Al Smith, the founding host of Kentucky Educational Television's "Comment on Kentucky" is receiving an award this week named in his honor. The Smith award will be presented Thursday at Fasig-Tipton in Lexington. Smith is the first recipient of the award established by the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky and the Bluegrass Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Smith, who owned weekly newspapers in Kentucky and Tennessee, is the main founder of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues and is chairman of its advisory board. He recently received an honorary UK doctor of letters award.
- Governor Steve Beshear announced a new state program Tuesday to boost economic development and tourism in Kentucky. The Kentucky Cultural District Certification Program allows local communities to seek a special state designation for areas with a concentration of culturally significant activities, such as Farmer’s Markets, performing arts or historic preservation. Communities that qualify for a district designation can receive training to help market the area, reap financial incentives and develop educational opportunities or events. The Kentucky Arts Council is administering the program and accepting applications.
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