Monday, June 20, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...6-21-'11
- Knox County Sheriff John Pinkard says flash flooding in Knox County early Monday killed one person, seriously injured another and left one person missing. Numerous houses and roads along Ky. 225 in Knox County flooded as strong storms and heavy rains continued to cause problems in southeastern Kentucky Monday morning. After up to six inches of rain in some areas, Brush Creek overflowed its banks. Several homes were washed off their foundations in the Kajay area. Rescuers were called there to reach people trapped in homes that had been washed away. Whitley County motorists were stranded in vehicles along HWY 92E, about 1 mile from the Bell County line, where about a foot of water was covering the road. Rain that lasted 4 and one half hours dumped 5.71 inches of rain at Yellow Creek Raws in Cumberland Gap where more than an inch fell in one hour. The Middlesboro Airport reported 4.42 inches of rain as of 8:00 A.M. Monday. The National Weather Service in Jackson says another two inches of rain fell Monday in places on top of a half-inch to almost six inches that fell overnight. The judge-executives of Knox and Perry counties have declared a state of emergency due to flooding.
- State officials have identified the three miners trapped in a flooded southeastern Kentucky mine owned by Richmond, Va.-based James River Coal and operated by Bell County Coal as Parnell Witherspoon, Doug Warren and Russell Asher. Dick Brown, a spokesman for the state Energy and Environment Cabinet, says the miners were working Jellico Number 1 mine near Middlesboro when they were trapped due to high water from overnight rains. Amy Louviere, a spokeswoman for the Mine Safety and Health Administration, says the miners were rescued unharmed late Monday afternoon.
- State police say an initial call to Knox County 911 as a domestic dispute turned into a double shooting that left a woman dead. The incident happened at Blue Gable Straight in Barbourville. Police say Randy Hale, 42, of Barbourville sustained a gunshot wound and was flown to University of Kentucky Medical Center. Francis Elliott, 54 of Barbourville sustained a fatal gunshot wound and her body was sent to the State Medical Examiners Office for an autopsy.
- On June 23rd, 2002, Patrick Calvin Blackburn's car was found over a hill on Trace Fork in Martin County. Blackburn was in the back seat covered in blood. Police say he was fatally beaten, and his car was staged to look like a wreck. The case went cold until last year when police indicted Joey Stepp, David Jude and Jimmy Cornette, Jr. on murder charges. Friday, Jude pleaded guilty to 1st degree manslaughter and was sentenced to 12 years in prison. Thursday, Stepp accepted a plea deal, reducing the murder charge to manslaughter in exchange for his testimony against Cornette, whose murder trial started Monday morning.
- A trial got underway Monday morning in Lewis County Common Pleas Court for Gary Robinson, 62, of Ashland, the man prosecutors say was behind a murder-for-hire case in Lewis County, Kentucky. Robinson is charged with attempted murder and conspiracy murder. Prosecutors say Robinson plotted to kill 47 year old John Jamison by hiring Wesley Allen to shoot him. Jamison remains unresponsive in a nursing home after being shot seven times at his home in Lewis County. Allen was also shot during the shootout with Jamison. Earlier this year, Allen pleaded guilty to conspiracy murder and first degree assault and was sentenced to 17 years in prison. He is expected to testify against Robinson. Investigators say surveillance video from a Greenup County convenience store shows money changing hands between Allen and Robinson about a hour before the shooting.
- Campaign Manager Bill Hyers says the re-election campaign of Democratic Governor Steve Beshear has raised $1.5 million for the general election since the May 17th primary. Beshear and running mate Jerry Abramson also filed a 30-day post-primary finance report that shows the campaign raised $134,605 over the past month. Because Beshear had no opponent in the Democratic primary, most of the $4.9 million he raised for that election is expected to be transferred to to his general election fund. Republican gubernatorial nominee David Williams and running mate Richie Farmer reported raising $92,787 for their primary election effort during the May 3rd to June 16th time period, bringing their total for the primary election to $1.37 million. The Williams-Farmer campaign has not yet said how much it has raised for the general election, but the campaign held a fund-raiser in Lexington last week and raised more than $500,000. Tthat fund-raiser will not be reported to the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance until October.
- Special Judge Thomas O. Castlen cited "overwhelming" evidence of guilt earlier this month when he rejected a claim by death row inmate 61 year old Roger Dale Epperson that he deserved a new trial because a hair found at the scene didn't match him or his co-defendants. Epperson and 59 year old Benny Lee Hodge were condemned to death for the June 17, 1985 robbery and slayings of Ed and Bessie Morris. Epperson also lost on a claim that DNA test results were withheld from defense attorneys for nearly a decade. Castlen ruled that DNA testing would not have changed the outcome of the trial.
- Thirty-two year old Steven Price of London has been arrested after Laurel County Sheriff’s Deputies say he used gear bought at a local flea market to pose as a police officer and steal a gun from the owner of the Buffalo Walk Trading Store Saturday morning. Price is charged with impersonating a police officer, theft by unlawful taking and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
- Churches in Pulaski and McCreary counties are being asked to pay over $450,000 in legal fees after the counties lost a decade-long battle to display the Ten Commandments in their courthouses. Christian radio host David Carr has asked churches in those counties to donate $1,000 each and pastors to donate $100 each to help pay the bill. Pulaski County officials support the effort and say they’ve already received some donations.
- A traveling evangelist pleaded guilty Monday to 17 counts of wire fraud. A federal trial was set to begin Monday in U.S. District Court in Louisville for 60 year old Ernest Cadick, a traveling evangelist accused of defrauding church-goers of more than $700,000 over 15 years. A federal indictment accused Cadick of soliciting $719,150 for oil and gas ventures and foreign investments, but then spending the money on himself. Sentencing will be September 12th. Investigators say Cadick used the apocalyptic prophecies in the Book of Revelation to fleece churchgoers at Louisville's Evangel World Prayer Center allegedly telling them that when President Barack Obama was elected, the dollar's value would plummet to 3 cents as it was replaced with a new currency. If they gave him their saving, the indictment alleges, he would fly it to Switzerland, where it would earn double their investment back each month. In addition to the federal charges, Cadick faces a July 11th trial in state court on on three counts of theft for swindling $29,500 from elderly victims. The government says that, since 1995, Cadick solicited investments from dozens of other investors in addition to those named in the indictment.
- Tuesday, visitors to Mammoth Cave National Park can enjoy a free tour as part of the National Park Service's "fee-free days." The park is offering free passes for the Discovery and Mammoth Passage tours. Visitors must pick up Discovery tickets at the visitor center ticket office between 10:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. CDT, then walk to the Historic Entrance to begin the tour. Free tickets for the 4:45 P.M. Mammoth Passage tour may be picked up prior to departure from the visitor center. The tour is limited to 40 people. The Discovery tour is self-guided but will take at least 30 minutes. The Mammoth Passage tour is 1 1/4 hours.
Links to this post: