Wednesday, March 16, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...3-17-'11
- Engineers with Abandoned Mine Lands have confirmed that a mudslide on Pine Fork Road in the Shelbiana area of Pike County is caused by drainage from an abandoned mine. Abandoned Mine Lands officials in Frankfort say they will start working on a design plan Thursday to fix the problem. They say the mine is "pre-law 1982," but they do not know how old it is.
- Police say 24 year old Brandon Moses was trying to pass a vehicle in front of him while traveling on Kentucky 3606 in Corbin Wednesday morning when he lost control, ran off the road, and hit a tree. Moses died at the scene, while his passenger,18 year old Jonathan Troutman of Woodbine was taken to the University of Tennessee Hospital.
- Highway District 12 employees are among the groups in the seven-county area who help keep state roadways litter free. This group works a two-mile stretch of KY 1384 between Cedar Creek and Hurricane in Pike County. Look for volunteers on the shoulders of state roads next week during Adopt-a-Highway $B!G (Js 2011 Spring Clean.
- In a letter released Wednesday addressed to Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman and ranking Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin and two U.S. Senate colleagues, Wyoming Republican John Barrasso and Kentucky Republican Rand Paul are seeking hearings on the Obama administration's plans for protecting streams from coal mining. The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement is drafting stream protection rules designed to replace Bush-era regulations. An OSM official recently told Congress the agency has demanded a contractor redo its economic analysis of the proposal, which could cost thousands of mining jobs nationally. Manchin, Barrasso and Paul say in their letter that OSM should explain why it wants the analysis redone.
- Whitley County Judge/Executive Pat White Jr. told the Whitley County Fiscal Court during its monthly meeting Tuesday night that a pain clinic ordinance needs to be passed in a few months. There were 5 drug-related deaths in the county in just one week, and as court was in session Tuesday, the vast majority of cases were in some way drug related.
- Kentucky State Police say 45 year old Ernie Ferguson was flown to the University of Tennessee Hospital in Knoxville, where he died, after being shot by his mother, Judy Gregory, around 7:30 P.M. Tuesday night. KSP and Clay County Sheriff Kevin Johnson say Ferguson kicked in the door of his mother's and stepfather's home on Engine Branch Road in Clay County and attacked his stepfather. Gregory got a 22.-caliber rifle and shot him as he was on top of his stepfather. Ferguson had been out of jail only about 24 hours before the attack. No charges have been filed. Sheriff Johnson says there are indications that the altercation was related to a decision by Ferguson's grandmother to leave money in her will to her daughter instead of him.
- Williamsburg Police say, after they were asked by the Whitley County 911 center to do an inventory of former Mapping Coordinator Larry Howard's office, they were surprised when they found close to $2,000 worth of medical equipment from Knox County. Police searched Howard's trailer right next to the 911 Center and seized thousands of dollars worth of equipment belonging to Knox County agencies. Howard's personal car was searched, and police found about $8,000 worth of items, including a $5,000 laptop, that are property of the county. During the investigation, a deliberator from Knox County Hospital was found. Howard used to work in emergency services in Knox County, and was also employed at the hospital in Barbourville. Williamsburg PD Chief Wayne Bird says police want to figure out which items belong to which agencies before charges are filed.
- A Mercer County grand jury has indicted James M. Kelley of Lexington on a charge of murder in the December shooting death of his former business associate, John "Bud" Dacci. Dacci and Kelley had been business partners in Dacci's Heating and Air Conditioning in Lexington. Kelley also was indicted on charges of first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and first-degree assault for allegedly shooting Dacci's wife, Maryann. Court records say Kelley forced his way into the Dacci house on Ashley Camp Road and shot John Dacci. Maryann Dacci tried to escape but Kelley prevented her from doing so and then shot her. Police sought Kelley for more than a day, but the search ended when Kelley shot himself in his truck outside the emergency room doors of Pattie A. Clay Regional Medical Center in Richmond on December 22nd. Kelley is at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in La Grange for a mental evaluation. His bond is set at $1 million. If convicted, prosecutors could seek the death penalty.
- Kentucky Office of Homeland Security Director Tom Preston has resigned, effective Tuesday. Preston, a long-time public relations executive, had served in Governor Steve Beshear's administration since he took office in 2007, most of that time in Homeland Security. Beshear appointed Gene Kiser as acting director until a permanent replacement is named. Kiser has been deputy homeland security director for the past three years.
- Michael Adam Carneal, now 27, who is serving a life sentence for killing three classmates and wounding five others in a school shooting at Heath High School near Paducah when he was 14, testified Wednesday during a hearing about his mental state at the time of the December 1, 1997 shooting and when he entered a guilty plea in 1998. Carneal testified he was commanded to commit the attack in a series of delusions and hallucinations, saying voices in the delusions threatened to kill him if he didn't carry out the assault. Carneal claims his mental illness rendered him not responsible for the shooting and made him incompetent to plead not guilty.
- A 600-pound bell that was missing from a north-central Kentucky church has been recovered, with some damage, and returned to the church. Kentucky State Police arrested 34-year-old Eric C. Klink of Bedford on Tuesday night. He was charged with theft and was being held in the Carroll County Detention Center. Members of Sulphur Christian Church in Henry County say the century-old bell was ripped down and stolen from its monument sometime last week. Some church members worried that the bell would be sold for scrap metal.
- As the tax season progresses, the Kentucky Department Revenue reminds taxpayers they will have a few additional days to file their taxes this year. The 2011 deadline is Monday, April 18 due to Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in the District of Columbia, which falls on Friday, April 15. By law, District of Columbia holidays affect tax deadlines in the same way that federal holidays do; therefore, all taxpayers will have three extra days to file or pay any taxes due this year. All valid six-month extensions filed on or before April 18, 2011 will likewise extend the due date for filing a 2010 calendar year income tax return to Oct.17, 2011. Individual taxpayers may avoid the last-minute rush by filing early, taking advantage of the speed and convenience of electronic filing, and choosing direct deposit for any refunds. More than one million Kentucky taxpayers may be eligible to prepare and file their taxes electronically at no cost thanks to a public-private partnership called the Free File Alliance. To find out if you qualify, visit http://www.revenue.ky.gov/.
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