Friday, April 29, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...4-30-'11
- The East Kentucky Leadership Conference wrapped up Friday in Pikeville. At the East Kentucky Leadership Conference, everyone from teenagers to state officials, discussed the region's issues related to health, education, economy, and the drug problem and how to fight them. State Commissioner for Local Government Tony Wilder was the keynote speaker Friday.
- Sixty-three year old James David Gibson is awaiting extradition back to Arizona after being arrested in the Jenkins area of Letcher County. Gibson allegedly sexually assaulted his niece repeatedly in the late 1970's and early 80's.
- Leland Stephens, a Tennessee man charged with murder, entered a guilty plea Friday morning in a Knox County courtroom. Stephens pleaded guilty to a variety of charges, including complicity to commit murder, tampering with physical evidence, and arson. State Police arrested Stephens last year for the 2005 murder of Kenneth Wilson. Police believe Wilson was killed in his Woolum home with a hammer before his house was burned down.
- Kentucky transportation officials are temporarily suspending some regulatory restrictions for vehicles involved in flood-relief efforts. Governor Steve Beshear says easing the restrictions will expedite the delivery of supplies and emergency services to stricken communities. At Beshear's direction, state Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock temporarily lifted some restrictions on commercial vehicles delivering food, water, medicine and other critical supplies. The order also applies to vehicles involved in restoring public utilities. Under the order, drivers can be exempted from maximum driving times and from the requirement to stop at weigh stations. The order also allows for a temporary waiver of size and weight restrictions in certain instances. However, carriers must obtain all necessary permits and comply with all other safety requirements. The order is in effect until May 15th.
- U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove on Thursday sentenced 58 year old Pearl Combs Jr. to 18 months in prison; 72 year old Lewis Baker to 10 months in prison and 47 year old Charles Marvin Herald to six months in prison. The men, all from Hazard, were indicted last summer on federal vote-buying charges related to last year's primary election. The U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of Kentucky says all three admitted they conspired to buy votes in the election.
- Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway says a grand jury has indicted three people in connection with a scheme to mail large quantities of prescription pain pills to the state from Florida. The indictment charges 27 year old Peter Nibert of Pasco County, Florida with conspiracy to traffic in controlled substances and being a persistent felony offender. It also charges 36 year old Scotty Dewayne Highsmith and 24 year old Cary Alder, both of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, with conspiracy to traffic in controlled substances. Governors of both Kentucky and Florida have urged Congress to help states fight the illegal distribution of prescription drugs.
- Cumberland Circuit Judge Eddie Lovelace says he plans to rule before the May 17th primary on whether to unseal depositions in the 2003 divorce of GOP gubernatorial candidate David Williams and his ex-wife, Elaine Webb, who have both objected. Williams' attorney, Angie Capps, says Williams wants to protect his ex-wife's privacy and has questioned the urgency to unseal them. The Courier-Journal filed a motion to unseal the documents. Newspaper attorney Jeremy Rogers says it was a "game changer" when Williams, the state Senate president, filed to run for governor.
- Friday, University of Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari toured several Excel Mines in Martin and Pike Counties that are owned by Joe Craft's Alliance Coal. Craft told workers if they made it to 400 days without time lost due to an accident, he would bring the coach to the mines. On his Twitter page, Coach Cal said, “I get to feel for what my relatives did during their time in the mines. You want to talk about salt-of-the-earth folks? These are them." “It means so much to me and my family that I'm able to share time w/all these hard-working folks,” Coach Cal tweeted.
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