Tuesday September 17, 2013

Hundreds of coal miners throughout the region could be without jobs.

Word is spreading that one coal company laid off or furloughed hundreds of miners.

However, company officials will not confirm any of it.

James River Coal Company runs several mines in Eastern Kentucky with the latest layoffs appearing to be centered around Pike, Harlan and Leslie Counties, with potentially more than 500 jobs affected in Pike County alone.

As of right now there is no word on specific numbers or if the layoffs will be permanent.

Officials at James River Coal have not made any comments.

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A man last seen in Pike County has been missing for more than three months.

Valerie Kelly says her husband, Jimmy Kelly,  left the house on June 12th to go run errands but never returned.

The only sign of Kelly came when his car was discovered in the Kelly Mountain area of Shelby Gap in Pike County.

Officials at Kentucky State Police Post 9 in Pikeville say they are actively investigating leads in the case.

Now, family members are offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the where abouts of Kelly.

Anyone with information is asked to contact KSP Post 9 in Pikeville.

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It has been a turbulent five months since Mingo County, West Virginia Sheriff Eugene Crum was gunned down on a lunch break April 3rd.

Now, county commissioners have named who will serve out the remainder of Crum's term.

Commissioners appointed former Chief Deputy James Smith to the post during a special meeting Monday.

Smith has been with the sheriff's department for more than 13 years, serving five of them as chief deputy.

Smith will serve the remainder of Crum's term, and says he plans to run for election once that term is out.

Sheriff Crum's widow Rosie Crum stepped into the job for a while, but stepped down last month.

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The city of Benham in Harlan County is without a mayor.

The decision ends a legal battle spanning several months.

It all started last November when Benham City Council held a special meeting to discuss personnel issues.

By the end of the meeting, then-mayor John Dodd resigned and his wife Shirley, was appointed to replace him.

Benham resident Roy Silvers was concerned with the council's meeting saying Kentucky's Open Meeting's Law had been violated.

He first filed a complaint with the city before moving on to the Attorney General.

Judge Henry Johnson ruled in Silver's favor and signed an order removing Shirley Dodd from office.

The city council now has 30 days to appoint a replacement mayor.