Wednesday January 8, 2014

President Barack Obama plans to announce today that an area of southeast Kentucky struggling with chronic poverty and the loss of thousands of coal jobs will get priority when seeking federal money for job training, education, housing and other programs,

An eight-county area of Eastern Kentucky has been chosen for the Promise Zone program, according to the White House.

The designation will not include a big pot of new federal money, but it will give the counties priority for funding through existing programs and special help from federal officials in applying for money and coordinating efforts to fight poverty.  

The counties in the zone are Bell, Harlan, Letcher, Perry, Leslie, Clay, Knox and part of Whitley.

The announcement today was chosen to correspond with the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's 1964 State of the Union speech in which he called for "unconditional war on poverty in America."

Get more at kentucky.com

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A Pineville woman is accused of trying to sneak pills into the Bell County Detention Center.

Middlesboro Police arrested 41-year-old Michelle Brock on shoplifting charges at Wal-mart.

Police say when they took her to jail, officers found a pill bottle hidden in a body cavity.

Police say she tried to smuggle more than 50 pills into the jail.

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State auditors are referring the city of Barbourville audit to the Attorney General's Office, the Kentucky Department of Revenue, and Cabinet for Health and Family Services for review.

The audit started last year at the request of five of the six city council members.

The audit covered 2007 to August of last year.

The audit, released on Tuesday claims there is lax controls and oversight that led to financial abuse in the city.

Local officials say they are already fixing the issues and looking at the recommendations from the state audit.

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The arraignment for a former Martin City mayor has been postponed.

In December, former Mayor Thomasine Robinson and five others were indicted in a vote buying scheme.

Prosecutors wrote in the indictment, Thomasine Robinson and the others conspired together to intimidate, oppress, threaten, and even injure voters of Martin.

All six are set to now enter pleas Thursday in Pikeville Federal Court.

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A Harlan County woman will have to wait a little longer to learn how long she will serve behind bars.

In September, Rachel Osborne pleaded guilty to her part in the murder of 58 year old Steven Gibson.

Gibson's body was found in his Harlan home in June of 2011. Police later determined it had been there for a month.

Osborne agreed to plead guilty to wanton murder and robbery charges in exchange for a 20 year sentence.

She also agreed to testify against the other defendant, Timothy Turner.

A new sentencing date is not set yet.