Wednesday April 16, 2014

House and Senate lawmakers have agreed to a $4.1 billion road spending plan on the Legislature's final day that, if approved, would avoid an expensive special session. The plan includes $5.2 billion worth of projects throughout the state. But as much as 25 percent of that money will not be spent. Lawmakers said they like to include a cushion in case some projects are delayed because of environmental concerns or problems acquiring land.
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Investigators presented their evidence against a man facing murder charges in Floyd County.  Last week police found, Rodney Mullins, shot to death outside a home in the Bypro community. Police arrested Tyler Shehan. At Tuesday's hearing, investigators explained how the two men knew each other.  Detectives worked for hours at the scene.
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Some people in Whitley County had early morning wake up call. Sheriff's deputies went after more than two dozen suspected drug dealers. The efforts are part of what officials call "Operation "Snowflake". Whitley County Sheriff named it "Operation Snowflake" because the investigations started in the winter, and he says it is fitting it snowed when they made the arrests. One by one on Tuesday morning, Sheriff's Deputies and other officers arrested accused drug dealers in Whitley County and brought them to the courthouse for booking, then took them to jail.
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Two brothers who defrauded millions of dollars from thousands of investors in an oil and gas drilling scheme lost a bid Tuesday to have their convictions and sentences overturned. Christopher Smith of Prestonsburg and Michael Smith of Cookeville defrauded thousands of investors. The Smiths ran a company called Target Oil and Gas. Prosecutors said the company asked investors to fund drilling projects in Kentucky, Texas, West Virginia and Tennessee but used fraudulent marketing materials and false geological surveys to persuade them. Christopher Smith is serving a five-year sentence. Michael Smith is serving a 10-year sentence.
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It looks like Eastern Kentucky University students will be paying more for their education next school year. On Monday, the EKU Board of Regents approved a five percent tuition increase for in-state undergraduate students. That means full-time students will each pay around $192 more per semester. The tuition hike will go into effect in the fall.
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While the annual unemployment rates were lower in 51 Kentucky counties in 2013 than in 2012, the rates went up or stayed the same in more than half of the state's counties. New statistics find unemployment rates increased in 57 counties while 12 counties had the same annual rate for both years. Leslie County recorded the state’s highest annual unemployment rate in 2013 17.7 percent. Letcher County, 17.3 percent; Knott County, 16.1 percent; Fulton and Jackson counties, 15 percent each; Bell County, 14.9