Local News Friday February 17, 2017

A Wise, Virginia man has been indicted by a grand jury for trying to kill two University of Virginia's College at Wise students late last year. 55-yearold Ricky Lynn Hamilton is accused of stabbing two male students during a fight on November 13th at an apartment complex.  He is charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder. Both of the victims told investigators that they had prior disagreements with Hamilton, who is facing a total of 10 charges related to the incident and is due back in court next week.

Police say Thieves broke through back doors and went through the ceilings of Leslie County Kentucky Farm Bureau, World Finance, and L N Tobacco on Owls Nest Rd. in Hyden Thursday morning.  Chief of Police Bill Baker say burglars cut the power, turned off surveillance cameras and alarms before taking cigarettes, money and other items.  Officials at all three businesses hit say they’re trying to fix everything and get it back up and running for customers. The Leslie County Kentucky Farm Bureau is offering a reward for the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

It’s been 20 years since the successful elk reintroduction project began in Eastern Kentucky. For several years you could only hunt elk if you had a very difficult to apply for permit. Right now, only a few hundred tags are given out each year, but, House Bill 187 could increase their chances.  It would double the chances the next year for people who didn’t win in any given year.  Applications for the 2017 elk hunt opened on January first. You have until April 30 to apply and the winners will be announced by May 15.

Last night the city of Prestonsburg held a strategic planning meeting at the Mountain Arts Center. They focused on creating more jobs, a place for the arts and building tourism industries. The people in the community came prepared with their own ideas. Some wanted to see more jobs and economic developments. While others wanted to see a push towards adventure tourism. Now the Kentucky League of Cities will begin making a strategic plan. Bobbie Bryant, community advisor with the Kentucky League of Cities, says their goal is to make each city the best possible version of itself.

A bill that would make it tougher to get a disabled parking decal advanced in the senate unanimously.  It would also establish a $10 fee for initial or renewal placards.

Police have arrested someone they believe fired a pellet gun at a Wayne County school bus Wednesday afternoon in Monticello.  Police say 19-year old Jonathan Gregory fired one shot into bus 214, breaking a window.  There was only one child on the bus at the time, and the 7-year-old was not injured.  Gregory is charged with criminal mischief and wanton endangerment.  He has denied the charges saying he was out of town.

President Donald Trump has put the brakes on a regulation blocking coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby streams Trump called the regulation a "job-killing rule" before he signed a measure to overturn it. Several coal miners and energy company executives also attended the White House signing ceremony. Republicans and some Democrats argued that the rule could eliminate thousands of coal-related jobs. They said the rule also ignored dozens of existing federal, state and local regulations.

A Wise County, Virginia grand jury has returned a seven-count indictment against a Coeburn woman connected to a fatal December crash that killed a mother of two from Missouri.   Police say 36-year-old Samantha Rae Dennis was trying to avoid a DUI checkpoint on Route 58 in Coeburn on Dec. 23 when she sped away at over 100 miles per hour and crashed into a vehicle driven by Rebecca Williams Starling, who died at the scene while her two children were taken to the hospital for treatment. Dennis is facing numerous charges.   She has another court hearing scheduled for Feb. 21.

Kentucky's public schools would have to offer a course about Bible history and require students to pass a civics test before graduating under a pair of proposals that are advancing in the state Senate. The civics test would be the same test immigrants must pass before becoming U.S. citizens. The Kentucky Council of Churches and the ACLU oppose the bill, saying it hurts religious freedom.

Pike County schools closed again today due to widespread illness.  The school district says they are re-opening on Monday.