Wednesday October 8, 2014

MINING ACCIDENT INJURES ONE PERSON

A Bell County mining accident sent one person to the hospital. It happened at the Nally and Hamilton mine on Centers Branch Road off Kentucky 92 in the Ingram community. There’s been no word on the extent of that person's injuries or how the accident happened.

DELAYS AGAIN IN ROBINSON SENTENCING

There's been another sentencing delay for a former mayor in Floyd County along with her husband on convictions tied to a vote buying scheme. The Floyd County Times reports the judge presiding over the cases of former Martin Mayor Ruth Thomasine Robinson and Red Robinson had a scheduling conflict that forced sentencing to be postponed until November 5. Robinson's daughter Rita Whicker's sentencing on disability fraud charges was also rescheduled for that date.

SUSPECTED AIR CONDITIONER THIEF SELLS UNIT FOR SCRAP

A Harlan County man faces theft charges on suspicion he stole heating and cooling equipment from a vacant home then sold it. The Enterprise reports Bobby Napier of Baxter is held on $5000 bond secured by 10 percent. Police say Napier took a 3-ton heating and cooling unit from a home on Kentucky 840 in Lawnvale then sold it to Baxter Metal Company for less than $70. The charges against Napier are felonies.

SLIP-SLIDIN’ AWAY RESULTS IN AN ACCIDENT

A 2-car crash in Floyd County yesterday results in significant damage but no injuries. The causing driver told officers she tried to brake to avoid hitting a car on US 114 but skidded on the wet roads. So far there’s no word of if charges are to be filed.

BESHEAR TAKES A STAND AGAINST BULLYING

Governor Steve Beshear declares October as Anti-Bullying Month. The proclamation encourages parents, teachers, students and others to take action for improving safety for kids and adolescents. Earlier this month Governor Beshear announced the creation of the Kentucky Youth Bullying Prevention Task Force, charged with studying bullying in schools and offer recommendations to make things safer in schools.

NEW SHERIFF, NEW BUDGET.

Floyd County's fiscal court calls a special meeting to allocate money for newly sworn in sheriff John Hunt's department operations. According to the Floyd County Times the swearing in of Hunt resets the spending accounts, so money was transferred in to cover salaries, department expenses and other costs. Hunt - who is running unopposed in November - took office early when Sheriff John Blackburn stepped down due to health concerns.

STATE ASKED TO AUDIT CITY’S FINANCES

A city in Knott County is asking the state to audit the municipalities’ finances because its former clerk was indicted on forgery charges. Hindman City leaders met Monday to go over plans to recover from its financial problems and City Attorney Jeremy Morgan says he will request the state auditor to conduct a thorough exam.  Former city clerk Rebecca Patrick was indicted last year on second-degree forgery charges and has a pretrial conference scheduled for Oct. 23.

ARRAIGNMENT HELD IN KNOTT COUNTY MURDER

The Floyd County man suspected in a fatal shooting at a Knott County concert is arraigned on murder charges. Miles Hamilton made his first court appearance yesterday and pleaded not guilty. He's accused of killing Zachary Murphy after the 2 got into a physical altercation at the Knott County Trail Ride. Murphy's father says there's no way police could cover all the area at the Mine Made Adventure Park, where 5000 people attended the weekend event.

MC CONNELL CAMPAIGNS IN 2 MOUNTAIN COUNTIES

US Senator Mitch McConnell made campaign stops in Perry and Floyd Counties. The senate minority leader used yesterday's visit to Hazard ARH as an opportunity to take issue with the Affordable Care Act, saying it's moving America's health care system towards the way ones in Western Europe operate. McConnell dismissed the results of the latest Bluegrass Poll, showing challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes with a 2 point lead.

Monday October 6, 2014

MAN KILLED AT KNOTT COUNTY CONCERT, SUSPECTED SHOOTER IN CUSTODY

An argument at a weekend concert takes the life of one Floyd County man and puts another behind bars. Police say Miles Hamilton fatally shot Zachary Murphy in the Mine Made Adventure Park at the Knott County Trail Ride. Investigators haven't said why the two were arguing, just that they were in a physical struggle, then were separated - and the shooting happened a short time after that. Hamilton fled on foot and turned himself in several hours later. Around 3000 campers were at the Trail Ride when the fatal shooting happened.

DIRT BIKE ACCIDENT RESULTS IN LIFE THREATENING INJURIES

A Harlan County teenager is critically injured when his dirt bike slid under a box truck. Police say it happened at US 119 near Elk Road in the Sawbriar community when the rider - who was on the shoulder - swerved to avoid the truck and lost control. The 18 year old was airlifted to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport and his condition is not disclosed.

WHAT DO PEOPLE IN INDIANA KNOW, ANYWAY?

An Indiana man who spent 45 years photographing every county courthouse in the country didn't have very flattering comments about the one in Letcher County. Charles Aiken tells the Bloomington Herald Times the Letcher County courthouse is the ugliest one he found - and says the name "Letcher County" is itself ugly. The newspaper described the photo as one of an "unsightly courthouse showing a mangy mongrel strolling along the sidewalk in front of the building" Aiken also claims he was harassed by "grizzled old timers in an eastern Kentucky burg" while taking photos, but didn't say exactly where that was.

STYLIST FIGHTS OFF ARMED ROBBER

A Perry County woman is injured fighting off an armed robber. Police say it happened at the Electric Beach Hair and Tanning Salon in Wabaco when a stylist had just finished with a client, and a woman walked in with a knife demanding cash. The stylist refused and grabbed the knife, blade first, out of the robber's hand, resulting in cuts to her hand. Police took the suspected robber into custody.

HUSBAND AND WIFE SURRENDER ON THEFT INDICTMENT

A Harlan County couple indicted on theft charges turned themselves into police. Court papers say Delmus and Christie Baker embezzled around a half-million dollars from Harlan EMS in 2012. An indictment was handed down next month. Both Bakers posted bond of $10,000 each.

PERRY COUNTY CHARITY RUN ATTRACTS HUNDREDS

Over 400 runners participated in this year's Run For The Hills Charity 5K in Perry County. Organizers say the 4th annual race had more pre-registered entries than in past events. 17 Perry County charities benefit from the event and a number of other fundraising activities, which officials say should raise over $200,000.

GRIMES OPENS MOUNTAIN CAMPAIGN OFFICE

Kentucky Secretary of State and US Senator candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes was in Pikeville Saturday for the opening of a new campaign office. At the office opening, Grimes says incumbent Mitch McConnell may have the millionaires and billionaires but he can't buy the hearts and minds of the people of Kentucky. She also challenged McConnell on his approach to area job creation and education.

SUSPECTED THIEF SURRENDERS TO COPS

A Harlan County woman surrenders to police on an indictment of theft charges. Charging papers say Amy Back of Totz stole over $500 from the Putney Volunteer Fire Department between 2011 and 2012. She was indicted in April. Back posted $2000 bond and is due in court October 16

REGISTER TO VOTE!

Today is the deadline to register for the November 4th General Election. County Clerks' Offices will accept voter registration cards until the close of business and mail-in voter registration applications must be postmarked by today as well. To be eligible to vote, you have to have lived in Kentucky for at least 28 days before election day, can't be a convicted felon or have the right to vote anywhere outside Kentucky.

Friday October 3, 2014

JENKINS REVISES FOOD AND ALCOHOL SURCHARGE

The cost of food is to be removed from surcharges applied at restaurants in the city of Jenkins which serve alcohol. That decision is made by the Jenkins City Council, and once it goes through the regular approval process, it goes into effect. A citizen asked the Council to separate the food and alcohol surcharges, but the council decided instead to just keep the alcohol fee.

JAIL INMATE NO LONGER ON THE RUN

Escaped Floyd County jail inmate Jeremiah Vance is back in custody. He was arrested Thursday afternoon at a home in Pike County's  Island Creek community. Police say Vance assaulted the officer transporting him to the Pike County Detention center on Monday then took off on foot. Vance was already charged with fleeing/evading in Floyd County, and wanton endangerment on a police officer in Pike County. He now faces escape and assault charges.

MON ACCUSED OF HITTING DAUGHTER

A Harlan County mother is accused of physically assaulting her teenage daughter. Police say the 17 year old told investigators Debbie Hensley hit her in the face during an incident in June. Hensley was arrested on Wednesday.

ROBBER KNOCKS OUT VICTIM, BROTHER SAVES HIM

A disabled man in Leslie County is hospitalized from being beaten up during a home robbery. According to police Chris Mosely's brother found him laying on the floor the day after the attack. He says he was just driving by Chris's house and saw the lights were out, but the doors were open. A suspect description is not available as Chris is recovering from his injuries, and so far the only thing stolen is a gun.

SEX OFFENDER FAILS TO REGISTER

A Harlan County convicted sex offender is arrested for failing to register his correct address.The State Police says a warrant for Joshua Osborne's arrest was issued following an investigation and he was picked up at a Closplint home. Osborne is held in the Harlan County Detention Center. 

HIT THE TRAILS THIS WEEKEND

Mine Made Adventure Park is the site for this weekend's Knott County Horseback Fall Trail Ride. It's the 7th anniversary for the ride that attracts thousands of horses and riders from across Kentucky and beyond. The event kicked off yesterday and runs through Sunday, with admission $20 at the gate. Knott County tourism officials say the ride generates millions for the area economy.

CANDIDATE SAYS ALCOHOL ARREST PUBLICITY A SMEAR CAMPAIGH

A candidate for Pikeville City Commission calls his arrest on alcohol charges "an awkward misunderstanding". According to court papers police found Richard Ray of Pikeville was intoxicated during a concert at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center and could not walk without help. Ray was taken into custody for alcohol intoxication then brought to Pikeville Medical Center. The Appalachian News Express reports Ray says he believes an illness was behind what happened and he never was asked to take a sobriety test, adding he thinks the publicity is a character attack by his political opponents.

STOLEN VEHICLES FROM HARLAN COUNTY LOCATED

A car and 2 pickup trucks stolen last month from a Harlan County auto dealer business are located by State Police. Police say the crooks cut a hole into the Discount Pools building on US 119 in Harlan then made their way into the neighboring car dealer, grabbing the keys to the 3 vehicles. Investigators found the vehicles along with tools and auto parts including 8 tires and rims. Billy Wynn and Michael Sargent, both from Ages, are charged in the robbery.

STATE SCHOOL ASSESSMENT TEST RESULTS RELEASED

The Kentucky Department of Education releases the results from the spring Unbridled Learning: College and Career Readiness Assessment exams, and while some mountain school districts received high marks, at least 3 finished below the state average. Pikeville Independent, Floyd County and Hazard Independent schools scores a Distinguished High Performing Rating and Letcher County along with Pike County schools earned a Proficient classification. Schools in Knott, Breathitt and Perry Counties received ratings of Needs Improvement.

Thursday October 2, 2014

BY RICK PRICE

BROTHERS BATTLE OVER LAND, ONE SHOT

A family feud over property ends up with one Letcher County man injured and 2 brothers in jail. Police say Albert Wilder of Blackey reported his brothers Edwin and Paul Wilder fired guns at his home causing an injury to his eyelid. Court papers say the Wilder brothers said they did fire the weapons but didn't aim  at Albert's home. Albert says his brothers have tried to seize his home since his mother died last month. The 2 brothers are due in court next week.

BOMB THREAT PUTS MAN IN JAIL

Terroristic threatening charges are filed against a Letcher County man suspected of making a bomb threat to a hospital security guard. Police say Robert Bentley showed the contents of his book bag to the guard outside Whitesburg ARH and told her 4 times he had a bomb. According to court papers Bentley said he made the comments but meant them as a joke. Bentley is due in court today.

CEMETERY HEADSTONE DESTROYED, REWARD OFFERED

Vandals destroy a World War II veteran's headstone at a Leslie County cemetery. The family of Ray Collett says they discovered last Friday the large stone at Bowens Creek Cemetery in Stinnett was smashed to pieces and a plaque recognizing Collett's military service is gone.  Vandals left other family member's headstones intact. A $1000 is posted for information leading to the arrest of the headstone vandals.

ARGUMENT ENDS IN SHOOTING AND AN ARREST

An argument in Knott County puts one man in the hospital and another in jail. Police say they were called to the Big S Market in the Topmost community and found Tim Terry of Kite with a gunshot wound in his stomach that is non life threatening. The gunman - identified as Henry Thornsberry of Kite - fled the scene but was arrested a short time later and is now in the Kentucky River Regional Jail. In addition to the shooting charge, Thornsberry is accused of firearm possession by a felon.

SCHOOL TAX UP IN A MOUNTAIN COUNTY

Harlan County taxpayers will see a hike in their school levies. The Enterprise reports the Harlan Independent School board increased real estate and property taxes to 42.9 cents per $100 assessed value, an increase of 1.4 cents - or around $14 more a year on a home worth 4100,000. 6 people showed up at the public hearing on the tax increase and none spoke against the rate hikes.

STOLEN TRUCK TORCHED

A Floyd County man offers a $1000 reward to find whoever stole his pickup truck and some tools, a motorcycle, a boat and a trailer -  then torched the vehicle, leaving it on a strip mine. Police say Marsillett of Prestonsburg discovered the truck was gone Tuesday morning and later that day a mine inspector found it completely burned out on route 114. Marsillett says he won't have peace of mind until those responsible are caught.

SUSPECTED THIEF FACES ELUDING CHARGES

Additional charges are filed against a Harlan County man from his escape from officers attempting to arrest him on an outstanding warrant. Police say Brandon Saylor of Cumberland was wanted for taking over $500 in tools then selling them to another man. Charging papers say Saylor took off on foot as cops tried to cuff him, and when he was found Saylor put up his fists as if he was going to take a swing at officers. He's held in the Harlan County Detention Center.

ESCAPED INMATE STILL ON THE LAM

Escaped Floyd County jail inmate Jeremiah Vance remains at large. Police say Vance assaulted the officer transporting him to the Pike County Detention center on Monday then took off on foot. Investigators say he may have stolen a car in Prestonsburg Tuesday night. Vance is described as white, 5-8 and around 180 pounds.

Wednesday October 1, 2014

FLOYD COUNTY INMATE ESCAPES CUSTODY AND IS STILL ON THE RUN

A Floyd County jail inmate being transferred to Pike County authorities escapes custody. Police say Jeremiah Vance assaulted the officer transporting him to the Pike County Detention center then took off on foot. Vance is described as white, 5-8 and around 180 pounds. Call 9-1-1 if you know of Vance's whereabouts

A WISE COUNTY TEENAGER WON'T BE TRIED AS AN ADULT

A Wise County Virginia teenager accused in the fatal shooting of his older stepbrother is not being tried as an adult.  Commonwealth Attorney Ron Elkins says because the teenager - who he declined to identify because he is under age - has no criminal history, his case remains with the juvenile court. Elkins said the investigation shows the boy did not act in self defense. He said police have been to the home where the 2 brothers lived a number of times for matters involving the older brother.

NEW SHERIFF IN FLOYD COUNTY

There's a new sheriff in town - in fact for all the towns - and cities - in Floyd County. John Hunt takes the oath office to succeed John Blackburn, who steps down due to health concerns. Blackburn holds the distinction of serving the longest as Sheriff of Floyd County. Hunt is running unopposed for Sheriff in November, so when Blackburn announced his resignation, Judge/Executive Doc Hastings appointed Hunt to take office now.

4 MOUNTAIN COUNTIES TO GET FEDERAL MONEY DUE TO FLOODING

4 Eastern Kentucky counties are granted federal aid for recovery  from damage resulting from heavy rains in August. President Obama approved the disaster assistance for Knott, Floyd, Pike and Johnson Counties. The declaration includes money to help pay for actions to prevent damage from occurring in the future.  Meetings with federal and state officials are being scheduled to go over what aid is available and how to apply for it.

PERRY COUNTY FISCAL COURT BEING SUED

Perry County's fiscal court is being sued over its plans to borrow $2.4 million for blacktopping county roads and the purchase of two commercial lawn mowers to maintain grass on the side of roadways. The Hazard Herald reports Perry County Sheriff Les Burgett along with Judge/Executive candidate Scott Alexander filed a petition to block the work, saying the fiscal court failed to follow procedure when it approved the project. Current Judge/Executive Denny Ray Noble tells the newspaper the lawsuit is "just politics".

PIKE COUNTY FISCAL COURT MAKES NO CHANGES TO TAX RATES

Pike County's fiscal court decides to keep tax rates where they are for the next fiscal year. The Appalachian News Express reports the decision to leave real property rates at 12.6 cents per $100 assessed value, personal property and motor vehicles at 14 cents per $100 and 2 cents per acre for fire protection may cost the county over a quarter of a million dollars. Tax hikes are planned by the county's library district, extension service, conservation district and Pikeville Independent Schools.  The Pike County School district has not submitted its rates for 2014.

HCTC GETS GRANTS FROM U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Hazard County Technical College gets over $5 million from the US Department of Labor for training programs in information technology. The Hazard Herald reports HCTC is heading a group of 6 schools sharing a total of $10 million in federal money to create the IT training which college officials say will start being offered next summer. This grant is part of $450 million awarded to community colleges nationwide.

WISE COUNTY WOMAN BEING HELD IN A WEST VIRGINIA JAIL

A Wise County, Virginia woman remains in a West Virginia jail on suspicion of kidnapping her 3 children. Police say Lisa Cantrell was pulled over on I-77 near Charleston when officers found her car's license plate number matched information provided by child welfare authorities. Wise County Virginia Commonwealth Attorney Ron Elkins says it's not clear if Cantrell will fight extradition. The kids weren't hurt and are back with family.