HUNDREDS RAISED FOR AREA CHARITY
A Halloween fundraiser in Letcher County helps an organization making a difference at Christmastime. The benefit for "Letcher County Tree of Hope" was held at at the "Devil's Playground" haunted house presented by Brimstone in downtown Whitesburg. The two-day haunted house raised hundreds of dollars for the organization dedicated to providing toys and clothing to children in need around Christmas.
LET IT SNOW…
November came in with a blanket of white in Letcher County. Pine Mountain had around 4 inches of snow Saturday morning and workers got roads cleared and had to remove some tree branches. Officials warn drivers to remember winter driving techniques and allow extra time to get to destinations.
SBA LOANS NOW AVAILABLE
Flood-damaged areas in 6 counties including Knott, Floyd and Pike are eligible for low-interest loans from the US Small Business Administration. In August heavy rains and flash flooding washed out roads and forced people from their homes. Homeowners can apply for up to $200,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, and up to $40,000 to homeowners and renters to repair or replace personal property. Businesses and nonprofit organizations of any size may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, along with assets. Loan applications are accepted online through the SBA's website until December 29.
FIRE DESTROYS FISTY HOME
An unattended space heater is blamed for a fire in Knott County. The owner of the home in the Fisty community says he turned on the heater, got in the shower and 10 minutes later the house was ablaze. No one was hurt, but the home is a total loss.
METH LAB FOUND
An anonymous tip led Kentucky State Police to bust a meth lab in Pike County. Police say when they went to the Noe Creek Road home they found the meth lab in a bedroom. Samantha Smith and James Gross are under arrest on drug charges and two other people in the home were arrested but police haven't released their identities.
DRIVER HITTING SCHOOL BUS ARRESTED
A man wanted in a hit and run involving a school bus in Perry County is in custody. Investigators say Gary Daniels side-swiped the bus then took off. No one was injured in the crash. Police say Daniels was pulled over in Chavies and tried to flee but was arrested after a number of struggles with officers. Daniels has outstanding warrants in Leslie County and Clay Counties.
SUSPECTED BURGLARS IN CUSTODY
2 Floyd County men are arrested on suspicion in 2 burglaries. Court papers say Jonathan Robinette and Jeremy Thacker tried to break into a Rite Aid in Robinson Creek and stole thousands of dollars worth of equipment has been stolen from the Douglas Water Treatment Plant in the Mountain Water District. Police say the two may be connected with another burglary in Pike County.
CHILD PORNOGRAPHY INDICTMENT HANDED DOWN
A grand jury indicts a Wise County, Virginia man on production of and possession of child pornography charges. Police say in May they received a complaint against Jimmy Mullins of Pound and began an investigation which led to a search of his home 2 months later. In the evidence, police discovered a video of a juvenile in a pornography film.
CAR VS. BUILDING ACCIDENT
A woman driving her car into a Pike County building faces DUI and drug charges. Charging papers say Adrienne Lowe of Pikeville slammed into the Velocity Market on Hambley Boulevard and drove off. The Appalachain News Express reports Lowe was arrested at a nearby restaurant where she failed field sobriety tests. Police say they found marijuana and other pills in her car. Lowe was released on bond.
MAN SHOT DURING ARGUMENT
A disagreement between a man and a woman at a Perry County home sends the man to UK Medical Center after being shot. Police say Kermit Shepherd went to the Slemp community home of Emily Dixon and as the two were arguing, Dixon demanded Shepherd leave and when he refused, she grabbed a shotgun and shot him in the leg. Dixon was taken to an area hospital for unknown injuries. State Police are investigating the incident and so far no charges have been filed.
MISBEHAVIOR RESULTS IN HIGHER BOND
A Floyd County man in court facing assault and resisting arrest charges ends up with his bond raised from $12,500 to $150,000 because of his actions in front of the judge. Court records say Johnathan Endicott kept staring at his girlfriend even after the bailiffs and the judge told him to stop. The Floyd County Times reports Assistant County Attorney Tyler Greene made a motion to raise Endicott’s bond and the judge agreed. A grand jury is reviewing the
case for possible indictment.
INDICTMENT IN 2013 MURDER
A Harlan County man is indicted on charges he stabbed a man. Court papers say in 2013 Brian Owens attacked Ricky Turner at a building in downtown Harlan. Turner had to be airlifted to a Tennessee hospital and recovered from the stab wound. Owens is due in court next month.
RECOGNITION FOR STUDENT PERFORMANCE
4 schools in Wise County, Virginia are honored by the state as Title 1 Distinguished schools. Coeburn Primary, Powell Valley Primary, St. Paul Elementary and Wise Primary were recognized for meeting all state and federal accountability requirements for two consecutive years and achieving pass rates in standard of learning tests in reading and mathematics at the 60th percentile or higher. 36 schools statewide received the recognition.
MAN CHARGED IN DRUG STING
An undercover drug buying operation results in the arrest of a Floyd County man. Police say Ricky Williams of Grethel sold a confidential informant 3 prescription painkiller pills for $100. Williams faces felony trafficking of controlled substance charges.
MURDER TRIAL SET FOR DECEMBER
A trial date is set for a Harlan County man accused in a 2011 murder. Timothy Turner will be in court December 2 in connection with the death of Stephen Gibson, who was found dead by police doing a welfare check at his home. Attorneys had a final pre trial conference yesterday.
Perry County may be soon shopping for a new garbage hauler. The Hazard Herald reports Judge-Executive Denny Ray Noble says said the county might terminate its contract with Waste Connections, Inc. due to a significant drop in garbage pickup. It stems from complaints brought by residents of an area near Viper where trash isn't being collected. County Attorney John Carl Shackelford says the court could issue a 30-day notice to the company over a breach of contract.
THEFT SUSPECT EXTRADITED
A woman from Ohio is being brought back to Floyd County on charges she stole thousands of dollars from a man. Arrest papers say in 2013 Gena Cavins of Columbus Ohio took $25,000 from the Floyd County man who hid the money in envelopes underneath his bed. Cavins is expected to appear in court next week.
MC CONNELL MOVES AHEAD OF GRIMES
Republican Senator Mitch McConnell widens his lead in the latest Bluegrass Poll, conducted for WKYT-TV, the Lexington Herald-Leader, the Louisville Courier-Journal, and WHAS-TV. The incumbent bests challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes 48 percent to Grimes’ 43 percent, with a 4.1 percent margin of error. The poll of 704 registered Kentucky voters was conducted by SurveyUSA from Oct. 25 to Oct. 29
JENKINS SUPER PULLS NO PUNCHES
The new superintendent of the Jenkins Independent Schools System says he's not making excuses about the district's poor state test score performance - and is already working on improvements. Freddie Bowling succeded the retiring Deborah Watts as supervisor, and had been an elementary school principal in Pike County before coming to Jenkins. Results from the Kentucky Department of Education's tests ranked Jenkins schools in the "Needs Improvement" category.
CAMP BRANCH MAN FOUND GUILTY OF CHILD MOLESTATION
A Letcher County Circuit court finds a man guilty of child sex abuse. Carl Adams of Camp Branch was convicted on charges that dated back to 2013. It's the 3rd time a jury finds a Letcher County man accused of child molestation guilty as charged. Sentencing is scheduled for December.
HIT AND RUN DRIVER SOUGHT
Police are hunting for a man wanted in a hit and run involving a school bus in Perry County. Investigators say it happened yesterday morning when Gary Daniels side-swiped the bus then took off. No one was injured in the crash. Daniels is believed to be in the Oneida area of Clay County and police have been looking for him Highway 1482 as Daniels is known around that area. He's known to have a long criminal history and is wanted on at least one outstanding warrant.
COPS SEARCH FOR BURGLAR
A Pike County man wanted on multiple charges is still on the loose. Police say Jonathan Robinette is suspected in burglary and theft charges in Floyd and Pike Counties. Robinette is 6 foot tall, average build with brown hair, hazel eyes and facial hair. Tips on Robinette's whereabouts can be called in to Kentucky State Police Post 9 at 1-800-222-5555.
REPORT VOTE BUYING TO THE A-G
With election day just days ahead Attorney General Jack Conway gets the word out that voters can says you can help his office combat vote buying by utilizing his election fraud hotline. Conway says it is an important tool to ensure honest and fair elections for all Kentuckians. During the May Primary Election the hotline received more than 205 calls from more than 60 counties. The number to call is 800-328-VOTE.
WATER DISTRICT SUES CITIES OVER LATE PAYMENTS
2 Knott County cities are being sued for past due water bills totaling nearly $400,000. An attorney for the Knott County Water and Sewer District says Vicco owes over $189,000 and Hindman around $196,000. Each city resells the district's water to homes and businesses. State approval isn't required for the district to cut off service to the 2 cities but for now that action isn't being pursued.
UMW RALLY FOR GRIMES
The United Mine Workers held a rally in Pike County in support of Democratic US Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes. Union president Cecil Roberts says one reason for supporting Grimes is that she's committed to supporting miner's pension and healthcare plans. Polls show Grimes and incumbent Mitch McConnell remain in a statistical dead heat.
FEDERAL CHARGES FILES AGAINST SUSPECTED MAIL THIEF
A Harlan County woman is jailed on a federal warrant for mail theft. Tina Asher of Loyall is being held in the Laurel Detention Center in London where she was to make her first appearance in US District Court. Charging papers say Asher broke into Loyall Post Office parcel lockers on 3 separate occasions during October of 2013. Loyall Police Chief Mike Lunsford tells the Enterprise that the investigation started after he was contacted by the postal service after receiving complaints of stolen mail. Lunsford says he's told Asher could face 5 years in jail for each mail theft count and 3 years for each count of destroying mail receptacles.
SUSPECTED MURDERER STILL AT LARGE
It's been a year since a Floyd County man was found dead in his apartment and police are still asking for help to find his killer. Police say Timothy Austin of Prestonsburg was shot multiple times and that the case is a homicide. Detectives say they've had leads in Austin's murder but so far haven’t been able to locate the gunman. Those with information on Austin's death are asked to call Kentucky State Police Post 9 at 606-433-7711.
DRUG BUST PUTS MAN IN JAIL
An anonymous tip leads police to a Harlan County home where over $30,000 in prescription painkillers were found. Donald Ray Howard of Bledsoe is arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking. In addition to the pills, police found over an ounce of marijuana, a stolen gun and around $15,000 in cash. Howard also faces charges for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
ROBBER STILL ON THE RUN
The suspect in a Perry County convenience store robbery remains at large. Police say the man was wearing a masked and pulled a knife on the employee Sunday night at the One Mart in Avawam. He made off on foot and was last seen on Big Creek Road. There isn't a good description of the robber other than that he was wearing a black jacket, black pants and a mask. Call Kentucky State Police post 13 in Hazard if you know of the robber's whereabouts.
STORE GRAND OPENING
Another major store at Pike County's newest shopping center holds its grand opening tomorrow. Apparel retailer Marshalls opens its doors to the Pikeville Commons store on Justice Way at 7:30 am. In addition to clothing for women, men and children, Marshalls has items for the home along with luggage, beauty products and accessories. Marshall's officials say the store's opening means another 60 full and part time jobs.
MAN CHARGED WITH RAPE
A Floyd County man makes his first court appearance on suspicion he raped his neighbor. Police say it started when David Patrick of Prestonsburg went to return an air pump to a woman at the Cliffside Apartments, where Patrick lives, and asked the woman there for a hug which ended up with kissing, but was stopped by the woman. The Floyd County Times reports Patrick's version of what happened next differs from the victim's account. Patrick says the woman consented to sex after she first stopped the kissing, but the woman says Patrick forced her to have sex against her will. He's out on a partial payment of his $10,000 bond.
COACH CHARGED WITH VIDEOING PLAYERS
Harlan County High School's former girls basketball coach is indicted on charges he shot videos of his players in the locker room. Anthony Nolan is jailed on $75,000 full cash bond. Police say a student told their father they saw Nolan's cell phone in a duffel bag stowed in a locker and it was recording at the time. Sheriff Marvin Lipfird says he's contacted parents to keep them apprised of the investigation which may include additional charges.
MEMORIAL UNDER WAY
Ground is broken on a veterans memorial park in Pike County. It will be on Hambley Boulevard in Pikeville and is the result of a yearlong collaboration between the VFW and county commissioners. The design includes an eternal flame with the names of those from the county who never returned home from overseas. Construction is scheduled to be done early next year.
PEP VIDEO DRAWS PARENTAL BLOWBACK
The superintendent of the Wise County Virginia school district says he's asked teachers to use better judgment in the wake of a pep rally video that upset a number of parents. Teachers performed a dance where the men sat in chairs while the women danced behind them. Superintendent Dr. Jeff Perry says the teachers aren't being disciplined.
REMEMBERING A LOST CLASSMATE
Letcher County Central High School students and staff turned out in pink yesterday to remember the school's homecoming queen who passed away over the weekend. Casey Begley was born with Spinal Bifida and was in a wheelchair from birth. Begley died from complications due to seizures. Students will wear yellow for Spinal Bifida awareness today and wear black on Wednesday. Begley's funeral is 1pm Wednesday at Camp Branch Pentecostal Holiness Church.
SENATE CANDIDATES MAKE LAST MINUTE CAMPAIGN STOPS
Both candidates for US Senator made campaign swings through the mountains on Monday. Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes stopped in Letcher, Perry and Harlan Counties while Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell visited Leslie and Perry Counties. Today U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren will campaign with Grimes in Louisville and Saturday Hillary Rodham Clinton will campaign with her in Lexington and northern Kentucky. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will appear with McConnell tomorrow at a rally in Louisville. Polls show the Kentucky Senate race is in a statistical dead heat.
FIRE VICTIM SAYS HE WILL REBUILD
The owner of a Pike County convenience store and motel severely damaged by fire says he plans to rebuild. Police say no one was hurt in the fire Sunday morning at the One Stop at Kentucky 194 and Highway 632 in Phelps. Part of the hotel was not damaged. The fire's cause remains under investigation but authorities say it does not appear to be suspicious.
DRUG CHARGES FILED AGAINST PARENT
A child welfare check ends up with a Harlan County woman being arrested on drug charges. Police say social services received a complaint about Christina Osborne of Cumberland and when they went to her home, they found a number of prescription painkillers along with drug paraphernalia and evidence of methamphetamine manufacturing. Osborne is jailed on a $50,000 full cash bond. Her children are in teh custody of social services.
BOIL WATER ADVISORY
A number of Perry County homes and businesses are under a boil water advisory. The Herald reports the entirety of the Combs community in Hazard as well as the Town and Country Shopping Center are asked to boil water due to a water main that may have caused bacterial contamination of the water. The advisory remains in effect until testing shows the water is back to acceptable standards.
MAN AIRLIFTED FROM AUTO CRASH
A crash in Harlan County sends a passenger to the hospital with life threatening injuries. Police say a car driven by Betty Middleton of Baxter was turning left into a business when she pulled in front of an oncoming SUV. Middleton's husband was in the passenger seat and the severity of his injuries required an airlift from Harlan ARH hospital. There's been no word on if Middleton or the other driver - identified as William Leath of Wallins - were hurt. Leath was cited for failure to carry insurance.
PLEA DEAL NETS 5 YEAR SENTENCE
5 years in jail is the sentence for a Pike County man taking a plea deal on charges he attacked a man with a knife and threatened a State Trooper with a firearm, resulting in the man being shot. The Appalachian News Express one of the troopers shooting James Sallette testified that the judge shouldn't agree to the plea deal so he offered Sallette's attorney to rescind the plea, which he refused. Sallette is now serving his sentence in the Pike County Detention Center.
CHILD LEFT ALONG IN LOCKED VEHICLE
A Harlan County woman is arrested on endangerment charges after police found a child left alone in her car. Police say Florence Bennett of Evarts left an infant in a locked pickup truck with the windows closed. Witnesses tell investigators Bennett left the child alone for around 15 minutes. She told officers the child belonged to Bennett's granddaughter.