LETCHER COUNTY GRAND JURY TO DECIDE IF INCIDENT WAS SELF DEFENSE
A Letcher County grand jury will decide if a Mayking man was acting in self defense when he shot his son last month. Police say David Fugate Junior was arguing with his mother Jackie when he assaulted her and another woman, then went after his father. Investigators say that's when David Fugate Senior opened fire, hitting his son. The younger Fugate was airlifted to Holston Valley Medical Center where he is recovering from stomach surgery. State Patrol detectives are continuing to investigate the shooting.
PIKE COUNTY WATER UTILITY WANTS TO RAISE RATES
Pike County's water utility is expected to file rates paperwork with the state Public Service Commission next month. The Appalachian News-Express reports the Mountain Water District is nearly done with a rate study that had begun in May which was paid for by the district with no state funding. Administrators say a special meeting of the Board of Commissioners may be convened to go over rates which the district's accountant says haven't had a true increase in 17 years.
BOND SET FOR HARLAN COUNTY MAN ACCUSED OF BREAKING INTO MSHA OFFICE
Bond was set at $12,000 for a Harlan County man suspected of breaking into the Mine Safety and Health Administration Office last weekend. Police say Thomas Napier made off with some credit and gas cards along with mining belts and tried using one of the stolen cards to buy several cartons of cigarettes. Investigators say Napier did over a thousand dollars in damage to the offices. Most of the stolen items have been recovered.
LETCHER COUNTY ELEMENTARY TEACHER APPOINTED TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS
A Letcher County elementary school teacher has been appointed to the Center For School Safety board of directors. Danielle Bailey-Ratliff of Elkhorn City teaches 2nd grade at Letcher Elementary School. She is one of the teacher representatives on the board and her term runs through July of 2016.
ATV DEATH IS SECOND FATALITY ON LABOR DAY IN HARLAN COUNTY
A second fatal accident occurred in Harlan County on Labor Day. Police say Danita Millis was on an ATV that went off Kentucky 1137 and ended up striking a tree. Millis was airlifted to Holston Valley Medical Center in Tennessee where she was pronounced dead around 2 hours after the accident. Relatives say Millis and her fiancée were expecting twins. Earlier on Monday Flossie Smith of Evarts was killed when her SUV left the road, heading into a ditch, up an embankment then rolled over onto its top. Smith was pronounced dead at the crash scene.
LETCHER COUNTY MAN FACES ILLEGAL COAL MINNG CHARGES
Illegal coal mining charges have been filed against a man suspected of stealing 700 tons of coal at a Letcher County surface mine. State officials say Bryan Lee Wagner was directed to immediately cease mining operations and begin reclaiming the land along with installing temporary sediment control. A civil penalty will be assessed against Wagner that could run between $5000 and $25,000 per day. The state says it is currently calculating the dollar amount of Wagner's fine.
BOND SET FOR HARLAN COUNTY MAN ACCUSED OF EXPOSING HIMSELF TO 8 YEAR OLD GIRL
Bond is set at $25,000 for a Harlan County man suspected of exposing himself to an 8 year old girl and inducing her to view obscene material. Police say Jeffrey Coker of Evarts also tried to get the girl to expose herself and told her not to tell her grandmother because if she knew she would shoot him. Coker was taken into custody on Friday.
FUNERAL SERVICES HELD FOR 4TH BREATHITT COUNTY WRECK VICTIM
Funeral services were held yesterday for Pearl Campbell - one of the 4 people killed last month in a Breathitt County pickup truck accident. Family and friends remembered Campbell as a kind unselfish person who always made people he came in contact with feel welcome to be around him. Campbell and 3 others were riding in the truck driven by Shawn Hardin when it went off Wolverine Road near Tracy Lane and landed in a house. Hardin is expected to be arraigned tomorrow.
LABOR DAY POLICE CHASE REACHING SPEEDS OF 100MPH ENDS IN LETCHER COUNTY
The holiday weekend’s police emphasis patrols were called into action on Labor Day when a driver led officers on a chase that ended in Letcher County. An officer in Pike County tried pulling over Bradley Meadows after learning he was wanted on several felony warrants and Meadows took off, heading into Virginia before coming back into Letcher County at speeds reaching 100 miles an hour. Investigators say Meadows finally crashed his car at the intersection of US Route 119 and the old Kentucky route 15 business junction in Whitesburg. He faces a new round of charges including DUI, fleeing from police and possession of a controlled substance.
NEW EMERGENCY/RESCUE SQUAD HQ DEDICATED
Floyd County dedicated its new Emergency and Rescue Squad Headquarters on Saturday. The building is named for Alexander Goble Willis – one of the charter members of the organization. A memorial is there to remember the 27 people killed in the 1958 bus crash. The new building’s construction cost was $1.5 million.
HARLAN COUNTY WOMAN DIES IN A BELL COUNTY LABOR DAY CRASH
A Harlan County woman lost her life yesterday in a one-car crash. Investigators say the accident happened on U.S. 119 in Bell County when the SUV driven by Flossie Smith of Evarts left the road, heading into a ditch, up an embankment then rolled over onto its top. Smith was pronounced dead at the crash scene. The accident is being investigated and so far police haven’t said if drugs or alcohol were a factor.
FLOYD COUNTY MEN SENTENCED FOR ROBBING A PIKE COUNTY BANK
2 men from Floyd County were each sentenced to 20 years in jail on their conviction robbing a Pike County bank. Anthony Gillespie and Claude Isaac were found guilty of robbing the U.S. Bank branch at Virgie in November 2013. Both also pleaded guilty to charges of being a persistent felony offender.
A FOURTH PERSON HAS DIED FROM INJURIES SUFFERED IN BREATHITT COUNTY PICKUP TRUCK ACCIDENT
A fourth person has died from his injuries suffered in a Breathitt county pickup truck accident last month The crash happened on Wolverine Road near Tracy Lane when the pickup with 2 inside and 4 riding in the bed went off the road and landed in a house. 3 people died the night of the crash. The 4th victim - identified as Joshua Thorpe – had been airlifted to UK hospital where he was pronounced dead on Saturday. Marcus Jones – the other survivor airlifted to UK – remains in stable condition. The driver - identified as Shawn Hardin - faces multiple murder and assault charges.
MAN RELEASED FROM PRISON TO HALFWAY HOUSE
A man convicted for his role in the 2009 murder of a Floyd County native is released from prison to serve the rest of his sentence in a halfway house. Jeffrey Mundt was sentenced to eight years in prison for his role in burying James Carroll's body. Mundt’s boyfriend, Joseph Banis is serving a life sentence in Carroll's murder, avoiding the death penalty by agreeing to testify against Mundt.
FIRE OFFICIALS LOOKING INTO CAUSE OF PERRY COUNTY HOUSE FIRE
Firemen are trying to determine the cause of a blaze that destroyed a Perry County home Saturday night. When crews arrived at the Augustus Court home they found it was fully engulfed but firemen were able to prevent the flames from spreading to nearby homes. o one was injured.
BY RICK PRICE
LETCHER COUNTY COUPLE APPEAR IN COURT ON DRUG AND THEFT CHARGES TODAY
A Letcher County couple makes their first court appearance today on drug and theft charges. Police say Amber and Douglas Mullins stole a car from her mother, broke into Douglas's uncle's home in Payne Gap and were in possession of chemicals used to make methamphetamine. The 2 were arrested at the uncle's home after police received a call that they had been there for about an hour and the uncle was not at home. Bond is set at $10,000 cash each.
JENKINS STUDENTS WON'T BE GOING TO VOCATIONAL CLASSED IN VIRGINIA FOR THE TIME BEING
Students in one Letcher County district won't be going out of state for their vocational training - for now. Back in June the Jenkins School Board decided to move its vocational students from Letcher County to Wise County's Career & Technical Center and while that was supposed to have begun with the start of classes earlier this month, some clarifications in the agreement having to do with differences in Kentucky and Virginia law have held up the contract signing. The decision by Jenkins to move vocational classes was met with criticism from the Letcher County Board of Education with some members saying they weren't informed about the planned move and the board didn't know that Jenkins administrators thought their students were being shut out of high demand classes.
SALE APPROVED FOR 3 JAMES RIVER COAL MINES
The sale of 3 James River Coal mines - including one in Perry County - has been approved by a bankruptcy judge. A subsidiary of Blackhawk Mining is buying the Hazard complex except for the assets of Laurel Mountain Resources in Prestonsburg. In April Blackhawk acquired former Apex Coal properties in Perry County. James River - which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy - expects to have the sale done by the end of the week.
3 PEOPLE KILLED IN BREATHITT COUNTY SINGLE VEHICLE ACCIDENT WEDNESDAY NIGHT
3 people were killed in a crash last night in Breathitt County. Police say it happened on Wolverine Road near Tracy Lane when a pickup truck with 2 inside and 4 riding in the bed went off the road and landed in a house. There was no one in the home at the time of the crash. The driver - identified as Shawn Hardin - faces multiple murder and assault charges. Police say alcohol was a factor in the crash.
HARLAN COUNTY MAN EXITS VEHICLE AND RUNS WHILE BEING PULLED OVER
A Harlan County man who tried to outrun cops by jumping in the river was taken into custody. State Police say they tried to pull over Teddy Smith on Kentucky 3001 in Cawood, but he took off, eventually jumping out of his vehicle and into Martins Fork. Officers were waiting for him on the other side.
PERRY COUNTY MAN'S CONVICTION THROWN OUT
A Perry County man's conviction of felony assault has been thrown out over evidence issues with the Commonwealth's attorney. The appeal filed by Tracy Napier claims the jury heard evidence replayed in the deliberation room from a laptop computer that was to only have the evidence on it, but that was never certified before the jurors heard the evidence. A hearing will be held later this year on retrying Napier's case.
100 HOMES DAMAGED FROM LAST FRIDAY'S FLOODING IN FLOYD COUNTY
Floyd County authorities say around 100 homes were damaged as a result of last week's storms putting the financial loss in the millions of dollars. Crews were working to get Abbott Creek Road reopened yesterday after parts were washed out after Friday's rains. The work was delayed as crews were trying to clear out old equipment so they could install a new 72 inch drain pipe. In Johnson County around 25 homes sustained damage. Officials from both counties are putting together the total dollar amounts so Governor Steve Beshear can ask for a federal disaster declaration.
CHILD SEX ABUSE CHARGES BROUGHT AGAINST HARLAN COUNTY MAN
A Harlan County man is in custody on 2 child sex abuse charges - one that dates back 17 years. Curtis Hensley was indicted earlier this month for sexually abusing a child between November 1997 and October of 2003, and abusing another for a 3 year period just after the first suspected abuse ended. He's being held in the Harlan County Detention Center on a $2500 full cash bond.
LETCHER COUNTY MAN SHOOTS SON DURING FAMILY ALTERCATION
A family squabble ended up with a Letcher County man shooting his son. Police say David Fugate Junior was arguing with his mother Jackie at their Mayking home when he assaulted her and another woman, then went after his father. Investigators say that's when David Fugate Senior opened fire, hitting his son. The younger Fugate was airlifted to Holston Valley Medical Center with what were described as non life threatening injuries. So far no charges have been filed but State Police say the matter will go before a Grand Jury as soon as possible.
ARMED ROBBERY AT KNOTT COUNTY SUBWAY
The armed robber who held up a Knott County sandwich shop Sunday morning is still on the loose. Police say the man brandished a handgun when he robbed Hometown Subway at the Holly Hills Shopping Center in Mallie. Investigators say the store clerk handed over an undetermined amount of cash and the robber fled on foot. e's described as a white man between 6-3 and 6-6, thin build wearing a grey sweatshirt, jeans, a black stocking over his head, and bags covering his shoes.
FLOOD CLEANUP ONGOING IN FLOYD COUNTY
The cleanup continues in hard-hit Floyd County from last week's heavy rainfall. Downtown Prestonsburg was hit particularly hard, with the receding waters leaving lots of mud and debris behind. County officials say they are stil evaluating the damage and will made a decision this week on seeking federal assistance.
WILD HORSES DEAD OR NOT IN HARLAN COUNTY
Conflicting information has been emerging about a number of horses reported missing from Harlan County last week. According to the Harlan Daily Enterprise Humane Society president Marcella Chadwick reported on Friday 28 horses in the Dingo area had been killed - now Chadwick has clarified that report to say she got the information from a man who called the Humane Society. Chadwick posted on Facebook that 3 horses are dead - and she is now stepping down from the matter leaving it in the hands of the property owners. The State Police says only one horse had been found dead - and investigators haven't confirmed the cause of death. Chadwick also clarified reports of a reward being offered for information about the horses whereabouts, saying on her Facebook page while there have been pledges of money, nothing has been collected yet.
ARRAIGNMENT SET FOR 2 SUSPECTS IN MARTIN COUNTY MURDERS AND FIRE
Arraignment is set for September 4th for the 2 suspects in a Martin County triple homicide. Police say Amanda Bowen and Jack Smith stole drugs and valuables from Tina Goble before fatally stabbing her, her husband Cainie Johnson and 8 year old Trinity Maynard. Detectives say the 2 then set the family's house on fire. Meanwhile Amanda Bowen has more legal trouble - this time in Floyd County. Before she was taken to jail on the murder allegations, Bowen was brought to Highlands Regional Medical Center for medical clearance - and according to the Floyd County Times hospital workers said she was acting peculiar. The paper reports a nurse then saw a container then fall out from Bowen's underwear, then the nurse saw Bowen open it up and swallow what was inside - later identified to be prescription painkillers for which police say Bowen possessed illegally. She now faces drug possession charges.
ENTROLLMENT DOWN IN HARLAN COUNTY SCHOOLS
Harlan County school officials say enrollment is down for the 2014-2015 year by around 200 - with about a third of that reduction at Harlan County High School. The Harlan Daily Enterprise reports district enrollment this year is 4,207 students. 2 elementary schools reported an increase in students. Superintendent Mike Howard says some of the enrollment declines are due to people moving from the area so they can find work.
WISE COUNTY DEPUTY KILLS DOG WHILE LOOKING FOR WANTED MAN
A Wise County Virginia sheriff's deputy fatally shot a dog who investigators say charged at him as they were trying to locate a wanted man on Saturday. The dog got out of the home and went after the deputies, who backed off and told its owner to call it off, but he refused to do so. Virginia State Police are investigating the shooting.