Monday March 17, 2014

Kentucky State Police say one man is dead following a shooting in Letcher County.  The shooting happened on Boot Hill Road just off of Highway 7 South just below Letcher Elementary School.  At this time police are still piecing together what happened.  The name of the victim has not been released.

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A tank cluster that leaked chemicals into 300,000 West Virginians' drinking water shows few signs that it's on the brink of destruction. Freedom Industries hit a state deadline Saturday to start scrapping its chemical storage headquarters. So far, crews have carved a small patch out of one tank to remove chemical remnants. there's no firm timeline for knocking down the tanks.

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Grass fires are popping up around the state as spring inches closer and people continue to ignore burn bans. Typically, burn bans are issued in the summer and fall months because the ground is dry and the temperatures are hot. But this time, Whitley County issued a burn ban in the middle of March but it wasn't because of the heat, it was because of the wind. The judge-executive says on average, around five brush fires are reported every week within the county.

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More than 2,500 students from around Kentucky were at the Galt House  in Louisville this weekend throwing out some brain-based fisticuffs during the 2014 Governor’s Cup state finals.Statewide there are more than 20,000 middle and high school students who participate in Governor’s Cup events including quick recall, future problem solving and written assessments in different subjects. The number was whittled down to about 2,500 for the finals at the Galt House Saturday through Monday.

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Morehead State University officials are hoping to build a new $50 million music and performance center. The new Music Academic and Performing Arts Education building would replace the campus' Laughlin Health Building and the Wetherby Gymnasium. The project missed the capital projects deadline for this year's legislative session. Andrews hopes to put it on the list for 2016.

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A woman’s hairstyle helped an Eastern Kentucky student win bragging rights Saturday in Louisville. Paul Keaton of Pikeville was the last speller standing at this year’s Kentucky Derby Festival spelling bee. He correctly spelled "chignon." 65 students represented 62 counties in Kentucky and southern Indiana took part in the event.

Friday March 14, 2014

The Kentucky House has passed a $20 billion, two-year state budget that closely follows the governor's spending recommendations. The plan would pump more money into the state's main funding formula for kindergarten through 12th-grade classrooms. State employees, teachers and other school workers would receive pay raises. It targets spending cuts for an array of state agencies to free up money for schools.
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County funding could soon be restored to the Bell County Volunteer Fire Departments. Several departments closed three years ago in a dispute with the county over funding. Now contract negotiations are underway to restore the funding. Firefighters are filling the Arjay Volunteer Fire Department building once again. The Arjay Fire Department is re-opening  today. The Arjay department closed in December, 2011 when firefighters claimed the county did not provide enough funding to operate.
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In 2012, the Otter Creek Correctional Center closed its doors, costing Floyd County more than 170 jobs.  The Wheelwright facility has sat unused for nearly three years.  Community members say they believe the plan will bring in not only more jobs, but more traffic to an area that has struggled with poverty. House Speaker Greg Stumbo is pushing a plan that would move at least one hundred elderly inmates into the facility.
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Rapists whose victims give birth to a child would be barred from seeking custody of that child under a bill passed by the Kentucky state Senate. While rapists would still be required to provide child support for any children born to their victims, they would also be banned from inheriting property from those children.
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Three people in Whitley county were arrested on drug charges, after police found two active meth labs inside a home. The Sheriff's department arrested Nikki Brock, after they saw her running from the home into a wooded area. She is charged with Manufacturing and Possessing Meth. Brock was also charged with Fleeing and Evading.
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A southern Kentucky man who escaped custody while awaiting trial on multiple charges of rape and arson has been caught. Laurel County Sheriff John Root says deputies and U.S. Marshals arrested 45-year-old James Bowling of Lily on Thursday in Leslie County. Bowling had been under house arrest in Laurel County.

Thursday March 13, 2014

In pleading guilty earlier this week to her role in the brutal slaying of her husband in June 2012, a Millstone woman will avoid the possibility of being sentenced to death, or to life in prison without the possibility of parole, if she follows through on her promise to testify against her lover and another friend who are also charged in the case. Stephanie Fleming, 32, must give a recorded sworn statement regarding the murder of Drad Fleming, a 34-yearold father of three, and testify in the separate trials set against her lover, 34-year-old James Maggard of Neon, and the third suspect, 26-year-old Austin Ison of Pert Creek near Whitesburg.
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The Las Peñas restaurants will soon expand into the City of Jenkins. Charles Caldwell, who owns and operates the Las Peñas in Whitesburg, made the announcement Monday at a meeting of the Jenkins City Council. Caldwell said the restaurant will be located in the city community center next to the new Jenkins Swimming Pool. Caldwell said he intends to become the first restaurant in Jenkins to serve alcohol. Jenkins residents voted to approve alcohol sales in certain restaurants about three years ago.
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A career fair will be held at Hazard Community and Technical College on Tuesday, March 18, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in room 123 of the First Federal Center. High school students, college students and people throughout the community are invited. Partners in the event include the Hazard/ Perry County Chamber of Commerce, East Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program . Local businesses, as well as regional employers have been invited. Application and resume assistance will be available.
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Fleming-Neon Police Chief Mike Dingus wants the town’s citizens to contact the police department when they have a law enforcement issue rather than posting it on social media websites such as Facebook or Topix. Dingus said he recently learned of dog problems in the city because some residents had posted it on Internet sites. He told the Fleming- Neon City Council that he has been working to address the issue, but added that for faster results it would be much better if citizens contact the police department directly.
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A House committee has approved a bill that would forgive public schools up to 10 missed school days because of winter weather. Most state lawmakers were eager to approve the bill. They were concerned a longer school year would force students to take end-of-the-year tests in June, a time when students are used to being on vacation. The Lawrence County school district, for instance, has missed 32 school days this year because of weather, pushing its school year to June 12.
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A seminar on home- or building-invading insects will be held from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on March 17 at the Letcher County Extension Office. Dr. Mike Potter and Dr. Lee Townsend from the University of Kentucky Department of Entomology will talk about spiders, head lice, bed bugs and brown marmorated stinkbugs. Lunch will be provided. It is free and open to the public.

Wednesday March 12, 2014

A House committee has approved a bill that would forgive public schools up to 10 missed school days because of winter weather. State Rep. John Will Stacey, D-West Liberty, said only school districts that missed at least 10 days would qualify for the waiver. Most state lawmakers were eager on Tuesday to approve the bill. They were concerned a longer school year would force students to take end-of-the-year tests in June, a time when students are used to being on vacation. The Lawrence County school district has missed 32 sch.ool days this year because of weather, pushing its school year to June 12.
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One woman is dead after she was ran over by her own car. The Pike County Coroner says 54 year old Roberta Ratliff was killed just before 5:00 p.m. Tuesday. He says Ratliff pulled into her driveway in her pickup truck, the vehicle was left in gear and she was pinned underneath.
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Flames threatened homes and scared neighbors in Harlan County Tuesday afternoon. That was after a fire started on the Loyall flood levee! Firefighters from two departments controlled the fire. The cause is considered suspicious. Shortly before 2:00 on Tuesday afternoon, flames erupted on the flood levee in Loyall. Firefighters say when they arrived, flames and smoke covered both sides of the levee.
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Officials in Pike County say they are fed up with a rash of thefts targeting county property. They say thieves have raided a county maintenance garage multiple times over the past year or so, taking tools, tires and diesel fuel. They say someone also broke into a display case at the county courthouse, making off with two vintage Vernon Bickford baseball cards. Sheriff's deputies say they are reviewing security tapes to find out who took them, and when.
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Kentucky State Police are looking for their next trooper cadet class and if you want to apply, there is still time. KSP are taking applications until April first. Anyone interested in applying can contact their local post or go online to www.kentuckystatepolice.org.  Applicants must be US citizens, 21 years or older and have good moral character.

Tuesday March 11, 2014

Barbourville officials have cited results from a recent state audit in their attempt to oust Mayor David Thompson. The hearing is set for today at 6 p.m.The action comes after the council asked Thompson last week to resign. They cited two state statutes involving misconduct and conflict of interest. Thompson refused the request and later denied any wrongdoing. He said the council cited nothing more than the findings from the audit in seeking his removal. He says the city has already put policies into place to correct items as recommended by the auditor's office.
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A Letcher County woman faces life in prison after accepting a plea deal in a murder case.  Stephanie Fleming admitted her role in the 2012 death of her then husband, Drad Fleming. In June 2012 police found Drad Fleming murdered in his burnt out truck along Franks Creek Road.
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More than 200 forest fires have burned more than five thousand acres in Kentucky so far this year. This past weekend, state officials say 44 fires burned 652 acres. A forest fire is burning near the Christopher area of Perry County. Fire officials say it started around five in the afternoon and continues to burn. Bell County Forest Rangers say they are working three fires. A fire on Mountain Drive burned more than 50 acres.
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A school spending plan awaiting a vote by the House budget committee would go along with the governor's recommendation for a sizable funding increase for public kindergarten-through-12th grade classrooms across Kentucky.The proposal from a budget subcommittee on Monday also calls for extra funding to expand preschool services, but at a lower amount than recommended by Gov. Beshear in January. It also retains the governor's proposed pay raises for teachers and other school employees.
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The trial of a Laurel County man facing attempted murder was continued yesterday.  William Mills was indicted for shooting 31 year old William McDougal at a home on Littleton Road last August. Police say mills and McDougal were fighting when they arrived.  A pre-trial conference is set for March 24th.
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The federal vote fraud trial of a former Martin City mayor was rescheduled. Former Mayor of the city of Martin in Floyd County.  Thomasine Robinson and five others were indicted in December on a vote buying scheme. Prosecutors say that Robinson and the others conspired together to intimidate, oppress, threaten, and even injure voters in Martin. A judge set a new trial date for May 5th. Robinson and Christine Whicker were convicted on eight counts related to defrauding the the social security administration and misusing government money last month.