Thursday April 24, 2014

Atmos Energy Corp. customers will see their bills rise after the company won approval for an $8.5 million annual revenue increase. The amount is more than $4.8 million less than the utility sought. The Kentucky Public Service Commission approval Tuesday means the typical residential customer using an average of 5,000 cubic feet of natural gas per month will have an increase of $1.99 per month in the base portion of the bill.
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Austin Ison, 26, pleaded guilty in Letcher Circuit Court last week. Sentencing for Ison is set for 2 p.m. on May 14. Ison could be sentenced to five years in prison for each of the five charges for a maximum term of 20 years. Ison will be eligible to apply for parole after serving 36 months, nearly two years of which he has already served.
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Letcher County’s government is interested in buying the vacant McRoberts Elementary School. At its April meeting Monday night, the Letcher Fiscal Court voted to negotiate the purchase of the school if all bids submitted to the Jenkins Independent School District are rejected next week. The bids were due April 21 and will be opened April 28 by the Jenkins Board of Education. The county did not submit a bid.
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The original "Band Of Brothers" is getting a new commander and a new home. The 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment will undergo a change of command ceremony at Fort Campbell on Wednesday. And, at the end of the week, the regiment will move from the 4th Brigade Combat Team to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team. The move is being made as the Army shrinks its overall size as wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wrap up.
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Arch Coal Inc. mines in Kentucky and elsewhere in Central Appalachia were able to sell coal for slightly more than the cash cost of mining it during the first quarter of 2014. Arch Coal’s Appalachian mines, including Cumberland River Coal Company’s operations in Letcher County and Wise County, Va., sold 3.6 million tons of coal during the first three months of 2014 for an average price of $67.70 per ton, or $2.22 more per ton than the actual cash cost of mining it.
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A grand jury indicted Milburn Glover on murder wanton endangerment, and a weapons charge. Police believe Glover shot and killed David Ritchie, killing him along  Boothhill Road in Letcher County. Originally Glover only faces a possession of a firearm by a convicted felon charge. An arraignment date is set for May 15th.

Wednesday April 23, 2014

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said voters in Democratic strongholds such as Chicago will think differently if they see Republicans not just visiting these places, but discussing issues pertinent to their circumstances.  Paul was scheduled to take his message of a more inclusive Republican Party to the University of Chicago, after meeting with African-American leaders in the city and discussing economic development.
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Two groups teamed up Tuesday to bring a farm to an Eastern Kentucky elementary school.  The reason is to give kids insight into what all goes into the industry that much of our nation depends on.  The Owensboro Museum of Science and History's Agriculture: Kentucky program uses nine different stations to teach students at East Perry Elementary School about the different aspects that go into the industry.
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Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning West Virginia residents about a rental property scam. In the scam, people post fake rental ads on Craigslist or other websites. Consumers who respond receive information about properties that don't exist, are not available or are owned by someone else. The supposed landlords often ask for rent up front and promise that keys or a lease will be mailed upon receipt.
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Oldham County police say a preschool student with special needs was found on a school bus after the mother came to pick the child up at the end of the day. Police say school officials didn't realize the child was missing until the mother arrived. A police news release said the child was located shortly after 2:30 p.m. EDT, still in the bus that picked the child up around 10:40 a.m.
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Since Sunday, three homes on Stringtown Road in Whitley County have burned down. The Pleasant View Fire Department had to put a fire on that road for the third straight day Tuesday.  The first fire was Sunday afternoon. A vacant home was burned to the ground. Then, it was a mobile home next on Monday. Early Tuesday morning, another house caught fire. State arson investigators are looking into the cause of these fires.

Tuesday April 22, 2014

Where there were no elk two decades ago in Kentucky, an estimated 10,000 or more now roam freely. A landmark restoration effort re-established an elk herd in the state’s scenic southeastern region and created one of the most sought-after hunting opportunities east of the Rocky Mountains. Hunters looking for a chance to check a Kentucky elk hunting adventure off their bucket list have until midnight (Eastern time) April 30 to enter this year’s quota hunt drawing. Completing the online application at fw.ky.gov well ahead of time is encouraged to avoid the expected last-minute rush.
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The Kentucky State Parks Foundation has awarded matching grants for trail projects at two parks. The foundation awarded a $2,500 grant to Nolin Lake State Park for a section of the Brier Creek Mountain Bike Trail that will be used by cyclists. State parks officials say the section will be designed to minimize the amount of pedaling and braking required by cyclists. State Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker says the grants are going to projects that will offer more recreational opportunities for visitors.
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The Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation has awarded $28,000 in scholarships to 25 students in Kentucky. The Gerald F. Healy Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation Scholarships were given to telecommunicators, dependents of law enforcement officers and survivors of officers who died in the line of duty. Three of the 25 students were listed as surviving family of officers who died in the line of duty.
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38-year-old Gavin Thompson died at Wayne County Hospital about 4:30 a.m. Monday. The coroner says the investigation is pointing toward a shooting that happened at Thompson's home. Police say that Ian Miller, 21, and Gavin Thompson had been arguing when they were called to Thompson’s home about 3 o’clock Monday morning. The 21 year old Miller, from Elmira New York, was identified as the shooter, but he was not charged.
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The University  of Kentucky has issued an alert about a scam that's targeted some of its employees. UK officials say a small number of employees fell victim to a phishing scam and their paychecks ended up being re-directed to a different bank account . UK is working with them to fix the problem. Meanwhile, UK is enhancing direct deposit security  for all its employees to protect those who do need to make a change to their main bank account.

Monday April 21, 2014

Eastern Kentucky University's Board of Regents has approved a tobacco-free campus policy. effective June 1, the use of tobacco on all property that is owned, leased, occupied or controlled by the university will be prohibited. The tobacco-free policy, which replaces the smoke-free zone policy that had been in effect since 2006, covers all Eastern facilities and grounds. It also prohibits the use of tobacco in vehicles owned, leased or rented by EKU, as well as in personal vehicles while on university property.
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funeral arrangements will take place for a man killed in a hunting accident last week. The funeral for Brian Griffin is set for today at 1 p.m. at the Horse Creek Baptist Church. A shotgun blast killed Brian Griffin, 28, and injured another hunter Thursday morning near the Fogertown community of Clay County. Griffin left behind a wife and two children.
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Earlier this year, Kentucky's General Assembly unanimously approved a new name for a Floyd County bridge.  Now, the construction at mile point 13.6 on Highway 680 near Harold will memorialize Leo Roberts, a Korean War Veteran and former schoolteacher and minister.  State and county officials were on hand Saturday afternoon for the dedication ceremony.
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Kentucky residents will get a chance to review state academic standards and suggest changes later this year. the initiative tentatively called the Kentucky Core Academic Standards Challenge  will begin in the fall. a group of higher education professionals, business leaders and teachers will use the public feedback to make proposed revisions, which would then need approval from the Kentucky Board of Education.
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A dozen members of the National Guard stationed in Afghanistan found out they would be back in the Bluegrass for Easter. On Saturday, 15 members of the Kentucky National Guard were welcomed home by family and friends. For nine months the 103rd Brigade Support Battalion has been stationed over in Afghanistan. They have been running base closure operations in support of US Special Operations Command.

Friday April 18, 2014

A hunter is dead and another is injured after they were shot early this morning. The shooting happened in Clay County near the Fogertown community and is currently under investigation by multiple agencies. Those agencies are the Kentucky State Police and the Department of Fish and Wildlife since this incident involved hunting. Clay County Sheriff’s deputies also assisted in the investigation earlier in the morning. Investigators tell us they made a game plan before heading into the woods looking for clues.
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A new plant will bring more than 100 jobs to Russell County. Governor Beshear helped cut the ribbon for Germany-based Dr. Schneider Automotive SystemsThe company makes parts for companies such as Ford, BMW, Mercedes and Audi. The plant will have 155 full-time jobs. This opening comes on the heels of a major economic hit to the county. The Fruit of the Loom plant announced earlier this month that it will close later this year. More than 600 people will lose their jobs.
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The support of the governor, attorney general and leaders of both parties in the state legislature was not enough to pass a bill strengthening sentences for serious heroin dealers and expanding the state's substance abuse treatment programs. Now, Republican Senate President Robert Stivers says he will ask Gov. Beshear to call state lawmakers back to Frankfort for a special session so they can try again. State officials estimate a special session would cost taxpayers about $60,000 per day.
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The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights visited Eastern Kentucky this week to learn more about the area and issues affecting the region. They want to make sure all Kentuckians from all backgrounds and walks of life have an equal opportunity to succeed. The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights usually meets in Louisville once a month, but this month, they came to Harlan County.
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A Pikeville doctor admitted Wednesday he allowed a pharmacy access to prescription drug samples. Thad Manning pleaded guilty to conspiracy to misbranding drugs.  Manning agreed to pay $250,000, which represents the proceeds he received as a result of the conspiracy.  He also agreed to enter into a drug rehab center for an addiction of hydrocodone. Manning will be sentenced in July. He faces one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.