Thursday December 5, 2013

Despite coal industry layoffs and a high unemployment rate, both school districts in Letcher County have yet to see a dramatic decrease in student enrollment. Letcher County Public Schools is down seven students from the beginning of the 2013–2014 school year. The district had an enrollment of 3,223 in August and 3,216 at the end of the third month of school.  Letcher County’s unemployment rate for August was 14.9 percent. District administrators anticipate student enrollment numbers to decline as parents move elsewhere in search of jobs.
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Police say a 20-year-old Roxana man was burning copper near his residence when police arrived to serve outstanding warrants. Alvin Slone, 20, of 2708 Mill Branch Road, was arrested Nov. 26 and charged with violating probation. Slone was also charged with receiving stolen property. In January, Slone was indicted on charges of stealing computers, jewelry and other items belonging to Kevin Day, general manager of WTCW-AM and WXKQ-FM, and his family.
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The Jenkins Independent School System on sound financial footing with good financial practices, auditors Wallace Smallwood and Madgell Miller reported to the Jenkins Board of Education last week. The system’s total net position as of June 31, 2013 stood at $1,440,437 and the positive net change was $25,962. Smallwood told the board they had carefully examined the relationship between the board and the Jenkins Educational Foundation and found no issues, but both Miller and Smallwood told the board members to continue to be careful in monitoring activity funds.
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An early morning fire destroyed one Floyd County home Wednesday. It happened on Route 850 in the David community just before 4:00 a.m. Officials are not sure what caused the fire. The homeowner says the fire destroyed everything they had. All three family members say because of their smoke detectors they were able to get out unharmed.
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The chairman of the Letcher County Board of Education is concerned that a board policy limits the amount of days students stay overnight on eighth-grade trips while other school groups take lengthier trips. The Cowan Elementary School dance team’s to travel to Orlando, Fla., on March 30 to perform at Disney World has been approved by the board. The group will return to Letcher County on April 4. Supt. Tony Sergent said that three years ago the board approved a policy to gradually reduce the number of days spent overnight during an eighth-grade trip in order to make fundraising efforts fair for all schools in the district.
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Middlesboro Police say the Christmas shopping season has brought an increase of shoplifting cases. Middlesboro Police say the increase in shoplifting started a few days before Thanksgiving and keeps going up. Now police and store employees are keeping an even closer eye on the merchandise. Wednesday afternoon, Middlesboro police say Kroger employees caught two people shoplifting items in the store. Police arrested the man and woman.olice say they have made similar shoplifting arrests in town almost everyday since the beginning of last week.

 

Tuesday December 3, 2013

A federal fugitive is behind bars in Harlan County. Will Pope, an officer with the Harlan Police Department says Savannah Caudill-Scruggs was wanted in Laurel county for bench warrants. Scruggs was also wanted by U.S. Marshals for fraud and false statement charges. Police say they received a tip, and arrested Scruggs around 6pm Sunday at a home in Harlan. She is being held in the Harlan County Detention Center.
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A man remains on the loose after police say he robbed a gas station with a screwdriver. Kentucky State Police in Hazard are searching for a suspect in a Saturday morning armed robbery of a Double Kwik convenience store located off the Hal Rogers Parkway in Avawam community of Perry County. The thief is described as a white male, approximately 130-150 pounds, and about 5’6” tall. He was last seen wearing a black sweat shirt with a bandana covering his face. Police say he entered the store with a screw driver and demanded money. He then took money and ran from the store.
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Officials in Harlan say a body was found along the river bank behind Hardee's yesterday. Officials believe the person found could be Christopher Buell. Buell was reported missing by family members one week ago when he walked away from Appalachian Region Hospital in Harlan. Family members said Buell suffers from Paranoid Schizophrenia.
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One of the two men indicted in connection with a bank robbery in Virgie, Ky. last month is now in jail. The robbery happened at the US Bank branch along Ky. 610 on November 13. Kentucky State Police say while one of the men entered the bank, the other man waited outside on ATV. Troopers say the man that entered the bank showed a weapon during the robbery. Last Wednesday a Pike County, Ky. grand jury indicted Claude Isaac.35, of Hi Hat and Anthony Gillespie, 25, of Grethel, Ky. for the robbery. Both men are charged with 1st degree robbery, theft by unlawful taking, and being persistent felon offenders.
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The archery and crossbow season for bears in Eastern Kentucky is over. Fish and wildlife officials say the quota of ten bears was met last night with bears taken in Letcher, Harlan, Pike, Leslie, Wayne and Perry counties. There is also a gun season for bears from December 14th through the 16th. The quota then is also ten bears or five females.  You can now hunt bears in 16 counties. That's up from only four last year.
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Kentucky State Police troopers across the state will be looking at data to see where highway crashes involving injury or death most often occur. a new enforcement campaign known as "Operation Holiday Lights: All Night, Every Night" involves having posts look at when and where crashes are prevalent and schedule heavier patrols in those spots. Police are using traffic safety check points, covert details in high traffic areas and night vision equipment to help with the effort. The campaign runs through midnight Jan. 1.

 

Monday December 2, 2013

Kentucky State Police say no foul play is suspected in a southern Kentucky animal shelter fire that killed multiple animals. A fire engulfed the Knox-Whitley County Animal Shelter late Friday night, causing the building's roof to cave in and forcing firefighters to end their rescue effort. The shelter is in the town of Woodbine, which is just south of Corbin. 29 of the shelter's 37 cats were killed in the fire, because they were housed in the middle of the shelter, which firefighters could not reach. A cause is not known. Kentucky State Police arson investigators are assisting in the search.
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Job creation, entrepreneurship, tourism, lifelong learning, and leadership development will be among the topics discussed at the “S.O.A.R.: Shaping Our Appalachian Region” summit next month. Governor Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers have released the daylong conference agenda. Already, more than 1,100 people have registered to attend the summit, which will be held on Monday, Dec. 9 at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville.
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Help Kentucky State Police cram a cruiser with nonperishable foods for needy families this holiday season. Food collected will be donated to the Letcher County Food Pantry. Items can also be taken to Post 13 in Hazard until Dec. 13. the agency collected more than 100,000 pounds of food during the 2012 campaign. Last year, 2,265 pounds of food items were collected by Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation in Whitesburg. In 2011, troopers took 660 pounds of food to the food pantry.
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The start of December means plenty of Christmas activities are starting up across the region. One of those is the production of 'A Christmas Carol' taking place at the Artists Collaborative Theatre in Elkhorn City. It is opening weekend for the classic Christmas story by Charles Dickens...performed entirely by local talent. Cast members say this production is the perfect way for folks to get into the true Christmas spirit. The show runs through December 22nd Thursday  Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3:00 p.m.
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Pine Mountain Settlement School is now taking orders for the 2014 Pine Mountain Grow Appalachia Calendar. The calendars, which cost $15 plus shipping, benefit the Pine Mountain Grow Appalachia project. They feature regional planting dates, national holidays, and pictures of people and produce. To order or for more information, call (606) 558-3416

 

Friday November 29, 2013

Kentucky State Police say alcohol was likely a factor in a deadly Thanksgiving Day crash.

It happened just before 7:00 Thursday night on Kentucky 30, just east of Booneville in Owsley County.

Police say Luther McIntosh, 46, lost control and hit an embankment, causing his truck to overturn. His passenger, Elizabeth McIntosh, 26, was flown to UK Hospital, but we do not know her condition.

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Another robbery and get away in Pike County, but this time Police have some persons of interest. They need your help identifying them.

The call came in just after 1:00 Wednesday afternoon that the U.S. Bank in the Meta community of Pike County had been robbed. Now this makes the third bank robbery in Pike County in just a few weeks.

Police say employees described the robber as about 6’2” with a medium build. He was wearing a black hoodie, black jacket, and black material over his face, with blue jeans and white shoes.

They say he entered the bank demanding money then left on foot. Police say they are not sure which direction he went when he left.

In recent weeks, both the U.S. Bank and Community Trust Bank in the Virgie community of Pike County have also been robbed. Police are not sure if these robberies are related.

If you have any information, you are asked to call State Police at 606-433-7711.

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Police say one man was shot to death after breaking into a Clay County home.

It happened at a home on Otter Creek Road, south of Manchester. They Clay County Sheriff says a man broke into a home, then the boyfriend of the woman who lives there shot him.

We do not know the names of the people involved.

We are told State Police are handling the case and so far no charges have been filed.

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The Whitley County Coroner is conducting a death investigation.

Officials were called to the Cumberland Inn on 10th Street in Williamsburg late Wednesday night.

Coroner Andy Croley says he was investigating a death near the pool of the hotel. He says the victim is 25 year-old Zachary Richard of Ohio who was with family and friends at the hotel. The coroner says it appears Richard may have hit his head. He says he does not suspect foul play.

The incident happened around 10:00pm Wednesday.

 

Wednesday November 27, 2013

Some of the 280,000 Kentuckians whose insurance policies don't comply with the Affordable Care Act will be able to keep their plans, at least for another year. Kentucky Insurance Commissioner Sharon Clark told lawmakers yesterday that three major insurance companies - Humana, United Healthcare and Assurant - have chosen to extend existing policies.  Clark said she didn't know how many people that would affect. About 130,000 Kentuckians have individual policies that don't comply with the federal health care reforms.
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One Pike County man could spend 17 years behind bars. Court officials tell us Richard Ratliff accepted a plea deal on Monday. Ratliff pleaded guilty to an amended second degree manslaughter charge and first degree assault charge. Last December, police arrested Ratliff for the murder of Ricky Coleman. Officials found Coleman shot to death along Adams Lane in October of 2012.
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Police, Harlan County Emergency Management workers, and family members are searching for a missing man in Harlan County. Harlan County Emergency Management Director David McGill says there is a Golden Alert for 35-year-old Christopher Allen Buell of Middlesboro. He disappeared from the Harlan ARH around 1:00pm on Monday. Officials say he was walking toward the the Tractor Supply store in the Gray's Knob area.
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Witley County Sheriff confirms one person is dead and four people are injured after a multiple vehicle crash on Southbound I-75 around the seven mile marker. This is between Williamsburg and the Tennessee state line. Both north and southbound lanes are closed right now. Crews are expected to be on scene for a few hours. There is no work on how many are injured.