Tuesday December 31, 2013

Ten states report widespread flu activity, which is the highest level described by the Centers for Disease Control. Kentucky joins 22 other states in the regional activity level, which is the second highest on the CDC scale. A person is diagnosed with the virus through a flu screen and can be treated with a prescription. Health officials say hand washing is a great way to help prevent yourself from coming down with the flu.
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The new year could bring layoffs at the Harlan County Sheriff's Department. The Harlan County Fiscal Court approved the Sheriff's budget in a special-called meeting on Monday morning. Records show the budget is about $100,000 dollars less than the past year's budget. Sheriff Marvin Lipfird says he originally planned for a $1.06 million salary budget, but due to reduced coal severance funds coming in, he says the Fiscal Court asked him to trim the budget to $900,000.
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It is a store many Pike County families go to for affordable furniture, clothes, and other items, but The Charity Thrift Store in Shelbiana is forced to close. For about eight years folks in Pike County have been going to thrift store on US 460 to buy discounted items. Now, with local donations dwindling and their main merchandise supplier in Maryland cutting off their monthly shipments, owners say the store is forced to close.
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Pike County deputies say a man is behind bars for selling drugs while he had his young child with him. Deputies say 44-year-old Christopher Irick sold undercover officers Suboxone strips in the parking lot of the Shelbiana Food City. Rhey arrested Irick and say they found more prescription pills when they searched him. They also say his five-year-old child was with him at the time. Irick is charged with drug trafficking and wanton endangerment.
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Texas Gov. Rick Perry will visit the home turf of a potential presidential rival to headline a fundraiser that's part of a strong push by Kentucky Republicans to flip control of the state House in their favor in 2014. Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, will speak at the Lincoln Reagan Dinner set for March 15 at Murray State University in western Kentucky, Kentucky's junior senator.  Rand Paul, has been invited to attend.

Monday December 30, 2013

Four counties in western Kentucky are joining together to create the Kentucky Network for Development, Leadership and Engagement. The regional economic development organization is being launched Jan. 2 by leaders in McLean, Henderson, Webster and Union counties. It is a merger of Northwest Kentucky Forward and the Henderson-Henderson County Chamber of Commerce. The organization will be called KYNDLE.
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Kentucky State Police say a woman is in critical condition after she was struck by a vehicle while walking in Rowan County Saturday night. The accident happened around 6:30pm on KY 377 just 12 miles north of Morehead.  Brooke Justice, 23, was walking south in the northbound lane when she was struck by a Pickup truck driven by Joshua Cooper, 26 of Morehead. Justice was flown to UK Medical Center where she is listed in critical condition.
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Pulaski County paid a former detention center employee $137,500 to settle a lawsuit claiming she was sexually harassed by Jailer Mike Harris. The Commonwealth Journal reports Rebecca Moses sued Harris and other county officials in September in federal court in London. The lawsuit claims Harris subjected Moses to "sexually charged comments, innuendo, inappropriate touching and other demeaning. It claims the harassment began during Moses' first week of employment in June 2012 when Harris allegedly told her to wear mini-skirts and stilettos to work. The suit says Moses was terminated in August 2012 when she refused to submit to Harris' sexual advances.
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Two Magoffin County construction firm owners accused in a kickback scheme with a judge executive from another county will be in court today. Kenneth and Ruth Gambill will be arraigned in Federal Court tomorrow morning. An indictment accuses the Gambills of working with Morgan County Judge Executive, Tim Conley, to steer contracts worth $1.1 dollars to their company. U.S. Attorneys say this was all in exchange for county construction projects.
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Nearly $30,000 worth of AT&T aerial copper telephone cable has been stolen in Letcher County since November, according to an AT&T spokesperson. Copper thefts have occurred along Highway 7 South and Highway 931. The steady rise in the market price of copper over the last few years and the state of the economy has led some people to extreme measures, including stealing copper cables from houses and telephone poles.

 

Thursday December 26, 2013

A woman is on the run after escaping from a hospital. Whitesburg police say Amanda Yonts took a 2002 F-150 pickup truck belonging to Whitesburg ARH Hospital.  Police say Yonts broke out of the Whitesburg ARH around 4:00 Tuesday afternoon. Officials tell us Yonts has warrants out of Pike County, and was admitted to the hospital for a drug overdose. Police say they recovered the stolen ARH vehicle in King's Creek community of Letcher County around 9:00 Tuesday night. Police have not found 24 year old Amanda Yonts.
 
Health officials say heroin abusers have a higher risk of contracting serious infections, including HIV. They say this disease may be on the rise in Kentucky. The sharing of needles is a major factor in spreading illnesses. Some health officials in Perry County say they have treated HIV cases but not many have been linked to drug usage. This may change, however, as law enforcement officers say they have noticed an increase in the popularity of heroin. Police say within the last six to eight months they have caught more heroin users than ever before.
 
A Letcher County woman serving life in prison for the 1991 slaying of her husband will get a chance to argue for her freedom in February. The Mountain Eagle says that the Kentucky Board of Probation and Parole will hear from 73-year-old Rebecca Kincer in February. A judge sentenced Kincer to life in prison for the May 1, 1991 shooting of 67-year-old Vernal L. Kincer at the couple's home in Mayking. Police say Rebecca Kincer used a 16-gauge shotgun to shoot her husband as he lay on a mattress in couple's home.
 
Police say it is an apartment complex with a history of drug-related offenses. A tenant faces charges after a multi-agency investigation in Letcher County. The search netted pills and 32 packets of synthetic marijuana. Police say they are working with informants and the apartment complex's management to keep drugs out of the neighborhood.
 
Two people are facing charges after police say they stole from a donation jar, and then tried to make a quick escape. Police say David Humphrey, 19, and Cody Mullis, 23, grabbed the donation jar for Shop With A Cop at the Xpress Station off Exit 15 in Williamsburg. That's when police say the two fled the scene, all while nearly causing several accidents. One man is accused of taking the donation bin. The other is accused of driving the getaway vehicle.


Thursday December 19, 2013

Rescue crews have found three hikers who went missing in Red River Gorge. The hikers lost their way Tuesday evening after the sun set. The group had been near the Gladie Historic Site on Bison Way Trail on the Menifee-Wolfe county line. Officials with Menifee County Emergency Management say the rescuers and hikers made it out Wednesday morning. One hiker, who was injured after falling, was taken to the University of Kentucky Medical Center for treatment.
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One Whitley County man faces an assault charge. Sheriff's Deputies say they responded to a dispute call along Cripple Creek Road. When they arrived, police say they learned Brandon Smith had cut his stepfather with a kitchen knift and was in an argument with his mother.
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More than 200 people in Floyd County received a free Christmas meal Wednesday. The Garrett Church of God handed out hams and other food items to hundreds of folks. Church members say all of the food was donated by one man who wishes to remain anonymous. They say the man donates food every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some folks stood in line for nearly four hours to get the food.
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A group of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement employees has filed suit against the Kentucky State Police claiming wage discrimination. The civil suit filed in Franklin Circuit Court Monday claims that vehicle enforcement officers are "compensated at a substantially lower rate of pay than Kentucky State Police troopers and cadets" despite performing similar duties. Commercial Vehicle Enforcement is a division of Kentucky State Police. 107 plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount of damages.
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The Kentucky State Police "Cram the Cruiser" campaign collected 62 tons of food statewide.  Post 10 troopers collected 29,944 pounds of food in Bell, Knox, and Harlan counties.
The food goes to shelters, food banks, and churches in each Post area to help needy families.

 

Wednesday December 18, 2013

State police say they made an arrest in a Harlan County murder case. Police arrested 27-year-old Steven Simpson in Harlan County on Tuesday morning. Troopers say he is charged with complicity to murder for the death of James "Jay" Feltner. Feltner's body was found on an abandoned strip mine in the Blair community a week after he went missing in July 2011. Two others are charged in the case.
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Police are searching for a person who robbed a Pike County Subway Monday night. It happened at a Subway restaurant on US 23 near the Caney area just south of Pikeville.  Kentucky State Police are not releasing many details right now, but detectives say they are following up on several leads. If you have any information about this robbery you are asked to call KSP Post 9 at (606) 433-7711.
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Gov. Beshear said Tuesday he's determined to pump more state money into education and is willing to push for unspecified budget cuts to find money for schools. Looking ahead to the 2014 General Assembly session, Beshear said the state needs to begin restoring funding cuts made during the recession to prevent any backsliding in education. The session starting in January will be dominated by work on a new two-year state budget.
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Harlan County Rescue Squad member Scotty Moore dedicated his life to helping others, but now he needs help. He suffered serious burns last week during an explosion.
The rescue squad is coming together to help him through his recovery. Scotty Moore is hundreds of miles away in a burn hospital in Augusta, Georgia. His fellow rescue squad members saved his life. Captain Chris Allen says 21-year-old Scotty Moore was laid off from his coal job. He did not want to move away from Harlan County, so he and some friends planned to start a logging business.
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Students will earn an associate's degree and a high school diploma at the same time. Every student will have a laptop to take home at night. And teachers will be retrained to let students move at their own pace. All are pilot programs the Education Department is funding with $120 million in grants to five school groups. More than 200 school districts applied for the Race to the Top money, part of the President 's economic stimulus package from 2009. This is the second year the department has given funds directly to local schools to implement their own improvement plans.