Local News Tuesday March 14, 2017

A Bell County High School student died on his way to school yesterday morning. Police say the crash happend on US 119, when 17-year old David Blake Jackson’s car appears to have gone off the road… he overcorrected, and hit a fence. He died at the scene. Investigators say that drugs or alcohol were not involved in the accident. Counselors were at the school yesterday to help students and faculty cope with the loss.

A deadly accident in Perry County closed down Highay 476 for several hours last night. One person died at the scene… a second person was airlifted to the hospital. Authorities haven’t released information about the victims’ identities.

Deputies with the Wise County Virginia Sheriff’s Office are looking for a man on several felony warrants. Investigators say 23-year old Guylas Dakota Graham may have stolen an older model green Subaru from a residence on Salem Road. Anyone with information about where he could be is asked to call the Wise County Sheriff’s Office.

The price of gas has dropped in Kentucky. State-wide we’re paying about 2.16 for a gallon of regular… that’s about 8 cents less than a week ago. We’re paying about 2.15 for per gallon in Letcher County… 2.20 in Perry County. Industry analysts say the prices could drop some more over the next few weeks, but not much more beyond that.

The National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Warning for Letcher, Knott, Laurel, Leslie, Perry, and Pike Counties starting at 8:00 tonight (Tuesday). Forecasters are expecting temperatures to drop into the teen tonight and tomorrow night, and that could damage any fruit trees that have started budding.

Friends and family of a Perry County woman say they haven’t seen or heard from her in close to 3 weeks… and they’re getting worried. They say it’s not like her go so long without contacting them. Kentucky State Police are helping in the search for Maudie Smith who was last seen in late February. Anyone with information about where she could be is asked to call KSP.

Four Laurel County men have been arrested… and charged with theft. Sheriff’s Deputies say the four men forged and then tried to cash check from a local church to the tune of more than 15-thousand dollars. David Hosey, Leo Hull, Mitchell Followell, and Benjamin Knight are each charged with theft by deception, identity theft, and other crimes.

A disturbance at a store in Harlan landed one man behind bars. Harlan City Police say the got a phone call from a clerk at Cash Saver who said a man was causing a disturbance at the store. 36-year old Melvin Day from Evarts was booked on charges for disorderly conduct, public intoxication and other crimes.

Governor Matt Bevin plans to raise the pay for worker’s at Kentucky’s Juvenile Justice facilities. More than 400 workers will get a 20-percent pay raise. Bevin said the jobs are stressful… and there’s a lot of turnover. It’s hoped that the pay hike will help encourage workers to stay in their jobs longer.

State Police are looking for a telecommunicator for Post 13 in the Hazard Area. Post 13 covers five counties including Letcher and Perry counties.

Local News Friday March 10, 2017

Investigators say they found what appears to be two sets of human remains in a home that burned in Letcher county. The home is on Joseph Drive in Flat Gap. Officials say they don’t know when the fire started, or how... but say they found out about it yesterday afternoon. The remains have been sent to a medical examiner in Frankfort for identification. 

A woman who was pulled over for not wearing her seatbelt… ended up behind bars on drug charges. Police in London say the stopped 57-year old Debra Sizemore, who appeared to officers to be fidgeting and anxious. A search of her car turned up a plastic baggie containing a white crystal-like substance. She admitted to officers that she had used meth the night before. She was arrested and charged with public intoxication and possession of a controlled substance.

Local musicians are coming together this weekend to help raise money for those who lost their homes in the recent storms. The Kickin it on the Creek benefit concert will raise money for residents in Estill County where at least 20 homes were destroyed by damaging winds and severe weather that rolled through the area last week.

Grocery chain Meijer plans to roll out grocery delivery six mid-western states, including Kentucky. Meijer joins Wal-Mart and Kroger in broadening their initial test launches for grocery delivery. Meijer announced yesterday that they’ll start the services later this month.

Fire fighters in Floyd county were not able to save the home of one of their own when it caught fire early yesterday morning. When volunteer fire fighters arrived at the home of Glenn Powers in Auxier at around 4:30 yesterday morning… it was fully engulfed in flames. 16 fire fighters worked to put out the blaze, but the house was a total loss. Powers was out of town visiting relatives. He’s been a volunteer with the Auxier Volunteer Fire Department for 11 years.

A Coldiron man is accused of holding a woman in his home against her will. Witnesses saw 41-year old Gregory Stephens force a woman into his house Tuesday. They called Kentucky State Police who went to the house and got Stephens outside to talk to him. The victim says Stephens threatened to kill her, and restrained her. Police say Stephens was on meth, and had a substance that may have been methamphetamine in his possession. He didnt go to jail quietly threatening troopers and kicking the patrol car windows. Hes charged with a long list of crimes, including making terroristic threats, possession of a controlled substance, and menacing.

Kentucky's Attorney General is none-too-happy  about a plan to take away some of his power and give it to the governor. The state's Senate this week unveiled a plan to stop the A-G from filing civil lawsuits or handling appeals. Senators say Beshear used those powers to defy the state's wishes on cases involving schools and abortions. Beshear calls the proposal outrageous.

It's not the President… but the Vice-President who will fly into Kentucky this weekend. Vice President Mike Pence has plans to meet with Governor Matt Bevin tomorrow to discuss healthcare and the economy.

NASCAR is moving one of its races from Kentucky Motor Speedway to Las Vegas.  The Motor Speedway is losing its Xfinity Series race in the fall of 2018.  All the summer races at the Kentucky Speedway will stay on the schedule as is. 

 

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Local News Thursday March 9, 2017

One person was hurt when a train hit his truck in Pulaski County yesterday afternoon. Police say the truck collided with the train at a crossing on KY-2227 near Warner Fertilizer around 1:30. There were no cross bars at the crossing… only a stop sign. 40-year old Russell Roberts was airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center. His condition isn’t known.

The Kentucky Public Service Commisison has granted Cumberland Valley Electric a rare hike, but it wasn’t as much as the utility had asked for. Last month…PSC ordered Cumberland Valley to conduct a financial study to examine how the utility can cut costs, and to look at options for merging with another electric utility in order to improve its financial standing. With the rate increase that was approved.. the average Cumberland Valley residential customer will see your bill rise by about 5.40 per month, a little more than a third of what they were asking for.

Kentucky lawmakers want to see school districts in the state re-work their calendars so that school starts in late August. 
Senate Bill 50 cleared the state House of Representatives yesterday by a vote of 77-18 and now heads to Gov. Matt Bevin's desk. The bill requires each school district to create a committee to come up with new options for the school calendar, in the hopes that local school boards will adopt a calendar where school begins no earlier than the Monday closest to Aug. 26, which supportes say would help the states tourism industry.

Local musicians are coming together this weekend to help raise money for those who lost their homes in the recent storms. The Kickin it on the Creek benefit concert will raise money for residents in Estill County… where at least 20 homes were destroyed by damaging winds and severe weather that rolled through the area last week.


We’re under an elevated fire danger advisory today. Letcher, Leslie, Pike, Perry, Knott, and Pike counties are included in the advisory. Dry and windy conditions, along with a drop in the relative humidity, means we have an increased fire danger this afternoon. Fire officials ask you to not do any burning tomorrow if at all possible.

A traffic stop in Whitley County yesterday for outdated license plates… landed a Tennessee man in jail on drug charges. Kentucky State Police Vehicle Enforcement stopped the driver… 45-year old Murriel T. Ward Jr. During the stops… troopers found drugs and drug paraphernalia, including needles and syringes.

The Prime 606 Steakhouse opened its doors last night in West Whitesburg. Owner Charles Colwell is no stranger to running a restaurant… he also owns Las Penas… a Mexican restaurant in Letcher County, right next door to the new steakhouse in the Parkway Plaza Shopping Center. Colwell’s daughter will help run the new restaurant.

There’s a new grocery store coming to the town of Jenkins. The former Casey’s IGA store is undergoing a remodel and expansion to become a Save-A-Lot. The new store is expected to open for business some time next month.


The FAA warned pilots at Louisville International Airport yesterday to expect "VIP movement" flight restrictions on Saturday… something that is put in place during presidential visits. However, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer wouldn’t confirm whether President Donald Trump has any plans to visit Kentucky this weekend… through there are reportedly plans for Trump to visit his estate in Florida on Saturday. At least one group who opposes the Trump administration has said that if the President does land in the Bluegrass State… they’ll be on hand to protest.

Borrow a book… or leave one to be borrowed, at Letcher County’s newest free library. The lending library is in the entrance to the courthouse. The new enclosed book shelf was donated by master woodworker Larry Whitaker from Mayking.

Local News Tuesday March 7, 2017

Watch out for Funny Money. That’s the warning from officials at Community Trust Bank in Hazard after fake 20-dollar bills were passed off at two of their branches in Hazard. Police say there have also been some fake bills used at the Hazard Walmart recently. The best way to protect yourself is to hold the casH up to the light to make sure the inside markings are visible—most fake money won’t have those.

A Grandmother in London Kentucky is grateful that a bank teller stopped her from handing over nearly every penny she had to a con artist. The woman says she got a phone call from someone who called her grandma… she thought it was her grandson. He said he was in jail and needed bail money right away. She went to the bank to pull out cash to wire, but the teller helped track down the location where the money was being sent, and found out it was a pharmacy, not a jail. Police say this is a common scam, and most people don’t realize it until it’s too late.

An Amish man from Bath County has been convicted on 13 federal counts for misbranding his homemade lotions. Prosecutors say Samuel Girod mislabled homemade salves, claiming they cured skin cancer, tumors, and headaches. An investigation was launched in 2013 after someone reported his products to the state health department in Missouri. A federal judge in Missouri told him to stop selling the products at that point… but he continued selling them in other states. There’s no word how long the father of 12… and grandfather of 25… could end up in prison on the charges. He’ll be sentenced in June.

State lawmakers want to make sure students in Kentucky learn how to write and read cursive. State Representative Jill York filed the bill to make sure cursive is included in elementary curriculum before students graduate from 5th grade. The Kentucky Education Commissioner supports the measure.

Floyd County Deputies put a large-scale drug dealer behind bars following what started out as an everyday traffic stop last week. John Hunt with the Sheriff’s Office says deputies pulled over an SUV in Garrett Friday. Two men were inside the rig… along with about 30 grams of crystal meth, some oxycodone and other controlled narcotics. 60-year old Hank Pelphrey is charged with two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance. 45-year old Jeremy Graff was arrested on outstanding warrants out of Kentucky and Florida.

A 2-car wreck on the Highway 15 bypass in Whitesburg yesterday morning led to  one man being charged with drunk driving. Police say Jordan E-step crossed the center line… colliding with an oncoming truck. Both drivers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. 24-year old E-step is charged with DUI, wanton endangerment and traffic charges. 

Authorities in Fayette County need your help finding friends or relatives of a man who died while a ward of the state.  Seventy-year-old James Walling passed away last month at the Fountain Circle Health and Rehabilitation in Winchester.  Officials know that at one point he lived in the Sarasota Drive area of Lexington.  Anyone who may have information regarding family or friends of James Walling is asked to call Fayette County Coroner’s office.

Patrick DeHaan with GasBudy.com says we’re paying about 45 cents more per gallon this week than we were a year ago… and prices state-wide are up 5 cents just in the past week. DeHaan says last fall’s decision by OPEC to cut production continues to weigh on the minds of investors, pushing gasoline prices higher. Right now in Letcher County were paying about 2.16 for a gallon of regular… 1.99 in Dickenson County.

 

Local News Monday March 6, 2017

A bunch of wildfires broke out across Eastern Kentucky yesterday, scorching dozens of acres of forest land. Officials with the Division of Forestry say they were called out 18 fires yesterday, the largest being a 45 acre blaze in Perry County. There are no burn restrictions in place right now, but you can’t start a fire within 150 feet of any woodland or brushland from 6am to 6pm. Officials are still trying to find out how the fire started. Similar blazes were reported in Knott County, Lauren County, and Harlan County. There were no reports of any injuries or buildings damaged in any of the fires.

A man who fell about 80-feet down a cliff in Wolfe County Saturday night… is expected to survive his injuries. Emergecy crews say the man was camping near the edge of the cliff when he tripped and fell, suffering a number of traumatic injuries.

A Wallins man faces a long list of charges after State Police say he fell asleep behind the wheel… then resisted arrest. Kentucky State Troopers say they found 24-year old Leslie Saylor asleep at the wheel of a car that was running in the Walmart parking lot. He had a handgun in his hand, finger on the trigger, then refused to drop the weapon when police told him to. It took nearly two hours for Troopers to convince him to drop the weapon, which ended up being a BB gun made to look like a pistol. Saylor admitted that he had taken some drugs.


Kentucky U-S Senator Rand Paul is not happy with House Republicans, who he accuses of hiding their bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. The Kentucky Republican tweeted that he's been told the bill is, quote, "under lock and key." The secrecy reportedly is aimed at preventing leaks. Paul says that's unacceptable because repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act is the biggest issue before Congress and the American people right now.

A motorcyclist was flown to a hospital in West Virginia after being seriously hurt in an accident in Lawrence County yesterday afternoon. Emergency Management officials say the biker was driving along Kentucky One when he lost control and went off the road and over an embankment, falling about 50 feet and landing in a patch of trees and brush.

53-year old Walter Reed was taken into custody after a body was found buried in a shallow grave in his front yard outside of Clintowood
on Thursday. Dickenson County Sheriff’s deputies identified the victim as 40-year old Crystail Gail Stanley. Investigators say they believe she may have been killed last Sunday, but they haven’t said how she died. Reed is charged with second degree murder and is being held without bond.

Republican lawmakers reached an agreement on a bill last week that would allow charter schools to operate in the state for the first time. House Bill 520 would allow local school boards to approve an unlimited number of the schools. Governor Matt Bevin has said he will sign the legislation if it passes the full State House and Senate.

Residents are still cleaning up after last weeks devastating storms that hit parts of Eastern Kentucky. Volunteers from the American Red Cross have been out helping folks in Floyd and Estill Counties and other areas, making sure they have somewhere to sleep, and access to basic necessities. The Red Cross does offer some financial assistance for those impacted by disasters.

A food drive at the Save-A-Lot stores in Hazard collected more than 4-thousand pounds of food that was delivered to a local charity. Employees have been selling 5-dollar food bags, and 5-dollar non-food bags to customers since February first. All of the items were donated to the Bluegrass Care Navigators