HARLAN COUNTY MAY HAVE TO PAY FOR FAILED INSURANCE TRUST
The Harlan County school district could be on the hook to pay over $300,000 for a failed school district insurance trust. For years The Kentucky School Boards Insurance Trust provided school districts low-cost worker's comp and liability insurance but was dissolved when debts topped $50 million. After some legal wrangling, the county school district was told they owe 293 grand for workers comp and over 11 thousand in property liability. District officials say the ruling will likely be appealed but if the money has to be paid, bonds may be sold to cover the costs.
PERRY COUNTY CHURCH BURGLARY
Police in Perry County have made an arrest in connection with a church burglary. Late last week around a thousand dollars in merchandise were taken from the Big Leatherwood First Baptist Church - including snacks and items for the Vacation Bible School. On Saturday a van belonging to the was stolen. Yesterday police say they found everything - but not in the same condition as it was. The van sustained some exterior damage and one church member says it will need some substantial cleaning both in an out. Police found the merchandise in a foreclosed home next door to the church. 18 year old Shawn Noble is facing multiple charges, and police say there may be 2 other arrests in connection with this crime.
HARLAN COUNTY WOMAN ARRESTED FOR USING FAKE MONEY TO BUY MEDICATION
A Harlan County woman is accused of using fake money to pay for medication and other pharmaceutical items. Casey Neal was taken into custody last Thursday. Charging papers say that on June second Neal made two different purchases with counterfeit money. She is at the Harlan County Detention Center on a $20,000 full cash bond.
3 COUNTIES FORM THE CUMBERLAND RIVER DRUG TASK FORCE
3 Eastern Kentucky Counties have joined forces in the war on drugs. The Cumberland River Drug Task force comprises of police in Harlan, Bell, and Knox counties along with State Police and the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area - H-I-D-T-A for short. Officials say the goal is to go after upper-level drug dealers rather than street suppliers. Local police departments are funding the officers and federally funded H-I-D-T-A will pay for overtime costs.
PIKE COUNTY MAN WANTED FOR USING STOLEN CREDIT CARD
A Pike County man suspected of fraudulent credit card use is now facing a battery of drug charges. Police say Jonathon Holstein of Pikeville was seen last month on a gas station surveillance video using a stolen credit card.He was pulled over a few weeks later and when officers searched his car, they found a number of different drugs along with paraphernalia. Holstein was arrested and booked unto the Pike County Detention Center, but has since been released after posting a $10,000 cash or property bond. A Pike County grand jury is reviewing the case for possible indictment.
HARLAN COUNTY RELAY SETS RECORD
Harlan County Relay For Life organizers say they've raised over $60,000 from this past weekend's event. The annual event raises money for the American Cancer Society. Folks say this year has broken the record for the most money ever raised at Harlan County's "Relay."
TRI CITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATION WILL BE JULY 5
The 4th of July will come on the 5th this year in one Harlan County city. That's the date for the 25th annual fireworks show put on by the Tri-City Chamber of Commerce and Cumberland Tourist Commission. Chamber President Jeff Wilder says they tried to get the event on the 4th, but the fireworks providers were already committed to larger-scale productions. Wilder says they know the Saturday show will help make a festive Independence Day weekend for everyone. It begins at 10pm.
WXKQ BULLDOG NEWS DIRECTOR
JUDGE EXECUTIVE RACE TAKES CENTER STAGE AT FISCAL COURT MEETING
The battle for Letcher County's Judge/Executive election heated up this week when candidate Hatler Kiser leveled several accusations against Jim Ward - and then challenged Ward to a series of debates. This all came about at Monday's Letcher Fiscal Court meeting when Kiser spoke during the public comments period. According to reports a number of the issues Kiser raised related to the Letcher County Recreation Center and how it was financed. There's been no word on if or when the debates between Kiser and Ward and Kiser will take place.
SOAR MEETING TONIGHT AT EXTENSION OFFICE
The group Shaping our Appalachian Region - SOAR - is holding a meeting tonight at the Letcher County Extension Service office. It's a listening session for the group which is working on drafting an economic plan for the region. It starts at 6pm at the office which is off the Whitesburg bypass.
FORMER FLOYD COUNTY FIRE CHIEF TO BE ARRAIGNED
A former Floyd County Volunteer Fire Department Chief will be arraigned June 30 on embezzlement charges. Terry Triplett had been on the run since his indictment in 2013 but turned himself in on Monday. A state auditor's report found over $120,000 dollars in questionable spending that was traced back to Triplett.
CITY OF BENHAM BANK ACCOUNT FROZEN
Trouble for a Harlan County city as the I-R-S freezes its bank accounts. Last year, the IRS said the city of Benham owed nearly 38 thousand dollars in unpaid taxes. Mayor Wanda Humphrey says the taxes were paid but the penalties had not, and that's why the accounts were frozen. Humphrey says they are working to resolve the issue.
FLEMING QUESTIONS HIGH ELECTRICITY BILLS
Letcher County's state representative got an earful about high electricity bills when she met with District Magistrate Wayne Fleming on Monday. Fleming says he's received many complaints about power bills hikes due to Kentucky Power surcharges to update its power plants. Fleming told 94th District Representative Leslie Combs that Kentucky Power’s customers should not have to pay the cost of the upgrades. Combs says the Legislature is working on bills to stop the surcharges but it has been stalled in the Senate.
BBC REPORTERS IN THE MOUNTAINS
The British are coming to Floyd County - the British Broadcasting Corporation, that is. They're in Eastern Kentucky to find out how the state's healthcare exchange - known as kynect - is working in our area. Reporter Claire Bolderson says they chose Kentucky because it's one state where the exchange has been very successful in signing people up. The reporters started out in Clay County and once their journey is complete, their story will air on B-B-C Radio.
HARLAN MAN CHARGED WITH BURGLARY
A Harlan man suspected of taking $2000 from a residence is charged with burglary. Police say David Carmack broke into an apartment rented by Pancho Bautista and took the money. He was seen on surveillance video entering the apartment. Investigators say Carmack admitted entering the apartment using a key and stealing the cash. He's being held in the Harlan County Detention Center and bond has not been set.
WORK STOPPED ON A HARLAN ROAD
Work is halted on a road in Harlan County - and the project could turn into a battle between the state and the city of Harlan. A judge has issued a restraining order stopping a culvert replacement project on Kentucky 3459 between Gilbert Street and Middleton Street because of a dispute over who is paying for the work - the state or the city. The road was to be closed until July 3 and there's no word on how soon work will resume.
METH LAB EXPLOSION IN CORBIN
A suspected meth lab is being blamed for an explosion and fire at an apartment in Corbin. Three adults and a young girl were taken to a hospital to be decontaminated. 2 of the adults - Edward Cosgrove and Norma Brock face meth-related charges. The child's grandmother, Barbara Morrison, is charged with controlled substance endangerment to a child.
3 SENTENCED IN SOCIAL SECURITY FRAUD CASE
The first of three people from Pike County convicted of Social Security disability fraud has been sentenced. Ginger Michelle Halbert Stumbo pleaded guilty to conspiracy, I-D theft and fraud charges. As part of a plea deal she will spend 2 years in jail. Sentencing for the other two defendants, former Martin Mayor Ruth Thomasine Robinson and her daughter, former Martin Community Center Director Rita Whicker is schedule for July 9. Court papers say Robinson and Whicker conspired with Stumbo to hire her as a city employee, while writing her paychecks in her son’s name, so Stumbo could continue drawing disability benefits. The 3 are also ordered to pay over $175,000 in restitution.
FREE EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION WORKSHOPS TO BE HELD THIS FALL
Leslie County parents will be able to attend a free early childhood education workshop this fall. The state is funding 25 workshops throughout Kentucky thanks to a grant from the federal government. The program consist of six sessions designed to demonstrate how to turn everyday moments with children into learning opportunities. It's the first step of a four-year, $1.4 million expansion of 150 academies across the state.
LEADERSHIP SOUTHEAST KY VISITS FORMER MIINING SITES
Leadership Southeast Kentucky visited Perry County to see firsthand the potential for economic opportunities on former mining sites. The first stop was at D & D Ranch - the nearly 1000 acre site built on the former Pine Branch Coal Sales mine. Officials say that in the 25 years D&D has been in business it's contributed over a million dollars to the economy. The leadership class of 2014 will end next month with a Kentucky Power plant tour.
CLEANUP UNDERWAY IN WISE COUNTY
Folks from Wise and Dickenson Counties in Virginia joined forces to help with a cleanup operation in Washington County. They removed nearly 2 tons of litter and over 5 tons of tires from a dump along Copperfield road. Cleanup efforts continue through August.
JENKINS STUDENTS WILL ATTEND TRAINING IN WISE COUNTY
This August students from will be heading to Wise County in Virginia for vocational and technical training. Jenkins Independent Schools Superintendent Debbie Watts says some students will be attending Wise County's Career & Technical Center. According to Watts the site location with Wise County and the course offerings were the main reasons the district struck a partnership with the center. It's expected that 20 to 24 students will be in the first class this fall.
PIKE COUNTY JOB FAIR HELD TUESDAY
Pike County unemployed miners had an opportunity yesterday to learn about potential job openings with a nationwide operation. GMS Mine Repair and Maintenance officials say they have positions available across the country, and if miners are willing to relocate, they want to put them back to work. GMS official Derek Jackson says they know there are some really high quality folks who want to get back to work, and they are looking for top notch talent.
HARLAN COUNTY WOMAN ACCUSED OF STEALING MONEY FROM EMPLOYER
A Harlan County woman suspected of stealing money from her employer is facing a felony theft charge. Police say Sheila Fair allowed purchases from the Kwik Mart in Loyall to go through without putting them in the register. Fair is also accused to taking money from gas purchases and stealing food from the store. She is being held in the Harlan County Detention Center on a $5,000 full cash bond.
CHARITY BIKE RIDE TO BE HELD FOR HAZARD CITY POLICEMAN
A charity bike ride is set for tomorrow night to raise money for Hazard Policeman Paul Campbell, who was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. It starts at Applebee's and will end at Campbell's house. The ride starts at 6pm and costs is ten dollars a bike. Organizers say all the proceeds will go directly to Campbell and his family.
NEW INFO IN WHITLEY COUNTY CHILD ABUSE CASE
More information is emerging about a child abuse case against a Whitley County mother and her boyfriend. Police say it happened the first week of May when they learned the father told the mother he was punishing their son for something school related. According to investigators the mother told her boyfriend to whip the boy. Both the boyfriend and the mother are facing first-degree criminal abuse charges.
WHITESBURG CITY COUNCIL SPECIAL MEETING TONIGHT
The Whitesburg City Council is holding a special meeting tonight for the second reading of the 2014-2015 budget. Last week Mayor James Wiley Craft revealed the new budget increases general fund expenditures by roughly 9 percent to $1.9 million. Water and sewer expenditures were virtually unchanged from the current budget at $1.33 million. Tonight's special meeting is at City Hall and starts at 6:30.
FLOYD COUNTY MEDICAL CLINIC EMPLOYEES ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES
3 former employees of a Floyd County medical clinic along with an accomplice are under arrest on prescription drug charges. The Attorney General's office says Yvonda Lazar, Kenneth Lazar and Andrea Kennedy worked for the now-closed Commonwealth Quality Medical Management in Prestonsburg. They are charged with forging and passing blank prescriptions at different pharmacies. Derek Kennedy did not work at the clinic but he is facing the same charges. Investigators say beginning in 2010, they received complaints about fraudulent prescriptions involving Commonwealth Quality Medical. The investigation concluded earlier this month when a Grand Jury handed down indictments against the 4 people. All 4 were arrested last week.
PERRY COUNTY ROAD SHUT DOWN
A busy road in Perry County is shut down for pipe repairs. Combs Road in Hazard is closed between both sets of ramps onto Highway 15. Officials say they have crews working extended hours to get the pipe repair work done by the end of the week.
BOND SET IN BELL COUNTY MINOR SEX ABUSE CASE
Bond was set at $100,000 for a Bell County man charged with sex abuse involving a ten year old girl. Police arrested Terry Simpson yesterday afternoon. Investigators say in April, a woman reported Simpson abused her daughter at an apartment in Ferndale and that let to an arrest warrant for Simpson on Friday. Deputies say Simpson surrendered without incident.
FORMER FLOYD COUNTY FIRE CHIEF ARRESTED
Police have arrested a former Floyd County volunteer fire department chief on embezzlement charges. Terry Triplett has been missing for nearly 2 years but yesterday the Floyd County Sheriff's office got a call that Triplett was ready to turn himself in. According to investigators a 2012 state audit of the Garrett Fire Department found $123,000 in questionable spending that was traced back to Triplett. A grand jury handed down an indictment in 2013.
NO RETRIAL IN JOHNSON COUNTY DUI CASE
There will be no retrial for a Johnson County woman convicted of manslaughter. An attorney for Myra Castle sought the new trial after learning one of the jurors knew more about the case than what was disclosed during jury selection. A judge denied the request at an evidentiary hearing yesterday. Castle was found guilty of manslaughter in the death of C.J. Mollett, who died last August when Castle's car hit his motorcycle.
FIREARMS THEFT ARREST MADE IN HARLAN COUNTY
A Harlan County man is arrested in connection with a firearms theft earlier this month and an accomplice faces stolen property charges. Police say Lewis Borgerding was in possession of 40 guns taken from the home of Kenneth Cloud and Robin Middleton had 2 of those guns in her possession. Investigators say Middleton sold the guns to Cloud's neighbor according to recorded statements received from that person. Borgerding and Middleton are in jail on $20,000 full cash bond each.
BELL COUNTY CRASH SENDS 3 TO THE HOSPITAL
A crash in Bell County yesterday sent 3 people to the hospital. Police say it happened at the intersection of Winchester avenue and 30th Street in Middlesboro. According to investigators Tracy Ayers was turning left when she pulled into the path of a dump truck. Ayers along with a juvenile passenger in her car and the dump truck driver - identified as Homer Ervin - were taken to Middlesboro ARH.