Local News Friday February 10, 2017

Kentucky State Police say a man was stabbed to death in Knox County.  Troopers were called to Lois Ln. in Corbin around 9 p.m. on Thursday. The Knox County coroner pronounced a man dead at the scene, police said. Detectives are investigating the incident.

A crash Wednesday in Pike County left one man dead.  Police say Timothy Patrick lost control of his vehicle while driving on Grapevine road and hit a truck driven by 66-year-old William Griffey.  He died at the scene of the crash.  Investigators say alcohol does not appear to have been a factor.

Many people have been wondering what the Big Sandy Retirement Rider is that they’re seeing on their Kentucky Power bill, besides just another fee.  That fee covers the cost of when unit two stopped operating in 2015.  Kentucky Power says it will take about 25 years to recover the $200 million in expenses it incurred and they believed the fee would be the most cost-effective for customers in the long run.

The Kentucky Senate has OK-ed legislation that offers an incentive for school districts to push back the start of the school year to late August.  Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer believes a trend of going back to school earlier has both hurt tourism and learning.  He believes students don’t learn as well with its so hot.  The switch would be voluntary, but schools who chose not to resume until at least the Monday closest to August 26th would not have to meet the state’s 170 day requirement, though they would still have to meet the state mandated minimum of 1,062 hours. That bill now headed to the house.

Several schools across the area are closed today due to widespread illness, now health department officials are confirming that closing for a few days really can stop the spread of illness.  Doctor Tom Ashburn says giving people time apart and taking the time to clean and sanitize surfaces in the building can definitely make a difference.

One lawmaker is responding to news that a white nationalist group is holding a two day event in Prestonburg and Pikeville and is asking the rest of the legislature to do the same.  Minority Floor Leader Ray Jones is filing a resolution asking members of the General Assembly to condemn the organization for coming into Eastern Kentucky to Spread racism and hatred.  The event is scheduled for two days, April 28th at Jenny Wiley State Park, and April 29th a rally near the Pike County Courthouse.

Yesterday Kentucky State Police arrested 52-year-old Everett Miller on charges of trafficking.  The arrest came after a months long investigation targeting crystal meth dealing in the Flat Lick area.

Johnson County Sheriff’s deputies say someone broke into a home and shot two dogs Wednesday night.  Teresa Davis says she has 5 dogs, one of them was killed, the other is now at the vet being treated, and a third went missing.  Davis says she was in the process of moving during the burglary and had nothing of value in the home, but is struggling to understand why that happened.  Deputies have sent in evidence for testing and say they do have a suspect in mind, but have not yet made an arrest.

The Senate Education committee has approved a bill that would ban all tobacco, including all e-cigarettes products both on school property in the state and at school-sponsored activities.  The measure is sponsored by Senator Ralph Alvarado, who is a doctor, and hopes it will reduce Kentucky’s youth smoking rates.  Assuming it passes that house as well school boards would have a year to implement the policy.

Two church congregations in Perry County are mourning the loss of Pastor Brent Arn.  He died Wednesday of a ruptured brain aneurysm.  Arn pastored and attended Bowmand united Methodist Church and Lothair Methodist Church.  Both are expected to hold memorial services for him, but dates and times have yet to be announced.

Local News Thursday February 9, 2017

A fire broke out yesterday morning at Shepherd's Grocery and Hardware in Leatherwood, forcing officials to close KY-699 for a few hours.  The grocery store is the only one in walking distance to the community and was also a social gathering place.  Owner Sandy Holcomb says after 21 years in business it is heartbreaking to see it go up in flames.  There was also an apartment complex in the building.  A few people suffered from smoke inhalation but were treated on the scene.  No one was seriously injured.  Firefighters said they do not know what caused the fire yet, or if the building will be repaired.

Prestonsburg and Pikeville are playing a reluctant host to a two-day event aimed to "take a stand for white working families" hosted by the Traditionalist Worker Party.   That organization is recognized as a white nationalist hate group.  The event is scheduled for April 28th at Jenny Wiley State Park and April29th near the Pike County Courthouse.  Kentucky State Parks issued a statement saying that the event was scheduled with them as a family reunion, and while they will not discriminate against any individual or group, they will keep an eye out for situations that may threaten their guests and take action as necessary.  The rally in Pikeville already has opposition from another event called the Rally for Equality and American Values described as a bipartisan event for people to stand up against neo-nazis.

The Paintsville Utilities Commission will go forward with a more than four percent increase on customers bills, starting next month. The Utility says the increase was actually voted on back in 2012 but was never implemented.

G
ov. Matt Bevin said some people will be paying more in taxes under his proposal to overhaul the state's tax code.During his annual State of the Commonwealth Address yesterday he announced that he will call a special session of the state legislature later this year to change how the state collects taxes. Bevin says the state needs more money to pay off its public pension debt, which is estimated to be more than $80 billion, so it won’t be “neutral”.

Even as the Governor attempts to overhaul the tax system, records show he’s late in paying his 2016 property taxes on his Louisville home.  Bevin owes just over $11,000 on his Barberry Lane Home, including a 10 percent penalty because it wasn’t paid by January 31st.  Bevin has not commented on the late taxes.

Harlan Independent Schools are back open today after closing for two days due to widespread illness, however the Jenkins Independent School system are closed today and tomorrow due to illness.  Flu and flu like illnesses have been running rampant across the area, prompting many schools to shut down for a few days to fully sanitize and give students rest. Clay County Schools, Barbourville Independent Schools, and Knox County schools are all closed through the end of the week due to illness as well.

Laurel County deputies arrested three people and took children from a home where meth was being made.  Deputies say they were checking on a report of a meth lab when they saw Yvonna Jankins run out the back door with an active one step meth lab stuffed down the back of her pants.  Two teenage children in the home  were checked for chemical exposure then put into the custody of Social services.  Jenkins along with two others in the home, Ralph Brown, and Leigh Kuhn are facing charges related to manufacturing meth and endangering the welfare of a child.

Legislation implementing stricter reporting requirements for Kentucky's troubled pension systems has cleared the state Senate. The measure designed to increase oversight particularly as it relates to fees and investment practices of the pension systems passed unanimously and now heads to the house.

What is currently an empty lot in Martin County will in coming years be home to the new Dream Community Job Training and Area Technology Center.  The current Area technology Center is 50 years old. A $2.7 million grant will help build the new building that will provide job training for high school students and adults in a variety of industries including aerospace, advanced manufacturing, IT, healthcare and more.The facility will be about 36,000 square feet and is set to open in 2019.

During a “Rally For Life” yesterday at the State Capitol Governor Matt Bevin ceremonially signed two bills banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and requiring women to have an ultrasound before an abortion.

Local News Wednesday February 8, 2017

A deputy in Knox County is being vaccinated for hepatitis after being stuck by a hypodermic needle while making an arrest.  Deputy Chuck Wagner was arresting Shaunda Reed, Letha Jones, Jason Cox, and Wayne Spears when he was stuck by a syringe from Spears’s pocket.  Officers say when you’re asked about having needles you should be truthful.  Deputy Wagner now taking a series of vaccinations to prevent contracting Hepatitis B.

A fence that showed up in Hyden City Park recently is causing some questions.  The fence went up as officials were blocking part of the walking trail, though it would be easy to just walk around for access.  Mayor Carol Joseph says the city leases part of that property from a family and ran into an issue as they were trying to renew the lease.  Both the family and the city say they’re working together to reach a resolution.

Harlan Independent Schools closed again today for widespread illness after being hit hard by the flu and other similar illnesses.  While they’re out of school, the school says it is wiping down everything, disinfecting chairs, desks, handrails, restrooms and more.  They’re resuming a normal schedule tomorrow.

The Kentucky Supreme Court officially added a new Justice yesterday.  Justice Laurance B VanMeter was elected to the Supreme Court of Kentucky in November wand was introduced yesterday.  He previously spent thirteen years as a Judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals.  He fills a vacancy left by retired Justice Mary Noble.

After a few games looking less than stellar, the Kentucky Wildcats mens basketball team got a much needed win last night over LSU.  The cats withstood a late rally from the tigers to come away with a 92-85 win.

Two people in Harlan County are accused of conspiring to murder a man.  A Grand Jury indicted both Melissa and James Starret for conspiracy to commit murder, and receiving stolen property.  Police say the couple conspired to kill Joshua Starrett.

Wise County Virginia officials were told this week that they wil receive half a million dollars in economic development funding from the department of housing and community development.  A $200,000 grant will be used to attract and train workers for a new call center while another grant for $300,000 will help pay for a drone project being launched by the county’s Industrial Development Authority.

Kentucky lawmakers convened In Frankfort yesterday following a month long recess for the second part of their 30-day session.  Republicans now control both chambers and Senate President Robert Stivers says their priorities for the session include changing the Penal code with hopes of reducing the state’s prison population, and passing a bill allowing charter schools in the state.

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear has announced that Western Union has agreed to pay around $6.8 million to Kentuckians who have been victims of fraud using wire transfers involving the company.  Beshear says a lot of that money will go to repay seniors who were targeted and victimized by some of the scams that ask people to send a pre-pad debit card or money order.   It’s part of a multi-state settlement.  Around $60,000 of that money will go to the general assembly.

The Johnson County Middle school Boys wrestling team is state champions again.  It is the school’s fourth state championship.  Two team members also won in their weight group.

Local News Monday February 6, 2017

A six-year-old girl from Greenup County was taken to the hospital after being shot by a little boy.  People who were there say the boy and girl were playing together, when the accident happened.  The girl was shot in the chest and is in critical condition.  It’s not clear how the children got access to the gun or what kind of gun it was.  Kentucky State Police are investigating.

Police in Middlesboro arrested two people at Pinnacle Homes Friday night after receiving an anonymous tip that Sidney Smith, was there.  Smith was wanted on other charges. Police found Tammy Rust of Middlesboro covering a glass pipe containing residue. Police say Rust had a scale, two plastic bags containing a crystal-like substance believed to be meth and a small bag containing Percocet, Xanax and “Totem Poles”.

Two people died in a wreck in I-64 in Rowan County last night.  Around 8:30pm a car was involved In a rollover crash that shut down the interstate.  30-year-old Ashley Calvert of Salt Lick died at the scene.  The other person involved, 32-yearold Joseph Caudill was taken to a hospital where he later died. Police are not sure what caused the crash.

The Kentucky Department for Community Based services says the number of substantiated child abuse and neglect cases  in Kentucky rose 55% over four years.  The increase has happened since former Governor Steve Beshear established an independent panel in 2012 to review those cases.  Panel members say Kentucky isn’t making enough progress to keep kids safe and they’re struggling to monitor far too many cases.

A group of local women are trying to make prom a good experience for those who may not have the money to do so.  Hailey Austin and a group of other cosmetology professionals and enthusiasts are offering to do hair and make-up for 15-20 girls who can’t afford to go get it done elsewhere.  The services will be provided on April 28th and 29th.

Police are investigating after a woman was found dead Sunday in Bell County.  The body of 38-year-old Christina Estes was found near the Middlesboro-Bell County airport.  She was pronounced dead at the scene.  The body has been sent to Frankfort for an autopsy, which will be performed today.

A Polaris Razor stolen from a Letcher County Sheriff’s Deputy’s driveway late last week has been recovered.  Kentucky state police and the Letcher County Sheriff’s office worked together to make recover the vehicle and make an arrest.

The state of Kentucky will quiz some tax payers before they can get their tax refund.  The Department of Revenue says they’ll be sending letters to some taxpayers asking them to take and identity confirmation quiz online.  Once it starts people have a five minute time limit to answer three questions.  Those who fails will be given a second quiz with a two minute limit.  The process is meant to avoid tax fraud.

Over the weekend Clay County’s Emergency 9-1-1 Board called an emergency meeting and terminated Director Jimmy Smith on a unanimous vote.    While it’s unclear why he was terminated, it appears to be an internal matter.  Ryan Smith was chosen as the interim director.

Martin County is working to install a new 911 system that would be able to accept phone calls from cell phones.  The center is preparing to upgrade to a completely computer generated system.  The new center will be located in the Emergency Operations Center of the Martin County Government Center.  They hope to have the new system up and running by March 29th.

Local News Thursday February 2, 2017

A woman charged with killing her husband and two daughters allegedly told police that she shot her husband over a $264,000 cash settlement that she had deposited in August that had been depleted.  A Kentucky State Police Detective testified that Courtney Taylor wrote a six page letter saying she shot her two daughters because she didn't want them growing up without a mother.  All three of them were found in their beds with gunshot wounds to the head.   That case is now being sent to a grand jury.

Big Sandy Community and Technical College has received a $30,000 grant to help establish a a new Community Dental Health Coordinator certificate program and to train dental hygienists.  It will provide 15 students with a $2,000 scholarships to help pay for the cost of certification classes. The program is the first of its kind in Kentucky and should provide more of in demand dental hygienists to the area.  BSCTC is still waiting on approval from the Southern Association off Collages and Schools to begin the classes.

A stabbing has beeen reported out of Pike County.  Kentucky state police say they have a person of interest in custody.  No names have been released.

A Knox County woman will spend the next ten years behind bars.  Melissa warren pleaded guilty to manslaughter and DUI in connection to a crash in December of 2015 that killed Ryan Baker.  Baker left behind a wife and a 2-year-old son.

Corbin Police are investigating a deadly hit and run accident.  Officers say 62-year-old Roscoe Jones was hit while walking along Highway 25 east overnight.  He was taken to UT Medical Center where he later died.  THe only evidence left behind of the crash is a park light where Jones was hit.  Police say they believe a car seen near the area on a security camera that was missing a headlight may be to blame.

Floyd County Sheriff's Deputies say Dustin Stanley sold synthetic marijuana to deputies.  THey say they suspected Stanley of dealing drugs for months and finally had the proof to get a warrant.  Officials also found drugs, guns, and money inside Stanley's home.  SHeriff John Hunt says he hopes putting Stanley behind bars helps to get drugs off the street.

A doctor who owned multiple pain management clinics in Georgia and Eastern Kentucky has agreed to pay the government for violating the False Claims Act.  Dr. Robert Windsor agreed to enter a $20 million consent judgement to clear up the allegations against him.  He was accused of charging for services that he did not perform and giving unnecessary tests.

The Republican Controlled house approved a measure that doe away with a regulation approved under PResident Barack Obama that prevented coal mining debris from being dumped into nearby streams.  Republicans say the rule was a job killer and was poorly crafter.  House speaker Paul Ryan says the rule ignored dozens of federal, state, and local regulations already in place.

A lawsuit from former House Speaker Greg Stumbo challenging the legality of Governor Matt Bevin's budget vetoes has been dismissed.  A state judge ruled that Stumbo cannon sue the governor because he lost his seat in the legislature.  Last year Bevin used veto power to erase part of the state spending plan including an expanded preschool program and a community college scholarship for high school graduates..  Stumbo had argued that the vetoes were illegal because Bevin technically filed copies instead of original documents with the Secretary of State.

Three people were seriously injured Wednesday morning in a serious crash near Ramey's Qwik Stop in Vicco.  Two people were flown to Pikeville Medical Center another was taken to a hospital in Hazard.