Wednesday October 9, 2013

Kentucky Power customers could soon be paying more on their bills.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission Monday approved a request by Kentucky Power to buy a 50-percent share of a plant in West Virginia and shutter the Big Sandy plant in Lawrence County, Ky.

The company wants to close the Big Sandy plant near Louisa in 2015 instead of upgrading the facility to comply with stricter air regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Kentucky Power will buy half of the Mitchell plant near Moundsville, W.Va.

Rates will spike about 14 percent, and customers could see bigger bills in the next two months according to PSC officials.

Around 173,000 customers in 20 Eastern Kentucky counties are affected by the decision.


A state judicial oversight panel publicly reprimanded an Eastern Kentucky judge over comments he made during the sentencing of a teacher convicted of sexually abusing five teenage girls that were his students.

The Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission ruled Monday Judge Frank Fletcher's comments showed bias in favor of the male defendant.

The case in question is that of Charles Andrew Mitchell.

Mitchell pleaded guilty to 15 sex-related charges, including sending explicit photos to a student and having intercourse with a minor while he was a teacher at Sebastian Middle School in Breathitt County.

During the sentencing, Fletcher said Mitchell was "not blind" and "only human" and that some of of the girls did not look their age.

The commission ruled Fletcher's comments showed prejudice in the case.

Judge Fletcher sentenced the teacher, Charles Mitchell, to seven years behind bars and later granted shock probation.

Officials say Mitchell is no longer in jail.


A man is dead after an ATV accident in Wolfe County early Tuesday morning.

Officials say 61 year old Roger Spencer was operating an ATV on his property when he drove over an embankment in his front yard.

Spencer lost control causing the ATV to roll over on him and trap him underneath around midnight.

Family found him around noon Tuesday.

No foul play is suspected.


A business owner in Clay County shot a robbery suspect who entered his store early Tuesday morning.

Clay County Sheriff Kevin Johnson says the incident happened around 1:30am at a store in the Horse Creek area of Clay County off Highway 80.

Johnson says the owner of the store was inside when Dustin Gregory broke in.

The owner shot Gregory in the leg.

Gregory was flown to UK Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Sheriff Johnson says Gregory will face burglary charges when he is released from the hospital.

More charges may be filed later.

The store owner, whose name is not being released, has not yet been charged.


An iconic Pikeville restaurant will soon be closing its doors for good.

Jerry's Restaurant in downtown Pikeville has been in business for more than 50 years.

Jerry's of Pikeville opened in 1960 and is in the 3rd generation of ownership by the Justice family.

Business has been slow in recent months but has been good this week with people eating there one final time.

Jerry's will close its doors for good on Friday.


Tuesday October 8, 2013

Kentucky State Police shot a man in Harlan County during a standoff on Monday afternoon.

It all happened in Cumberland on College Road starting around 2:00pm.

Police say the man fired shots at houses and then aimed at Cumberland Police officers and KSP troopers.

State police say the troopers then returned fire.

The man is identified as 42-year-old Jason Wayne Edmond.

Police say Edmond was airlifted to Holston Valley Medical Center in Tennessee.

No one else was injured.

Police have not released details on Edmond's injuries or his condition.

The names of the two troopers involved are also not released.

Investigators say the troopers are on administrative leave during the investigation which is standard procedure in trooper-involved shootings.

The Southeast Community and Technical College is near the home.

Cumberland Police say it was on lockdown during the shooting but there were no problems on campus.

Officials lifted the lockdown after the shooting.


The Clay County Sheriff says two people are hurt after a man was shot by his wife.

It happened around 5:30 on Monday on Hogskin Road in Manchester.

The Sheriff says Doug Smith's wife shot him twice while the two were fighting.

He was taken to UK Hospital with an unknown condition.

The sheriff says Smith's wife was also injured in the dispute and is now at a Manchester Hospital.

So far, no charges have been filed in the case.


State police arrested a Knox County man troopers say tried to kidnap a boy in Harlan County.

State police say Charles Collins of Flat Lick was driving in the Coldiron area and stopped where a 14-year-old boy was walking on the road.

The boy told police Collins asked him three times to get in the car and when he refused, the boy said Collins grabbed his arm and tried to pull him in.

The boy escaped and ran home and his mother called police.

Troopers say when they arrived, Collins also had a gun hidden in his clothing.

He is charged with attempted kidnapping and carrying a concealed weapon.

His bond is $20,000.


Kentucky State Police say Timothy Slone shot at Knott County Sheriff's deputies Sunday night in the Mallie community.

Knott County Sheriff Dale Richardson said his men were called to Steer Fork Road and when they, arrived they were fired upon.

Deputies returned fire, Slone was hurt and taken to Pikeville Medical Center.

He is in stable condition.

Slone's mother said on Sunday night her son drank moonshine and picked up a gun, and he became violent, which has happened before.

Sheriff Richardson said neither deputy involved in the shooting was hurt.

Both deputies are on administrative leave until KSP finish an investigation.


On Friday, Myra Castle entered the courtroom in Johnson County facing second-degree manslaughter and DUI charges in the death of 18-year-old C.J. Mollett.

With friends and family of the teen protesting outside the courthouse, Castle pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Reports show that Castle was drunk as she made a left hand turn crossing into the path of Mollet on KY 201.

Castle's next court date is set for November 1st.


Monday October 7, 2013

Officials say human remains have been found in Magoffin County, which is near the home of a man who went missing in February.

Police say they received a call Friday about possible remains, and Saturday Kentucky State Police confirmed the remains are human.

On Saturday afternoon police, rescue and K-9 crews returned to the scene in the Johnson Fork area of Magoffin County to further their search.

During that time they located more remains near the premises.

These remains were found in the same area where 29 year old Freddie Brown suddenly went missing in February.

Autopsy results are pending.


Both men who escaped last Tuesday from the Leslie County Detention Center while on work release are back behind bars.

An official with Kentucky River Regional Jail says 27-year-old Adam Warner was brought in late Saturday night.

We are told he was arrested by Kentucky State Police in Knott County.

22-year-old Taylor Brewer was captured Friday, also in Knott County, where they are from.


A man died Saturday morning trying to stop a runaway truck.

It happened around 8 a.m.

Officials say 73 year old Denver Lee Madden was cutting wood on private property when a vehicle began rolling away.

They say Madden tried to stop the truck, and got caught and hit a tree.

The accident was near the Jackson/Owsley County line.

One other person was with Madden at the time of the incident.


A man is dead after an ATV accident in Perry County Friday evening.

Officials say James Smith was driving an ATV one Clear Fork Branch in the Chavies Community.

He was on the roadway when he lost control of his vehicle.

He was taken to Hazard A-R-H where he was pronounced dead.

Police say he was not wearing a helmet.


A climber had to be taken to the hospital by helicopter Saturday afternoon after an accident in Wolfe County.

Officials say it happened around 3:00 p.m. in the Muir Valley area.

A 21 year old man was climbing a route about 70 feet high when he slipped and fell.

A volunteer rescue was immediately notified and he was taken by ambulance to Pine Hill where he was flown to Huntington, West Virginia for treatment.

The extent of the climbers injuries are not known at this time.


On Sunday evening just before 6:00 pm, Deputies with the Knott County Sheriffs office were involved in a shooting in the Mallie Community.

According to police, a male subject opened fire on the Deputies, the Deputies then returned fire injuring him and he was transported to an area hospital where he is now listed in stable condition.

Detectives with the Kentucky State Police in Hazard are investigating.

No names have been released.


Six different police departments teamed up Friday  morning to give some folks in Harlan County an early morning wake-up call.

Police say over 60 indictments were available for various drug trafficking charges.

So far 29 arrests have been made.

Law enforcement officers went out bringing in suspected drug dealers in the Tri-City area.

Those arrested were taken to the Harlan Police Department for processing then off to jail.

Friday October 4, 2013

Police are searching for a suspect after a bank robbery in Pike County.

Police say someone came into the Community Trust Bank in Virgie around 2:00 Thursday afternoon with a gun demanding money.

Police say the robber did get away with some cash but dropped some of it in the creek on his way out which several troopers collected while canvassing the creek bank.

Police say the man was approximately six feet tall with a slender build.

He was wearing a white hoodie with his face covered and fled on foot.

The bank was closed for the rest of the afternoon, and employees were held there for several hours.

Police believe the robber may have had someone parked nearby that drove him away.

They are asking anyone who may have seen anything suspicious to contact KSP Post 9.


A Clay County man, Carl House, is dead and the coroner said he was murdered.

Around six o'clock on Wednesday, Kentucky State Police got a call that a body had been found on Ben House Road along the Laurel-Clay County line/

The Clay County Coroner said House suffered multiple gunshots wounds and that is why he is ruling it a homicide.

House lived alone.  If you have any info contact the KSP.

House's body was sent to Frankfort for an autopsy by the State Medical Examiner's Office.


An eastern Kentucky jail is still missing two inmates.

Taylor Brewer and Adam Warner escaped earlier this week from the Leslie County Detention Center while on work release.

If you have any info on these two men contact police.


A Knox County mother accused of leaving her babies home alone and then driving intoxicated pleaded not guilty to her charges on Thursday.

34 year old Shannon Messer has eleven total charges including DUI, wanton endangerment, and fleeing and evading.

All of the charges are misdemeanors.

Knox County Sheriff's Deputies say she was under the influence of drugs and hit a car head on Wednesday morning.

Deputies say then they discovered four children under the age three at her home alone.

The judge set a pre-trial conference for October 29th.

Her bond is set at five thousand dollars cash.


More than a dozen people were arrested during a drug round-up in Harlan County on Thursday.

The Evarts Police Department conducted undercover investigations for months.

Officers say they arrested 15 people and served warrants to four others.

The arrests include drug trafficking charges and bench warrants around the Evarts community.

Police say they also have a warrant for one wanted fugitive.


Both public school systems in Letcher County met district goals in the second year of the Unbridled Learning school assessment.

Letcher County Public Schools has been labeled as a high progress district, ranking at the 67th percentile, up from last year’s district ranking of being in the 15th percentile.

With a score of 58, the Letcher County district was four-tenths of a point from being a proficient district.

All schools and districts have a goal to reach proficiency.

Nine of 11 schools in the Letcher school district improved scores from the previous year.

Jenkins Independent also did well on test scores.

For more on this story read this week's edition of the Mountain Eagle.

Thursday October 3, 2013

Workers at the Pontiki mining complex in Martin County have been told the surface mine and coal prep plant will close by the end of the year.

Alliance Resource Partners says its subsidiary, Excel Mining issued WARN notices to employees on Friday, according to a news release from the company.

The mining complex employs approximately 142 workers.

The company says it plans to continue operations at the complex until early December to fulfill commitments under existing sales contracts at which time the mine is expected to cease production.


Kentucky State Police were on the scene of a death investigation last night on Ben House Road in Clay County late Wednesday night.

Officials say a man was found dead inside his home.

The Clay County Coroner says that 58-year-old Carl "Duke" House was pronounced dead at 6:46 p.m. on Wednesday.

While the coroner isn't releasing a cause of death, he does call it an apparent homicide.

Police have released few details about the investigation so far.


A Johnson County woman who killed her boyfriend in 2010 will not be eligible for early parole.

Officials say Donna Wheeler will not become eligible for parole until she has served 85 percent of her 14 1/2 year sentence.

Wheeler asked for earlier parole saying she was a victim of domestic violence when she killed James Sparks.

On April 30th, 2010, Wheeler shot Sparks in the back as he was leaving her home.

She remains in the Western Kentucky Correctional Complex.


Back in 2010, A Leslie County man, Norman Adams, was found dead and five men were charged in connection to his murder.

One of the men, Harold Pennington, has since been found not guilty.

Police said Adams was beat to death and that the men tried to make it look like an ATV accident.

One of the defendants, Millard Miniard, was in court Wednesday morning.

Miniard entered an alford plea to manslaughter charges earlier this year.

That means he pleaded guilty to the charges due to mounting evidence against him without admitting guilt.

The deal meant he would serve 12 years in prison.


A former school building in Hazard is set to be torn down.

Dennis Wooton Elementary School was closed at the end of last academic year.

Perry County School District Finance Chair Jody Maggard says it has become a target for damage.

The board has not yet decided what to do with the site.

Even with the board's approval, the plan to tear the building down still needs approval from the state.