Thursday January 16, 2014

Gov. Steve Beshear has unveiled a $753.6 million plan to widen and extend the Mountain Parkway. The project will eventually create a four-lane highway from the bluegrass region to Pikeville in eastern Kentucky. Beshear said Wednesday the proposal is part of the state highway plan he'll present to lawmakers. He says it's expected that tolls will eventually be collected along the parkway to help finance the project.

One year ago Hazard made national headlines when a man opened fire in the parking lot of Hazard Community and Technical College, killing three people including a 12-year old girl. The shooting at HCTC rocked not just the campus, but the region as well. 12 year old Taylor, her father Jackie, and her cousin Caitlyn Cornett were all killed when police say the father of Caitlyn's child opened fire during a custody exchange.

A Floyd County couple is behind bars after a disturbing case of alleged child abuse was uncovered by police last week. Shawn and Amber Cordle are accused in what police in Prestonsburg call one of the more disturbing cases of child abuse they've seen in years. Police say they arrived at Cliffside Apartments off of Cliff Road in Prestonsburg, and say the Cordles' apartment was filled with human waste. Police say all of the children are expected to be okay.

Former Marrowbone hometown pharmacy manager Beverly Lockhart faces up to 10 years in federal prison. Last week, Lockhart accepted a plea agreement in Pike County Federal Court. She agreed to plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to sell, purchase or trade prescription drug samples. In August 2012, Lockhart along with Thad Manning were indicted on federal drug charges. Manning is still set for trial. Sentencing for Lockhart is set for February 11th.

A Pike County man faces a felony assault charge when police say he stabbed a man. Court officials say 20 year old Kyle Slone pleaded not guilty Tuesday to first degree assault charges which is a Class B felony. Police say early Monday morning, they found Slone stabbed a man twice during an altercation. Class B felonies carry a potential prison sentence between 10 and 20 years. Slone is held on a $15,000 dollar cash bond.

Two men are charged with first-degree robbery following an altercation with a pizza delivery man, according to Kentucky State Police. Papa John's Pizza employee Jared Lindon was making a delivery in the Cherokee Hills Apartment, and two men attacked him. Those two men were Jerry Hurt and Austin Coots. They also used a false phone number to order the pizza. The two men stole up to three pizzas and about $60.

Wednesday January 15, 2014

A young woman from Letcher County is representing the state as well as the mountains on a national platform.  Destin Kincer, 21, was crowned Miss Kentucky USA 2014.
The UK student is a Letcher County native and is currently studying to be a dermatologist. But this week, her life changed after competing in a competition that now has her receiving national recognition. Destin has only competed in four pageants in her career, one of them being Miss Kentucky Teen 2011.

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison yesterday. The former Kentucky basketball star pleaded guilty in September to two counts of misappropriating government resources while overseeing the agriculture department. Earlier this month, federal prosecutors requested the former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner be sentenced to 27 months in prison.

Several people are facing meth related charges in Floyd County. Police say they found a substantial amount of meth and meth precursors at a home in Prestonsburg, and nearly half a dozen people are now behind bars. Several police and fire vehicles poured onto Old Cliff Road Tuesday morning. The cause: suspected meth. Police say they found several items used for making meth stored under the house and some already made that had been put in the toilet.

A rolling boulder led to the death of a Pike County man. The Pike County Coroner says 55 year old old Lawrence Fleenor died when a boulder rolled off a hill and hit his car. The accident happened around four Tuesday afternoon on Route 460 near the Draffin Community. The road was closed for a few hours, but is now open. No one else was in the vehicle.

Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park in Perry County is temporarily closed due to a lack of water in the wake of severe cold weather this month. The park cannot get additional water because of water line breaks in the area. The park is closed until water service can be restored. Other parks in the area, including Natural Bridge and Jenny Wiley State Resort Parks, remain open. For updates and more information about Kentucky State Parks, visit

Tuesday January 14, 2014

Eight days and counting for some as thousands remain without water across the region. The failure to resolve water problems in Floyd County has people changing their everyday lifestyles. Calls from customers keep piling up. However, folks say resolutions have become false guarantees. Unusually cold temperatures caused Southern Water customers to lose water.

Thousands remain without water in Johnson County. Paintsville Utility officials say it is primarily in the northern and western parts of the county along with some customers in Lawrence County. Officials say it is a slow but steady process to get the water back on. The reason? Officials say last week's freezing temperatures. Water crews say restoring service to all customers is a slow process as they are working to make several repairs and their system plays catch up because along with those main line breaks, thousands of gallons were also lost in individual meter breaks.

Middlesboro Police arrested a teenager accused of stealing a water heater. Police say they caught 18-year-old Elvis Dixon and a juvenile pushing the water heater on a dolly down the road. Police say they stole it from a home on 45th Street early Monday morning. He faces burglary and drug charges.

Noah Hughes of Cumberland won a Ralph Gabbard Broadcasting Scholarship. He is one of three students in Eastern Kentucky to receive the honor. The awards were handed out last week during the WYMT Whayne Supply Mountain Basketball Classic. Hughes attends Harlan County High School where he is already preparing for a career in broadcasting. Hughes conducts interviews, writes stories, edits video, and anchors the news. He also writes for the school newspaper.

A Knott County agency is in some hot water following a less-than-desirable audit. That audit has landed the Knott County Water and Sewer District under investigation for mismanagement of funds. The finances in question stem from April of 2012. Knott County Judge Executive Zach Weinberg says an independent auditor had trouble accounting for several thousands of dollars in disbursements by the water district.


Thursday January 9, 2014

Health advocates are preparing another push for a statewide smoking ban in some public places, and the campaign is drawing bipartisan support from some Kentucky lawmakers.  Republican Sen. Julie Denton of Louisville and Democratic Rep. Susan Westrom of Lexington said Wednesday they will file statewide smoke-free legislation.  They said everyone has the right to breathe smoke-free air at work and in public. There's a patchwork of local smoking bans in Kentucky.

Police need your help finding a man who has been missing for about a week. Police say 62 year old William "Dan" Oakes Senior went missing from his home in Williamsburg on January 2nd. Whitley County Sheriff's Officials are still searching for Oakes. He is about 5'11 and 181 pounds with blue eyes, brown hair and scarring on his face. Anyone with information is asked to call Whitley County Dispatch.

Just one day after setting an all-time record, a new one is in the books for power usage. Kentucky Utilities now says that customer demand for power hit an all-time peak on Tuesday night. Customers used nearly 5,100 megawatts in the hour ending at nine Tuesday night. That's about 30 megawatts higher than the prior record set Monday night. East Kentucky Power said it also experienced an all-time high for usage on Tuesday.

An eight-county region of southeastern Kentucky will be among five locations that the President will announce this week as "Promise Zones" to help communities tackle poverty. U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the counties are Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Leslie, Letcher, Perry and Whitley. The president's announcement is part of a focus on income inequality in the lead-up to his State of the Union address. Promise Zones are areas where the federal government provides tax incentives and grants. Obama first announced the initiative during last year's State of the Union speech.

Senior citizens in Letcher County will soon be given the opportunity to move into new apartments in the same building in which some of them once attended school. The 101-year-old building that once housed Jenkins High School is being converted into senior apartments but is maintaining many of the features that have made it such a beloved structure to many.
The building’s new design was based on the existing layout of the old school, which resulted in eight different floor plans for the building’s 26 apartment units.

Reporters flocked around House Speaker Greg Stumbo Tuesday afternoon, many asking the same question about a gun that went off in Rep. Leslie Comb's office Tuesday. She called the misfire an accident and said no one was hurt or in harm's way. And she said she followed safety procedures. A source close to the situation described the damage by the bullet as significant.

Wednesday January 8, 2014

President Barack Obama plans to announce today that an area of southeast Kentucky struggling with chronic poverty and the loss of thousands of coal jobs will get priority when seeking federal money for job training, education, housing and other programs,

An eight-county area of Eastern Kentucky has been chosen for the Promise Zone program, according to the White House.

The designation will not include a big pot of new federal money, but it will give the counties priority for funding through existing programs and special help from federal officials in applying for money and coordinating efforts to fight poverty.  

The counties in the zone are Bell, Harlan, Letcher, Perry, Leslie, Clay, Knox and part of Whitley.

The announcement today was chosen to correspond with the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's 1964 State of the Union speech in which he called for "unconditional war on poverty in America."

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A Pineville woman is accused of trying to sneak pills into the Bell County Detention Center.

Middlesboro Police arrested 41-year-old Michelle Brock on shoplifting charges at Wal-mart.

Police say when they took her to jail, officers found a pill bottle hidden in a body cavity.

Police say she tried to smuggle more than 50 pills into the jail.


State auditors are referring the city of Barbourville audit to the Attorney General's Office, the Kentucky Department of Revenue, and Cabinet for Health and Family Services for review.

The audit started last year at the request of five of the six city council members.

The audit covered 2007 to August of last year.

The audit, released on Tuesday claims there is lax controls and oversight that led to financial abuse in the city.

Local officials say they are already fixing the issues and looking at the recommendations from the state audit.


The arraignment for a former Martin City mayor has been postponed.

In December, former Mayor Thomasine Robinson and five others were indicted in a vote buying scheme.

Prosecutors wrote in the indictment, Thomasine Robinson and the others conspired together to intimidate, oppress, threaten, and even injure voters of Martin.

All six are set to now enter pleas Thursday in Pikeville Federal Court.


A Harlan County woman will have to wait a little longer to learn how long she will serve behind bars.

In September, Rachel Osborne pleaded guilty to her part in the murder of 58 year old Steven Gibson.

Gibson's body was found in his Harlan home in June of 2011. Police later determined it had been there for a month.

Osborne agreed to plead guilty to wanton murder and robbery charges in exchange for a 20 year sentence.

She also agreed to testify against the other defendant, Timothy Turner.

A new sentencing date is not set yet.