LOCAL NEWS 12-26-2014
A Pike County theater was among a select few nationwide showing the controversial movie “The Interview” on Christmas day. The Riverfill Cinemas in Pikeville was one of only 200 theaters around the country to show the film about a fictional attempt to assassinate the leader of North Korea, Kin Jong Un. Sony Entertainment at first pulled the movie after its computers were hacked and it received threats. There have been no reported problems anywhere the movie has been seen.
A story about a dog, trapped and feared gone forever deep in a Letcher county cave has a happy ending. Earlier this week, you might remember hearing about that dog, and how rescuers said it was too dangerous for them to go into the coal break on Black mountain where the she was. Kentucky Regional animal shelter heard about it too and put out the word for help. Professional cave divers from as far as Missouri answered and after 12 hours Christmas Eve and Christmas day, they found the dog, named Jane. Her owner Lonnie Lewis says its the best Christmas gift he has ever gotten. As for Jane, she is fine, none the worse for her underground adventure.
Big plans are in the works for a major tourist attraction in Harlan county . The Black Mountain off road adventure area is adding 12 hundred acres of trails in 2015 n the north side of the mountain off US 119 near Putney which will run through land reclaimed from surface mining. County officials say its will be a big boost to the area, drawing lots of outdoor enthusiasts and ATV riders.
A businessman in Floyd county is offering a thousand dollar reward for information about a stolen excavator. Someone stole the equipment belonging to concrete construction company owner Jim Ousley from a parking lot in Prestonsburg last Friday. State police are handling the investigation [POLICE: 606-433-7711; EXCAVATOR: Serial WL000389]
Authorities say a man wanted for murder in West Virginia may be on the run in Pike County. The victim was found on Monday in Mingo County and his truck was reported stolen. Now, police say that red Ford Ranger with West Virginia tags was spotted in the Stopover community and they hope the public can provide tips to help find a killer. [POLICE: 304-235-6000; VEHICLE: WV Tag 4TK-331]
A family from Wooton, in Leslie County are thankful for their own Christmas miracle. No one was hurt on Wednesday afternoon when high winds roared through the mountains and blew their home on old highway 80 off its foundation. One person was home when the storm cam through, but was pulled out by a family member who raced to the scene. As bad at it was, the family says it could have been far worse.
A Perry County community center felt a lot like home for a lot of people on Christmas. Volunteers at the Hubb Center opened the center for a pay what you can Christmas dinner for needy families. They say too often people in need get a cold shoulder instead of a warm meal. Some of the volunteers say they know what it's like to be down and out and want to give back to the community that once helped the. The Hubb center isn't done dishing out support—they plan to offer pay what you can pay what you can dinners daily between 3 and 7, starting next month.
By Jerry Adams
A missing man from Laurel county has been found. 71 year old Michael Salisbury of London had been the subject of an Golden Alert since Friday after he went missing following an argument with his wife. Deputies say Salisbury was found driving in the county and is safe.
Family, friends and fellow deputies in pike county are mourning the loss of one of their own. Deputy Robert Marble died of an apparent heart attack last week and those who knew him are recalling a good man, who died far to young. Deputy Marble was 42.
It's Christmas week, and you don't have to look far to see folks getting into the real spirit of the season. In Hazard over the weekend, some musicians used their gift for song to provide gifts to children. They put on a concert to benefit Buckhorn High school's backpack program, which fills backpacks with food to take home during the holiday break. The event was organized by two students and featured a Buckhorn graduate, Nashville recording artist Timothy Baker.
And members of the Journey Christian Church in Hazard set out a table for people who might otherwise have a Christmas meal. Pastor Ben Fugate says while the idea is grounded in Christian compassion, the message of helping others in need is universal. He says he hopes this becomes an annual event in the community.
A young boy from Harlan has something he will never forget from a world famous musician. 9 year old Grahame Miracle had a front row seat for a concert—his first concert—for by the group Trans Siberian Orchestra in Lexington. He was so close, his dancing to the music caught the eye of the band's violin player Roddy Chong, who handed Grahame a signed bow—and even met with him and his mom after the show. Chong even mentioned the encounter on his Facebook page and says it inspired him. Grahame was adopted from china and is facing bone graft surgery for a cleft palate.
Police in Hazard say they three people have been arrested and are charged with stealing tires and car parts from several vehicles. They say a tip led them to the suspects and most of the stolen wheels have been recovered. The string of thefts began earlier this month from area dealers and at least one pickup was reported taken as well. The owner of the truck now has it back—minus the wheels-- and while she says it's good news, its also discouraging to think about somebody stealing something she worked hard for.
A vacant elementary school in Hazard now has a date with the wrecking ball. Officials say the Dennis C Wooten School in Airport Gardens will come down starting in February. Residents in the area were anxious to get the project started because vandals have been slowly trashing the school since it closed at the end of the 2013 school year. And while some people are sad to see the building come down, they say the school served the community well since it was built in 1962 and that the memories from there will last far longer than its walls.
A holiday tradition in Floyd county is helping people—and also helping a daughter get through a difficult time. Every year, Marlow Tackett held a big Christmas party for needy children. He died earlier this year, but on her first Christmas without him, Marlow's daughter, Wendy decided to honor him by continuing the party. Local residents say they're grateful and say without the help, Christmas might have been a bleak one this year.
By Jerry Adams
Kentucky State police are investigating an armed robbery at a Letcher County fast food restaurant. They say some held up the Subway in the Isom Plaza shortly before closing time on Tuesday night. The robber who was armed with a rifle, demanded money from the lone employee and got away with a little less than 500 Dollars. They say he then fled south on Highway 7 in a black Toyota or Nissan pickup No one was injured. Police have a description of the suspect and are asking the public for any help identifying him.[SUSPECT: White Male, about 5 feet, 5 inches tall, dressed in black and wearing a black mask]
And deputies are also hunting for whoever say burglarized two mountaintop cabins in Letcher county within the last couple weeks. One of the cabins on Little Shepherd trail in Whitesburg belongs to the Truth Ministries and the other belongs to an itinerant preacher from Louisiana. Minister Mark Duplantis says he feels violated by the thefts and has little compassion for anyone who would steal from a church group. Among the items taken, Flat screen TVS, tools, copper wire and a 5 foot tall taxidermied bear.
Fire investigators think a stove may have started a fire that killed a man in Clay County on Wednesday. The victim is identified as 49 year old Matthew Collins. His brother, identified as Warren Collins, was also burned and taken to UK Hospital. Other family members in the home, just south of manchester, were able to get out safely.
A local basketball legend has died. Roscoe Shackleford was coach at Hazard High for 11 years and those who played for—and against the coach say he taught lessons that went beyond the hardwood. During his years as coach the squad went to 4 trips to the state tournament and advanced to the semi finals twice. during the mid 60's . He was also a star athlete at the school and served as both Athletic Director and superintendent of schools. Funeral arrangements are pending. Coach Roscoe Shackleford was 80. Meanwhile. Local services have been set for another star athlete from Hazard High. Freddy Hogg played for the team in the 60's. He died last week of a heart attack in Texas, and a visitation will be held next Tuesday at noon at the Town Mountain Baptist Church.
A longtime Perry County Judge has been honored for his years of service. Circuit Judge Bill Engall is retiring and and staff, friends and family gave him a send off reception in Hazard yesterday. Judge Engle says it was a privilege to spend more than 10 years on the bench and that while he wants to stay involved in the community, he also plans to spend more time with his grand-kids.
A ministry in Bell County is bringing back a Christmastime event. The Lighthouse Ministry canceled its annual Christmastime Giveaway years ago after donations dried up, but this year, more people donated and so deserving community members will once again receive food, toys and other items. Church leaders say the donations are a real blessing that will help dozens of area families. The giveaway takes place on December 23th at the Ministry's building building on US -119 near the Paige school.
A new study says Kentucky may be making progress dealing with prescription drug abuse. A medication monitoring company says the percentage of people in the state FAIL to take drugs provided to them and those who take drugs NOT provided to them has fallen below the national average. The number of people using illicit drugs is slightly HIGHER than the national average. Local groups battling the problem say the numbers are an encouraging sign amid other reports that say abuse is getting worse here.
By Jerry Adams
A former mayor from the town of Martin in Floyd County is headed to prison. 70 year old Ruth Thomasine Robinson was convicted of intimidating poor voters into supporting her in 2012 and will have to serve at least 6 years and nine months in a federal prison. Her husband and Daughter were also sentenced to long federal terms for their involvement in the case. Victims said Robinson, who lost her re election bid, say the former mayor and her accomplices promised them better living conditioning in their city owned or private apartments that Robertson owned, in exchange for an absentee ballot vote. Those who didn't go along said they faced demotion on public housing priority lists or evictions.
A miner originally from Hazard has died after an accident Union County in Western Kentucky. The Kentucky Division of Mine safety says 34 year old Eli Eldridge was killed when he was hit by a mining vehicle inside Patriot Coal's Highland number 9 mine yesterday morning. The site has been closed as DMS investigators look into what happened. This is the second mine related fatality in the state in 2014. The other, happened in Bell county in October.
A family in Brethitt county has lost everything in a fire. The house on 30 east just before the magoffin county line is nothing but rubble now and while family members who lived there say they are thankful everyone got out safely, they are devastated by the loss, especially during what should be the most joyous time of the year. A fund to help has been set up at the Citizen's Bank in Jackson. The number is 606-666-7576
A woman from Clay has been arrested for shoplifting and police say she may have picked a bad time time to try it. The say Samanath Henson allegedly tried to hide merchandise inside here clothing at the Manchester Wal-mart, at the same time that the annual Shop With A cop holiday event hosted by the local police department was going on.
You probably thought you would never see this again, but some gas stations in Laurel county is now selling a gallon of regular for less than 2 bucks. The stations say they've been busy since the numbers on the sign changed to 1.99. One station that opened four years ago has never had prices this low and the drivers who are taking up are certainly not complaining Experts say prices will continue to fall into the new year because world oil prices have been tumbling for the past few weeks now.
But the money you are saving at the pump might get canceled out by a higher light bill. Kentucky power is asking the state to allow a rate increase of about 12 percent. The utility says it has no choice because of the costs of federal regulations, but whatever the reason, many customers say they just can't handle ANY increase in their power bills. The better news is that even if the state P S C gives the OK, the increase wouldn't hit bills for several months.
The owner of a small store in Leslie county is frustrated after she was robbed for the second time in two weeks. Police say Someone broke into the Adams Market early yesterday morning and hauled away about two thousand dollars worth of cigarettes stuffed in garbage bags. Two weeks ago, armed robber held up the same store Police have made an arrest in THAt case, but the cigarette thieves are still at large. The State Police are asking for tips at 606-435-6069
There's been another arrest in a clay county shooting. Police have charged Delmar Edwards with assault in connection with the incident that happened on December 9th in a Manchester wal mart parking lot. Two other people are already facing charges in the case which was reportedly started as a property dispute.
Three people were hurt during an accident involving a Kentucky Department of Transportation Vehicle in Bell County. Police say one of the people was taken to the University of Tennessee hospital for treatment following yesterday morning's crash on Highway 2221 in the community of Jenson. Hydraulic fluids on the road may have been a factor.
By Jerry Adams
The search is on for a man wanted for a murder in Floyd county and his 8 year old boy. Authorities say Floyd Sexton Junior and his son Nicholas were last seen in Letcher county in October but apparently left after a custody dispute. Floyd county police want sexton for the November killing of 36 year old Bill Russell Collins, who was shot outside a closed pediatric clinic in Prestonburg. Reports had placed him in Prestonburg after that killing but police think sexton and the child are probably out of state and have entered their names into a national database.
Whitesburg has lost a doctor who tended to the community's sick for almost 50 years. Dr. Vincent Arroz died last week from Leukemia. He was 78 and lived in Mayking with his wife, Shirley Gilbert.
You still have time to help the Hazard Police department's annual toy drive. That drive was supposed to end over the weekend, but organizers say they've extended it to next Thursday to let more people donate. They're looking for new unwrapped items that would be just right for boys and girls under 13. Officers say they'll stand in for Santa and deliver those gifts to kids around the community right on time for Christmas morning.
The attempted murder trial of a man from Knott county will soon be in the hands of a the jury. Testimony on the case against Rocky Wicker Sr wrapped up yesterday, with defense witnesses and testimony from Wicker himself, who said that he shot at parole officers who arrived at his home looking for his son because he thought they were bounty hunters and that he had no intention of killing anyone. One of the officers was hit in the arm and prosecutors say wicker shot on purpose to protect his son. The jury will get the case Friday.
Authorities say an accident on Hyden Spur in Leslie county could have been a whole lot worse. A tanker tuck loaded with diesel fuel lost its brakes, shot past the pull off, hit a pole and rolled onto its side on Wednesday afternoon. The highway was shut for more than an hour as a precaution. The driver is expected to be OK.
Officials hope that a new plan will bring people looking to adventure to the region. Tourism groups from the Cumberland valley say this is the perfect spot for tourists who like to hike, kayak and ride in the mountains, rivers and valleys and want to get the word out. The efforts involve organizations from Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee and members say adventure tourism could be a great way to attract people and pump dollars into the economy.
Members of the Alice Lloyd College basketball team say they're pulling for a quick recovers of one of their own. Sophomore Tyler Killburn is in U K hospital with viral meningitis and while his family says he is improving, his teammates say they will be in their thoughts and prayers this week as they travel to an away game in Florida. Tyler is the student assistant coach for the Eagles and is in a wheelchair because of a 1999 accident.