Tuesday April 1, 2014

Kentucky drivers will not pay more at the pump this summer as House Democrats dropped their support for an increase in the state gas tax. House Speaker Greg Stumbo said he has told legislative leaders to prepare the state's two-year road spending plan without the extra $107 million that would have come from a 1.5 cents-per-gallon increase in the state gas tax. And state lawmakers approved a two-year revenue bill Monday without the gas tax increase.
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Ten cattle stolen from a meat processing shop in West Virginia have been found in Kentucky. The manager of Nelson's Meat Market in Milton discovered the thefts last week. The cattle's owner says that he and the shop's owner tracked the cattle to a meat processing shop in Mount Sterling, Ky. the cattle are worth nearly $5,000. No arrests have been made.
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A Pike County ambulance service has suspended its services, while its former director remains charged. A representative from the company called Pike County Dispatch Saturday afternoon, warning service would be suspended at 5:00 that evening. Mayor Mike Taylor hoped to have more notice. Tri-Star ambulance service is currently applying for an emergency certificate of need to service the area.
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Anyone younger than 18 would be barred from buying electronic cigarettes in Kentucky under a bill the state Legislature has approved. The Senate gave the bill final approval on Monday. It will become law unless Gov. Beshear vetoes it. Minors are already banned from buying tobacco products in Kentucky. This bill updates that ban to include electronic cigarettes.
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Eastern Kentucky University police say two men, armed with handguns, robbed three students in a Clay Hall dorm room about 11 p.m. Sunday. Campus police are asking students to be on guard and stay in groups of three or more people while they search for the suspected robbers. Police say the suspected robbers wore white masks and black clothes when they robbed the students.

Monday March 31, 2014

Early Sunday morning, the Kentucky Senate and House Budget Conference Committee reached a deal on the state budget that included how much money Rupp Arena will be getting for their upcoming renovation. The House and Senate have reached an agreement on a two-year budget deal. That deal does not include the $65 million for the Rupp Arena renovation.
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Many students spend years after college working off tens of thousands of dollars in school debt. But at seven "Work Colleges" around the country, students are required to work on campus as part of their studies doing everything from landscaping, growing and cooking food to public relations and feeding farm animals to pay off at least some of their tuition before they graduate.
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Pikeville officials say Appalachian Air is set to take off from eastern Kentucky in mid-April even though some work may remain unfinished. Pikeville City Manager Donovan Blackburn says the proposed seamless baggage transfer between Appalachian Air and national air carriers at the Nashville International Airport will likely not be in place when the service begins flights.
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A central Kentucky school superintendent has been charged with DUI after being arrested while driving a board of education vehicle. Hodgenville Police officers arrested LaRue County school chief Sam Sanders early Saturday morning for a DUI in a car registered to LaRue Board of Education. Sanders was taken to LaRue County Detention Center and released.
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The Pine Mountain community will hold a trash pick-up day on Saturday, April 5. The group will meeting at Laurel House at Pine Mountain Settlement School. Trash bags and gloves will be provided. For more information.
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The Whitesburg Lions Club’s annual Easter egg hunt is scheduled for Saturday, April 12, at noon at Fishpond Lake. Children of all ages are welcome. An Easter bonnet contest will be part of the event. Refreshments will be served.

Friday March 28, 2014

The Kentucky House has passed a bill that would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors. Supporters say the measure carries the same rules that apply in banning youth access to tobacco products. The measure will return to the Senate, which will decide whether to accept the House's revisions. If the Senate goes along with those changes, the bill would go to Gov. Steve Beshear for his consideration.
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After days of testimony, the jury has reached a verdict in a high-profile murder trial in Madison County.  Around 6:30 p.m. Thursday, a jury found Christina Marcum guilty of complicity to commit murder, complicity to tampering with physical evidence and guilty of hindering prosecution in the death of Angela Frazier-Singleton in 2011.
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A Pulaski County man, charged with trying to kill his parents, learned how long he will spend behind bars. Anthony Merrick was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday. Prosecutors claimed Merrick was drinking and got mad at his parents, sparking the violence at a Somerset home in august of 2013. The couple escaped.
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Legislation aimed at revamping Kentucky's juvenile justice system by locking up fewer minors passed the state House by a wide margin Thursday, leaving it one step from reaching the governor's desk. A major focus of the measure would steer more young offenders toward community-based treatment as an alternative to detention.
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A Scott County police cruiser was hit head-on at Cherry Blossom and U.S. 460 in Georgetown Thursday.  The officer was responding to a call with its sirens on at the time. Police say a truck hauling fertilizer didn't stop as the cruiser went through the intersection, and that's when the two collided.  Both the officer and truck driver are expected to be okay.
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After days of testimony, the jury has reached a verdict in a high-profile murder trial in Madison County.  Around 6:30 p.m. Thursday, a jury found Christina Marcum guilty of complicity to commit murder, complicity to tampering with physical evidence and guilty of hindering prosecution in the death of Angela Frazier-Singleton in 2011.

Thursday March 27, 2014

Kentucky's mine inspectors would be required to spend less time examining coal mining operations under language inserted in the state Senate's budget proposal. Mine-safety advocates say fewer inspections would raise the risks for miners every time they venture underground. State law currently requires six inspections annually for each mine by state regulators. That number would be pared to two required annual inspections under the Senate's budget plan.
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Kentucky drivers could find out this week if they will pay more at the pump this summer. House Democrats have approved a 1.5 cents-per-gallon increase. It would give the state an extra $107 million during the next two years to build new roads and fix the broken ones. But Senate Republican leaders rejected the gas tax increase Tuesday, arguing Kentuckians do not want to pay more taxes for any reason.
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A two-year $4.5 billion road plan being debated in the Kentucky General Assembly includes almost $64 million for Letcher County, with much of that going to the U.S. 119 relocation in the Cumberland River area. Another $8 million would be used to ease traffic congestion in and out of KY 805 in Jenkins. In addition to the four projects already mentioned, the rest of Letcher County’s road money would be spent on bridge replacement projects scheduled for completion by the end of 2016.
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A Kentucky House panel cleared a measure Wednesday aimed at stemming the tide of heroin abuse in the state. The bill would provide a three-pronged approach to the problem, combining treatment funding, harsher penalties for trafficking and education in communities. The bill also allows first responders, including police officers and emergency medical technicians, to prescribe and use the heroin antidote.
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While the 2013-14 winter season continues to be one of southeastern Kentucky’s most severe in recent years, the region has been downright fortunate when compared to the Midwest and Northeast regions of the United States, where snowfall totals have more than doubled those here.  In fact, aside from students in most mountain counties missing nearly a month of school because of poor road conditions, the winter weather conditions that were still being suffered by residents of Letcher and surrounding counties Tuesday night could have been much tougher.
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People in the Kay Jay community in Knox County are taking steps to restore the community center and their voting precinct. The building was damaged by a flood three years ago. Yesterday, they presented a petition to the Knox County Fiscal Court with 194 signatures on it asking to restore the building. They asked the Knox County Fiscal Court to spend $1,500 to restore electricity at the building.

Wednesday March 26, 2014

The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill that would allow persistently low-performing schools to convert to charter schools. Current Kentucky gives consistently underperforming schools four options for improvement, ranging from restaffing to closing down. The bill would provide a fifth option, allowing the school to vote on whether to become a charter school.
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A divided Letcher County Fiscal Court voted at its March meeting to explore the possibility of selling what has become the controversial industrial park site at Isom, which is currently occupied by Process Systems and under lease to Process Systems owner Doug Sizemore. In the four-to-two vote, Fifth District Magistrate Wayne Fleming and Second District Magistrate Terry Adams voted not to sell the site. The vote was the result of a motion by Fourth District Magistrate Keith Adams who said the site had been a bone of contention between the court and local residents and would be more beneficial overall if it was in private hands. Adams’s motion came in the midst of a contentious discussion over the restructure of the current lease with Sizemore that was originally set to allow him to sublease the property to Refuel Carbon to install a wood pellet processing plant.
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If you have not signed up for health insurance through Kynect, you only have a few days left.  The deadline to sign up through the state marketplace is on Monday. If you sign up by March 31st, your coverage will begin May 1st.
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A judge has decided that eminent domain can't be used to take private land to build a natural gas pipeline through Kentucky. Bluegrass Pipelin has said it has the right to condemn property for its pipeline under Kentucky eminent domain law. The citizens group Kentuckians United to Restrain Eminent Domain had sought a ruling on the question.
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Family members confirm to WKYT, that Former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer reported to Federal Prison Tuesday afternoon.  Farmer is staying at a minimum security satellite camp, next to a high security facility in Bruceton Mills, West Virginia.  Farmer was allowed an extra week of freedom, in order to watch his son play basketball in the boy's Sweet 16 Tournament. Farmer pleaded guilty last year to corruption charges stemming from his time in office.