Tuesday December 10, 2013

The top elected official in an Appalachian county ravaged by a tornado nearly two years ago was arrested Monday on charges of mail fraud, theft and conspiring to launder money in an alleged scheme to steer work to a construction contractor in exchange for kickbacks. An indictment against Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley included a charge that he misused his position to ensure the contractor received excessive payments to clean up storm debris in the aftermath of the deadly tornado that hit the area March 2, 2012.
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A consultant will be brought in to help with the search for a new leader of the Kentucky Community and Technical College system. Regents appointed a committee on Friday to select the consultant who will search out potential replacements for current President Michael B. McCall. McCall announced earlier this year he will retire in January 2015. He has led the system the past 15 years.
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It was a rainy night and friends said they did not want Bruce Mollet out on the road. The family said Mollet went missing early Friday morning. They searched the Tomahawk area and reported him missing the next day. Family members found his body in an embankment Saturday afternoon. The coroner pronounced the 46-year-old dead at the scene from blunt force trauma to the head and abdomen.
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Political leaders are worried that lingering snow and frigid temperatures will have a chilling effect on voter turnout Tuesday in special legislative elections that, depending on the outcome, could inch Republicans one seat closer to a takeover in the House. Democrats are fighting hard to hold on to positions vacated by two of their longtime lawmakers, Rep. John Arnold and Sen. Kathy Stein, both of whom resigned earlier this year. Republican Suzanne Miles of Owensboro and Democrat Kim Humphrey of Morganfield are squaring off in western Kentucky's 7th House District race.
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The holidays are known for the gift of giving. And for the past 11 years, Matt Skeans has been using his Christmas tree business to give to those struggling during the holiday season.
This weekend, he’s giving to coal country’s own, after a year full of layoffs. The event is December 14-15 from 1-7 p.m. at Skeans Marathon at Bull Creek in Prestonsburg (468 US 23). You must bring your mine card and proof you were laid off.
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Some Bell County teachers are rallying together to help a fellow teacher with cancer. Teachers say former Page School Center teacher Alesha Goodlett is undergoing treatment in Boston. Her friends here at home are planning fundraiser events to help her and her children. Friends say Goodlett dedicated her life to teaching children and raising her own two young children. The Bell County teachers and others in the community are planning fundraisers to help with Goodlett's medical expenses and buy her children Christmas gifts.

Monday December 9, 2013

A Letcher County man says he was trying to stay warm early this morning so he heated up the stove in his trailer. When he turned it on, it caught fire and burned his trailer to the ground.  Barbara Jemp owns the trailer and lives in a house that shares the property. She said she thought her lawn was on fire when she looked out her window.  Jemp has owned this trailer for 20 years and has rented it out to several tenants.
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A Corbin man is behind bars, facing charges related to shoplifting. Laurel County Sheriff's deputies say Darrell Moran, 34, was seen on camera putting items into a cart at the Walmart near Corbin in Southern Laurel County on Friday. Moran was issued a gift card for the items and was then stopped by loss prevention as he tried to leave the store. Moran was arrested and taken to the Laurel County Detention Facility. Deputies say they are also looking for a woman who was involved.
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Ladies in Perry County opened their homes to the public in the name of Christmas Spirit. The Hazard-Perry County Women’s Club hosted a Tour of Homes Sunday afternoon. The tour stopped at five different houses, each decorated in different Christmas themes. All of the proceeds are to raise money for those who need extra help around the holidays. the tour is a fun way to raise money for a good cause and meet people in the community.
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A bridge collapsed Friday night that connected five driveways to Typo Road in Perry County. Heavy rain caused water to rise and debris to fall into creeks, including two tree trunks that clogged the water flow under a bridge, eventually causing it to collapse. Construction crews gave the bridge a temporary repair Saturday by filling it with gravel and dirt. Crews say those will hold the bridge through strenuous conditions until it can be permanently fixed. Officials say the bridge is now safe for cars to use.

 

Friday December 6, 2013

We are following a breaking story out of Letcher County. Officials say a man has been found dead near the Little Shepherd Trail on US 119 in Whitesburg, on the Pine Mountain Overlook.  The Coroner got the call around 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon. No word yet on who it is or what the situation that lead to this is.
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The suspended fire chief in Cumberland is now facing charges. A Harlan County grand jury indicted 66-year-old Fess Eldridge on charges of theft by deception and abuse of public trust. State police arrested Eldridge on Tuesday. The indictment says in 2012, Eldridge deposited several checks totaling $2,452.00 into his personal account that were made out to two other members of the fire department. Officials say the checks were for training but the two firefighters did not attend.
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High school football fans are keeping a close eye on the forecast. The state championship games begin this afternoon in Bowling Green. The KHSAA and its member institutions as well as everyone involved in the hosting of these games urge all involved to make carefully considered decisions regarding attendance at the games and to exercise caution. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for most of the state on Friday.
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Winter weather is on its way to Kentucky, and the Bluegrass Chapter of the American Red Cross urges residents to take steps now to stay safer when severe weather threatens.
He are some helpful safety temps to consider as winter weather approaches. Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.  Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
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Two people were arrested Tuesday in Knox County after police say they found drugs while pulling the two over. Eddie Carroll, 50 years old, and Beverly Hoskins, 42 years old, were found with a hidden container under the vehicle they were driving. The container had Oxycodone pills and Xanax tablets. The traffic stop was a result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Special Investigations. Both were charged with trafficking controlled substances.

Thursday December 5, 2013

Despite coal industry layoffs and a high unemployment rate, both school districts in Letcher County have yet to see a dramatic decrease in student enrollment. Letcher County Public Schools is down seven students from the beginning of the 2013–2014 school year. The district had an enrollment of 3,223 in August and 3,216 at the end of the third month of school.  Letcher County’s unemployment rate for August was 14.9 percent. District administrators anticipate student enrollment numbers to decline as parents move elsewhere in search of jobs.
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Police say a 20-year-old Roxana man was burning copper near his residence when police arrived to serve outstanding warrants. Alvin Slone, 20, of 2708 Mill Branch Road, was arrested Nov. 26 and charged with violating probation. Slone was also charged with receiving stolen property. In January, Slone was indicted on charges of stealing computers, jewelry and other items belonging to Kevin Day, general manager of WTCW-AM and WXKQ-FM, and his family.
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The Jenkins Independent School System on sound financial footing with good financial practices, auditors Wallace Smallwood and Madgell Miller reported to the Jenkins Board of Education last week. The system’s total net position as of June 31, 2013 stood at $1,440,437 and the positive net change was $25,962. Smallwood told the board they had carefully examined the relationship between the board and the Jenkins Educational Foundation and found no issues, but both Miller and Smallwood told the board members to continue to be careful in monitoring activity funds.
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An early morning fire destroyed one Floyd County home Wednesday. It happened on Route 850 in the David community just before 4:00 a.m. Officials are not sure what caused the fire. The homeowner says the fire destroyed everything they had. All three family members say because of their smoke detectors they were able to get out unharmed.
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The chairman of the Letcher County Board of Education is concerned that a board policy limits the amount of days students stay overnight on eighth-grade trips while other school groups take lengthier trips. The Cowan Elementary School dance team’s to travel to Orlando, Fla., on March 30 to perform at Disney World has been approved by the board. The group will return to Letcher County on April 4. Supt. Tony Sergent said that three years ago the board approved a policy to gradually reduce the number of days spent overnight during an eighth-grade trip in order to make fundraising efforts fair for all schools in the district.
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Middlesboro Police say the Christmas shopping season has brought an increase of shoplifting cases. Middlesboro Police say the increase in shoplifting started a few days before Thanksgiving and keeps going up. Now police and store employees are keeping an even closer eye on the merchandise. Wednesday afternoon, Middlesboro police say Kroger employees caught two people shoplifting items in the store. Police arrested the man and woman.olice say they have made similar shoplifting arrests in town almost everyday since the beginning of last week.

 

Tuesday December 3, 2013

A federal fugitive is behind bars in Harlan County. Will Pope, an officer with the Harlan Police Department says Savannah Caudill-Scruggs was wanted in Laurel county for bench warrants. Scruggs was also wanted by U.S. Marshals for fraud and false statement charges. Police say they received a tip, and arrested Scruggs around 6pm Sunday at a home in Harlan. She is being held in the Harlan County Detention Center.
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A man remains on the loose after police say he robbed a gas station with a screwdriver. Kentucky State Police in Hazard are searching for a suspect in a Saturday morning armed robbery of a Double Kwik convenience store located off the Hal Rogers Parkway in Avawam community of Perry County. The thief is described as a white male, approximately 130-150 pounds, and about 5’6” tall. He was last seen wearing a black sweat shirt with a bandana covering his face. Police say he entered the store with a screw driver and demanded money. He then took money and ran from the store.
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Officials in Harlan say a body was found along the river bank behind Hardee's yesterday. Officials believe the person found could be Christopher Buell. Buell was reported missing by family members one week ago when he walked away from Appalachian Region Hospital in Harlan. Family members said Buell suffers from Paranoid Schizophrenia.
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One of the two men indicted in connection with a bank robbery in Virgie, Ky. last month is now in jail. The robbery happened at the US Bank branch along Ky. 610 on November 13. Kentucky State Police say while one of the men entered the bank, the other man waited outside on ATV. Troopers say the man that entered the bank showed a weapon during the robbery. Last Wednesday a Pike County, Ky. grand jury indicted Claude Isaac.35, of Hi Hat and Anthony Gillespie, 25, of Grethel, Ky. for the robbery. Both men are charged with 1st degree robbery, theft by unlawful taking, and being persistent felon offenders.
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The archery and crossbow season for bears in Eastern Kentucky is over. Fish and wildlife officials say the quota of ten bears was met last night with bears taken in Letcher, Harlan, Pike, Leslie, Wayne and Perry counties. There is also a gun season for bears from December 14th through the 16th. The quota then is also ten bears or five females.  You can now hunt bears in 16 counties. That's up from only four last year.
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Kentucky State Police troopers across the state will be looking at data to see where highway crashes involving injury or death most often occur. a new enforcement campaign known as "Operation Holiday Lights: All Night, Every Night" involves having posts look at when and where crashes are prevalent and schedule heavier patrols in those spots. Police are using traffic safety check points, covert details in high traffic areas and night vision equipment to help with the effort. The campaign runs through midnight Jan. 1.