LOCAL NEWS

Thursday April 3, 2014

Nonprofit health insurance cooperatives across the country have struggled to stay competitive with their bigger, for-profit counterparts but not in Kentucky. Kentucky's lone health care cooperative buoyed by a $58.8 million federal loan has sold 77 percent of the private health insurance plans purchased through kynect, Kentucky's state-run health insurance marketplace. Through March 31, 77,027 people have purchased private health insurance.
_____


Yesterday Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard received a call from an employee with the Isom Double Kwik, advising that the store had been robbed at gunpoint.  A KSP Trooper was dispatched to the scene. An employee said a white male approximately 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing between 165 and 175 pounds, entered the store wearing navy blue coveralls and a light colored beanie cap, brandishing a black handgun.  The perpetrator demanded money, and took the cash drawer from the register, before exiting the store.  The subject was last seen on foot, traveling in a northbound direction.
_____

Funeral services for a longtime x-ray technician and popular member of the Whitesburg City Council was held yesterday at the First Baptist Church in Whitesburg. John Paul Williams, 70, was pronounced dead Sunday evening at the Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Healthcare hospital, where he was taken after suffering a massive heart attack, Williams had served on the Whitesburg City Council since June 21, 2001. He also served on the City’s police commission for the past six years
_____


Kentucky’s roughly 100,000 teachers and administrative staff will get an automatic pay raise in each of the next two years even if their school districts can’t afford it. The state’s two-year spending plan, approved this week by the Kentucky General Assembly, requires school districts to give employeesa1percent raise in the 2015 school year and a 2 percent raise in the 2016 school year.
_____

GMS Mine Repair and Maintenance will host a career fair from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow at Pine Mountain Grill in Whitesburg. Experienced underground miners are being sought including mine operators, roof bolters, other equipment operators, underground mechanics, certified foremen longwall miners and general inside labor.
_____

The Imagination Library is expanding to include Eolia and Partridge Zip Code areas. Registration will be held during Family Literacy Night at Arlie Boggs Elementary School on Tuesday April 8 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. To be eligible to register for the program, children must be under five years of age, and have a mailing address and 911 address of Eolia 40826 or Partridge 40862. All children under five years of age living in these areas are invited to register and will receive a free book.

Wednesday April 2, 2014

More than 370,000 people have signed up for health insurance through the state's marketplace. But as the governor and his staff celebrated the numbers yesterday one in every 12 Kentuckians now has health insurance through Kynect the program's future is less certain in the state legislature.
_____

Johnson County Sheriff's Deputies are praising the community for help in busting a meth lab late Monday night. Deputies say information provided by the public also helped get children out of a dangerous situation.  Sheriff Price says the tipster was able to provide information into the best time to search the home. Deputies also found several needles throughout the home and on the floor...those and the meth all able to be in direct contact with the children.
_____

Tuesday morning, a man in Bell County jumped in the Cumberland River to get away from police. State police say a trooper was making a traffic stop for a speeding violation on a car on US-25E in Four Mile when the man got out of the car, ran off and jumped in the river. 49-year-old Roger Ramey was driving under the influence and that could be why he tried to escape.
_____


Kentucky's roughly 100,000 teachers and administrative staff will get an automatic pay raise in each of the next two years even if their school districts can't afford it. The state's two-year spending plan, approved Monday by the Kentucky General Assembly, requires school districts to give employees a 1 percent raise in the 2015 school year and a 2 percent raise in the 2016 school year.
_____

It is an issue parents in Pike County have faced before...possible cuts to the health department's school nurse program.  A program that school officials say allows their parents to feel much more comfortable with having their child in school, whether they have chronic illness or not. Now, due to financial issues the nurses could be pulled out of the schools. It is a program that provides healthcare for hundreds of children in Pike County.
_____

Middlesboro Police arrested seven people on drug charges and some include trafficking near a school. Investigators say the arrests follow a lengthy undercover investigation. Middlesboro Police say at least three people were dealing drugs not far from the Middlesboro Board of Education Building where some classes are held. Police arrested 31-year-old Michael Earle, 31-year-old Billy Earle, and 49-year-old Gerald Ayers.

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.
_____

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.
_____

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.
_____

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.
_____

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.
_____

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.
_____

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.
_____

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.
_____

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.
_____

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.
_____

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.
_____

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.
_____


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.
_____

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.
_____

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.