LOCAL NEWS

Friday March 21, 2014

A Kentucky House panel has halted three Republican-sponsored bills that would regulate abortion access statewide. Two of the measures would have required a woman seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound, without exemption for rape victims. The third bill would have required a woman to be physically present during a consultation with an abortion provider instead of consulting over the phone.
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It's about more than sports...it's about support...Though March madness has caused quite the stir for UK and EKU fans, the NAIA tournament is exciting some fans in Pike County.The University of Pikeville men's basketball team won yesterday against Belleville-Lindwood, and dozens of fans gathered at the Landmark Inn to watch their Bears.  UPike supporters gathered as the Bears stomped out their opponents 103-76.
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A wanted man is now behind bars following a traffic stop and a brief struggle in Laurel County. 21 year old Joshua Coots was wanted for parole violations.  When police tried to arrest Coots, he ran from police.  He was found later by the London Police Department.  Coots faces several charges including running from police, assault on a police officer, and other traffic violations.
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Kentucky's unemployment rate has inched upward again. The state Office of Employment and Training says the seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for February was 7.8 percent, up from a revised 7.7 percent in January but 0.4 percentage point below the 8.2 percent rate in February 2013.
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Police need your help finding a man who they say escaped from work duty in Wolfe County.  29 year old Melvin Scott Garland escaped while working at the Wolfe County Highway Garage yesterday morning.  He was staying at the Three Forks Detention Center. They believe Garland was picked up by a private vehicle and is on his way to Magoffin County.
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Hundreds came out for a job fair held Wednesday at Jenny Wiley State Park in Prestonsburg. Organizers say there were about twenty booths set up at the fair with companies looking to fill positions as well as non profit groups there to help folks through the job search process One of the most popular booths was GMS, a company hiring out of work miners for jobs in the mining industry in Western Kentucky.

Thursday March 20, 2014

Jenkins Mayor G.C. Kincer has announced that Police Chief Roland Craft is no longer an employee of the city. Kincer did not elaborate on the reason Craft left the police department, saying that city policy does not allow him to comment on personnel issues. At Monday’s meeting of the Jenkins City Council, Kincer asked the council to approve his nomination of Sgt. Jim Stephens as interim police chief for the city.
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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 (the old South East Coal tipple) 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.
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Funeral services were held Wednesday for a 37-year-old Blackey man who was shot and killed early Sunday night during an argument at Boothill Road in the community of Letcher. David  Richie was shot and killed after Richie assaulted a 47-year-old Cornettsville man, Milburn Glover, near the home of William Banks. State police say an “initial investigation” has determined that an argument occurred on Boothill Road, near the Banks residence after Glover arrived at the scene and began arguing with Banks and Richie.
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House Democrats pushed through a two-year, $4.5 billion road spending plan on Tuesday that Republicans said was designed to punish them for their votes against a gas tax increase. Most of the money comes from the federal government and bonds. Lawmakers had just over $1 billion in state money to spend on road construction. But the plan from Gov. Beshear called for close to $2 billion in state spending. Republicans loudly opposed the gas tax increase last week.
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Kindergarten and preschool registration will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, March 27, at Jenkins Elementary School. Need to register are the child’s birth certificate and Social Security card, an upto date school physical, an up-to-date Kentucky immunization cerificate, an upto date Kentucky eye exam (kindergarten only) and an up-to-date Kentucky dental screening.
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Bell County Forest Rangers say eight fires were intentionally set in Bell County on Saturday. Now a KSP Arson Investigator and rangers are interviewing people and looking for leads. The fires are out now but forest rangers say eight fires, including several in Pine Mountain State Resort Park, spread quickly from the moment they started on Saturday. Bell County Forest Rangers say the fires in the state park threatened the lodge, cabins, employees' homes, and historical monuments.

Wednesday March 19, 2014

Legislation aimed at relieving Rand Paul from a potential quandary by allowing the Kentucky Republican to run for president and another U.S. Senate term at the same time was passed by the GOP-led Senate in his home state Tuesday. The bill would clarify that Kentucky law preventing someone from running for multiple offices does not apply to candidates running for president or vice president. Paul is weighing whether to run for president in 2016 or focus solely on re-election to his Senate seat.
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One Pulaski County man is behind bars facing burglary charges. 51 year old Ricky Odle was arrested Monday morning in the Burnside Community. Odle was indicted following an investigation of a June 2013 burglary at a home on Caney Branch Road. Officers say Odle stole knives, a pistol, and food.  He was charged with burglary and theft charges.
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One Harlan County woman is behind bars following a complaint of someone driving recklessly on U.S. 119.  Officials say 60 year old Teresa Hill was found crossing the center line and ran many people off the road. When police tried to stop Hill, she tried to drive off, almost hitting two police cars.
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A bill aimed at strengthening accountability standards for Kentucky's school districts is advancing in the General Assembly. The Senate Education Committee approved the House-passed measure Tuesday, sending it to the full Senate. The bill would require school finance officers to make monthly reports to local school boards and provide annual reports to the state Education Department. It also would increase training for some school board members.
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A Pulaski County woman is now behind bars on a circuit court warrant. 27 year old Carla Hensley was arrested at her home in Science Hill Monday. The warrant indicates she violated conditions of her release on her original charge of receiving a stolen firearm. She was taken to the Pulaski County Detention Center with no bond.
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A former Johnson County doctor faces up to 20 years in prison.  Prosecutors say Monday, Rano Bofill admitted to illegally distributing more than 25,000 prescription pills in Eastern Kentucky.  In some case, Bofill admitted to signing off on prescriptions without actually ever seeing the patients.  Sentencing is set for July 14th.

Tuesday March 18, 2014

Kentucky State Police say 37-year-old David Ritchie of Blackey in Letcher County was shot to death on Boothill Road just after 6:00 p.m. Sunday. Investigators believe Ritchie got in an argument with two men, Milburn Glover and William Banks. That is when KSP say Ritchie allegedly assaulted Glover of Cornettsville, who fired one shot killing Ritchie. Glover was arrested and charged with one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
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Officials say roads in one Eastern Kentucky county continue to become safer. Traffic officials say there is no magic trick for reducing accidents, but say it takes a combination of efforts between various agencies and the public. Due to one group's efforts, positive results are being seen.  For the second year in a row, officials say the number of traffic crashes is down in Pike County. On Monday, highway safety team members looked over the latest numbers and also discussed options for prosecuting after fatal accidents.
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Firefighters made an unusual discovery, while battling a fire at a Somerset home. The fire broke out Sunday, along Winding Ridge Drive. While there, firefighters say they found what appeared to be an indoor marijuana growing operation. Officials investigated and found 8 marijuana plants along with grow lights.  Deputies cited the man who lives there, 62 year old Roy Woodward, with cultivating marijuana. No one was hurt.
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The Kentucky Senate has passed its version of assisting school districts facing a mounting number of missed days due to the harsh winter. The measure would allow local school boards to submit revised calendars to the state education commissioner to adjust for lost instructional time. If school districts still can't make up all the lost time, school boards could request a waiver from the required 1,062 instructional hours in a school year. Some districts have missed more than 30 days due to snow and ice.
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A career fair will be held at Hazard Community and Technical College today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in room 123 of the First Federal Center. High school students, college students and people throughout the community are invited. Local businesses, as well as regional employers have been invited. Application and resume assistance will be available. Job seekers need to bring their Social Security card, driver’s license and resume and dress appropriately for a possible interview.

Monday March 17, 2014

Kentucky State Police say one man is dead following a shooting in Letcher County.  The shooting happened on Boot Hill Road just off of Highway 7 South just below Letcher Elementary School.  At this time police are still piecing together what happened.  The name of the victim has not been released.

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A tank cluster that leaked chemicals into 300,000 West Virginians' drinking water shows few signs that it's on the brink of destruction. Freedom Industries hit a state deadline Saturday to start scrapping its chemical storage headquarters. So far, crews have carved a small patch out of one tank to remove chemical remnants. there's no firm timeline for knocking down the tanks.

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Grass fires are popping up around the state as spring inches closer and people continue to ignore burn bans. Typically, burn bans are issued in the summer and fall months because the ground is dry and the temperatures are hot. But this time, Whitley County issued a burn ban in the middle of March but it wasn't because of the heat, it was because of the wind. The judge-executive says on average, around five brush fires are reported every week within the county.

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More than 2,500 students from around Kentucky were at the Galt House  in Louisville this weekend throwing out some brain-based fisticuffs during the 2014 Governor’s Cup state finals.Statewide there are more than 20,000 middle and high school students who participate in Governor’s Cup events including quick recall, future problem solving and written assessments in different subjects. The number was whittled down to about 2,500 for the finals at the Galt House Saturday through Monday.

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Morehead State University officials are hoping to build a new $50 million music and performance center. The new Music Academic and Performing Arts Education building would replace the campus' Laughlin Health Building and the Wetherby Gymnasium. The project missed the capital projects deadline for this year's legislative session. Andrews hopes to put it on the list for 2016.

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A woman’s hairstyle helped an Eastern Kentucky student win bragging rights Saturday in Louisville. Paul Keaton of Pikeville was the last speller standing at this year’s Kentucky Derby Festival spelling bee. He correctly spelled "chignon." 65 students represented 62 counties in Kentucky and southern Indiana took part in the event.