LOCAL NEWS

Friday February 28, 2014

Gov. Beshear has been at the forefront of pushing initiatives aimed at reducing tobacco consumption and improving the health of a state plagued by some of the nation's worst disease rates. The approximately $118 million investment by U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. will create 42 more jobs at its Hopkinsville plant, which now employs 90 full-time workers.
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For the fourth time and the third year in a row Brooke Saurer has advanced to the state spelling bee. Saurer, an eighth grader at Whitesburg Middle School, won the Letcher County District Spelling Bee Friday by correctly spelling the word “fastidious.” Last March, Saurer received a trophy, a $1,500 savings bond and a $25 Amazon gift card for placing fourth in the Kentucky Saurer won’t have as much free time as she would like to study spelling words. As a member of the Letcher County Central High School band, she will be playing clarinet during district and regional basketball tournaments.
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A frantic night for state troopers in Pike County. Two men are in the hospital following a stabbing and officer involved shooting. It all happened late Wednesday night in the Island Creek community. Kentucky State Police say the alleged suspect in the stabbing also threatened police with a gun...leading troopers to shoot James "Jim" Sallette.
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The founder of a Bible-themed museum who debated evolution with TV's "Science Guy" Bill Nye says fundraising after the widely watched event helped resurrect its stalled Noah's Ark project. Creation Museum founder Ken Ham says a municipal bond offering to fund the theme park attraction has raised enough money to begin construction on the 510-foot wooden ark.
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No one was injured when a Leslie County kindergarten student brought a gun to school earlier this month. The boy brought the gun to Mountain View Elementary in Hyden Feb. 12. A teacher's aide confiscated the gun which was not loaded immediately after the student pulled it out. Investigators believe the boy brought the .38 Smith & Wesson revolver to show his friends and had no intentions of hurting anyone.
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A Kentucky House panel has passed a measure saying minors shouldn't be allowed to use tanning beds. The bill would make exceptions for minors who have been prescribed the use of tanning beds by physicians. rising cases of skin cancer among young women, and recent regulations on tanning beds were the reasons for the bill.

Thursday February 27, 2014

 

An investigation is underway in Pike County following an officer involved shooting.  It happened just before midnight Thursday morning at a home in the Island Creek community, just outside the city of Pikeville.  The Kentucky State Police, who are in charge of the investigation, are not releasing much information at this time.  Trooper Shaun Little confirms the individual involved was taken to Pikeville Medical Center for gunshot wounds.   Police are not releasing the names of the trooper or the person involved at this time.  We are told troopers from other posts are being called in to help with the investigation. We will continue to follow this story and bring you the latest as we get it.
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Each of the two Pike County men charged with the New Year’s Day murder of Michael Hogg now faces three additional charges of attempted murder. The Letcher County Grand Jury added the “attempt to commit murder” charges to the cases against James Richard Huffman and Patrick Smith, the duo accused of stabbing Hogg to death during an altercation in downtown Whitesburg early on the morning of January 1. The charges are included in new indictments charging Huffman and Smith with murdering Hogg and assaulting three others.
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Morehead State University hosted the 15th annual Big Sandy Women's Business Symposium on Tuesday at Jenny Wiley State Park in Prestonsburg. Women and a few men from throughout the region gathered to listen to various speakers and participate in break out sessions. Organizers say the event started with about ten people and has grown into about one hundred people each year.

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Kentucky is not among the more than two-thirds of states that were rated as "high risk" for security problems related to its computers tapping into the federal health insurance exchange system.  The federal data hub is used to check Social Security, Internal Revenue Service and Homeland Security records to verify key personal information for determining coverage eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. Federal cybersecurity experts worry that the identified state computer systems could become a back door for hackers and identity thieves.
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June 3 will be the last day of the 2013-2014 school year for students unless Letcher County Public Schools miss more days. At its meeting Monday night, the Letcher County Board of Education approved taking the remaining two days of spring break. The board approved shortening spring break by three days at its January meeting. Classes will be in session March 3 –April 4. The board approved using disaster days if the state legislature approves it. Schools must miss at least 20 days to qualify.
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The Jenkins Independent Schools Board of Education voted at its February meeting to sell the McRoberts Elementary School building and to set June 2 as the closing date for the current school year. The board authorized Superintendent Deborah Watts to dispose of the property by selling it at bid. All bids will be subject to Kentucky Department of Education approval and the board will have the option to accept or reject any offers. The board also made a decision that will allow students in the Jenkins system to get out of school on June 2, if there are no more inclement weather days added to the school calendar.

 

Wednesday February 26, 2014

Kentucky is not among the more than two-thirds of states that were rated as "high risk" for security problems related to its computers tapping into the federal health insurance exchange system. The federal data hub is used to check Social Security, Internal Revenue Service and Homeland Security records to verify key personal information for determining coverage eligibility under the Affordable Care Act. Federal cybersecurity experts worry that the identified state computer systems could become a back door for hackers and identity thieves.
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A bill that would restrict the use of cell phones in Kentucky's school and construction zones has cleared its first panel Tuesday. Rep. Terry Mills, a Democrat from Lebanon, sponsored the bill. Mills says it would be illegal to initiate a call or input a phone number while in one of the "no phone zones." Current state law forbids texting while driving, but the bill would also increase fines for those found doing so.
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City officials in one Harlan County town say someone keeps shooting out the lights in the in the city park. Loyall city leaders say every time they get them fixed, someone shoots them out again. Loyall Police say city officials had the lights repaired in January and they are already shot out again. There is no known motive.
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Eastern Kentucky University has issued a public safety alert after a man was reportedly seen with a gun in Richmond Tuesday night. Richmond Police say they received a report of a man with a gun downtown, who was last seen heading north on Third Street. The man was reportedly driving a gray Dodge Neon. EKU officials say the public safety alert was issued as a precaution. The man had not been seen on campus.
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In Nicholas County, road crews will have to deal with the weather without any salt. The Judge Executive says the county will do all that can be done to keep the roads safe. The road department exhausted all of it's salt supply during the busy winter and they can't find more to restock their barn. Crews will try to wait and plow the snow off the roads instead. The road department has brought in several hundred tons of cinder, which they got for free from several coal companies.

Tuesday February 25, 2014

A bill passed by the Kentucky Senate on Monday would exempt home care workers from the state's seven-day overtime law. Under current Kentucky law, if an in-home caregiver works for seven consecutive days, the employer must pay time and a half on the seventh day. Bill sponsor Sen. Julie Denton, a Republican from Louisville, says the rule inhibits scheduling flexibility and can drive up employer costs. The measure received no opposition in its committee hearing or on the Senate floor.
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A western Kentucky man who lost his wife and eight children in a blaze last month says his faith in God is still strong. Chad Watson made some of his first public comments since the fire on Jan. 30 killed his wife, La Rae "Nikki" Watson, and eight of their children. Officials have said some type of combustible material fell against a baseboard heater in a bedroom. One child, 11-year-old Kylie Watson, survived. The father and daughter were hospitalized in Nashville, but returned home on Feb. 16.
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The body of a Johnson County soldier who died in Afghanistan returned home to the mountains Monday. Private First Class Joshua Gray had served overseas for about one month when officials say he died in a non combat incident at Bagram Airfield. Loved ones of 21-yea- old, Josh Gray, gathered to welcome their soldier home at Big Sandy Regional Airport along with men and women from throughout the state who make up the Patriot Guard.
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The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index indicates Kentucky is the second most miserable state in the nation. Neighboring West Virginia tops the list. According to the data, hunger and unhealthy habits play a big role in making Kentuckians so sad. The study shows this is not just an eastern Kentucky problem however. Statewide, less than 60 percent of Kentuckians said they ate well every day, which is the worst among all 50 states. In addition, about 30 percent of the state's residents are obese. That is the ninth highest in the nation.
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A Somerset man wanted in Florida for burglary charges was arrested on Sunday. Officials say 23 year old Kenneth Tannassee was wanted by the Lee County Florida Sheriff's Office. A check on Tannassee was made through the National Crime Information Center and was found in Somerset. He was wanted on burglary and grand theft charges.
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A public meeting is being held Tuesday in Ashland for a planned update to the Kentucky Statewide Rail Plan, a policy document that details freight and rail passenger operations and trends in the state. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says it and consulting firm Parsons Brinckerhoff have put together a team to update the plan. The purpose of the meeting is to gather feedback about rail issues and needs in Kentucky.

Monday February 24, 2014

A well known Kentucky businessman and philanthropist has passed away. Oscar Dawahare was the former co-owner, vice-president and head of operations for the department store chain Dawahares. He was also an avid philanthropist and supported numerous charitable organizations in his state, such as the Lexington Women's Club. He devoted 13 years helping to provide clothing for underprivileged children and the Wounded Warrior Project. Oscar was instrumental in the formation of the Dawahare Hall of Fame in association with the Kentucky High School Athletic Association.
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A reckless driver ran a deputy off the road in Laurel County. Sheriff's Deputies say early Saturday morning they were responding to a call of an intoxicated person who would not leave a home. On the way to the scene a car came in the opposite direction on Adams Road and traveled into the wrong lane, forcing a deputy to drive his cruiser completely off the road to avoid a head-on collision.A traffic stop was conducted and Mark Hampton was arrested for reckless driving. A passenger in the vehicle was arrested for alcohol intoxication.
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The Pike County coroner has confirmed that two people are dead following a car accident in Pike County. It happened on U.S. 460 in the Justiceville community. two vehicles were involved. two victims are husband and wife.The names of the victims have not been released.
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Family perishes in flooded creek. Whitley County Coroner Andy Croley says 39-year-old Shannon Kier, his wife, 29-year-old Susan and their son, 2-year-old Lee Isaac Patrick all of Jacksboro, Tennessee, were pronounced dead around 10:35 Saturday morning. Their vehicle was found Saturday morning by a relative when the creek waters receded.
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While many are enjoying this weekends' warmer weather, the higher temperatures created a bit of a mess in parts of Eastern Kentucky. A Floyd County mudslide caught some drivers off guard Saturday morning. The slide on KY 850 near the town of David blocked one lane of traffic, and cause quite a mess. Some folks in Floyd County say they've seen more mudslides this year than they can ever remember, and they're ready to deal with even more with the changing weather.
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At the Capitol, a bill is turning heads, but on the barstools it's a bill that's scratching heads. The bill would allow gun owners with a conceal carry license to carry inside a place that sells alcohol, with the condition that the gun owner not drink.