LOCAL NEWS

Friday December 13, 2013

A forum with northern Kentucky's mayors will explore a proposed constitutional amendment that would give Kentucky cities and counties the authority to impose a local sales tax.The Kenton Mayors Group will offer information to the region's elected officials, who may consider asking the General Assembly to allow a vote on the constitutional change in November. Under current Kentucky law, cities and counties are not allowed to impose sales taxes. But some officials say it's necessary to raise money for local projects when state funding is unavailable.
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High water in city streets is once again a concern for the Fleming- Neon City Council, but this time the culprit is the heavy rains and snow that have fallen on Letcher County for the past few days. Mayor Susan Polis told the council that water standing in the street near the site of the old Maynard Hogg Gulf Station was probably the result of the large amount of rain that has fallen recently and said the situation in Fleming is the same. Mayor Polis said she will speak with the Kentucky Department of Highways to see if there is a solution for the situation in Fleming, where water tends to settle in low spots and create hazardous driving conditions when temperatures fall.
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A U.S. District Court Judge in Pikeville has denied the motion of Arch Coal Inc. to dismiss a personal injury lawsuit filed by Letcher County coal miner Jarrod Sergent and his wife Linda. Sergent lives at Deane with his wife and four children. He was severely injured in a rock fall at ICG Knott County’s Kathleen mine on September 19, 2011, which resulted in the amputation of his left leg below the knee. Since the accident, Sergent has undergone several surgeries because of problems with his prosthetic leg.
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The Little Shepherd Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will hold its annual Rabbit Hunt for Kids on Saturday, Dec. 28. The group will meet at Raymond Brown’s building just below the Dry Fork Gas Station at 6:30 a.m. After the hunt, the group will go to the Shriners’ building to eat and then to the county park to shoot clay pigeons. There is no charge and all children 17 and younger are welcome. Children should be accompanied by an adult and should wear hunter orange. No hunting licenses are required.
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Drenda Crider, who has established a lengthy career in the hotel and leisure industry, has been chosen to lead several of the area’s notable tourist sites. The Harlan native has been hired as Director of External Education at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, and with the job she will be in charge of overseeing the day-to-day operation of the Benham School House Inn, the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum and the Portal 31 Mine Tour.
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It is that time of year again! A time when most of us are getting ready for big holiday meals and feeling full. God's Pantry Food Bank just opened a new distribution center in London and they are hoping to help make sure we all have something to eat this Christmas. The Southeast Region Distribution Center services 11 counties, including: Bell, Clay, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Leslie, McCreary, Pulaski, Rockcastle and Whitley counties.

Thursday December 12, 2013

 

One person is dead after a two-car crash Wednesday in Knott County. The wreck happened at the intersection of KY-160 and KY-15 near the Red Fox community. Witnesses at the scene advise that a black Pontiac car was on KY-160 and had pulled out onto 15 in the path of a silver Honda traveling north on 15. The driver of the black Pontiac, Jenny Watts, 18, of Isom was pronounced dead at the scene. Her passenger, Dustin Bradshaw, 20, of Isom, went to the hospital in a personal car for treatment of minor injuries.
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Officials with the Hazard Fire Department have confirmed that a missing child has been located in the Cherokee Hills Community of Perry County. The Hazard Police Department and the Perry County Sheriff's Office also helped search for the child.
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A Pike County man charged with murder entered a not guilty plea yesterday afternoon. Ervin Smallwood is charged with murder in the death of Gregory Todd Martin. Martin was found unresponsive at his Harless Creek Home back in November. Smallwood's next court date is scheduled for February 7th.
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State police say a shooting injured one man in Knox County. Police say it happened on Pruitt Road in the Woodbine area just before 5:00 yesterday afternoon. Police say the shooting victim is 50-year-old Chris Dinkins of Corbin. Police say he was flown to UK Hospital in Lexington. Police say Dinkins was in his mini-van in the driveway of a home when a person at the home shot Dinkins in the face. A 16-year-old boy was also in the mini-van but police say he was not injured.
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A fire destroyed a Floyd County house Wednesday afternoon. It happened just off U.S. 23 in the Dwale (da-well)community near Allen. Friends of the people who live in the home say they are safe. They also say the couple bought the house less than two months ago. Four nearby fire departments responded to the fire--Allen VFD, Middle Creek VFD, Betsy Layne VFD, and Prestonsburg FD. They say the fire spread so quickly their water supply could not keep up, forcing them to drive up and down the narrow road to fill their tanks at a nearby hydrant. At this time there are no reports of any injuries.
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Investigators in Virginia are ruling a women's death suspicious after a fire at her Dickenson County home. Firefighters say it happened Friday, just before 11pm at a trailer off Camp Jacob Road, just outside of Clintwood. Mary Maggard, 70, died in the fire and was the only one home at the time. they are ruling Maggard's death suspicious, but would not specify why. Maggard's body has been sent off for an autopsy and police are now waiting on test results.

 

Wednesday December 11, 2013

Officials are searching for a missing Pike County woman. Bertha Wolford (pictured) was last seen on Friday in the Majestic Community. Phelps Fire Department and Pike County Emergency Management officials have been searching the area for her. Fire department officials say they have had a good response from the community trying to help find her.  They are asking everyone in the area to keep an eye out for her and call police if you have any information.
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Newly released numbers from the Kentucky budget office show tax collections were up in November. State Budget Director Jane Driskell said Tuesday that General Fund revenue increased 2.4 percent for the month, generating revenue of nearly $803 million. Driskell called the latest revenue figures encouraging. Individual income tax collections rose 6 percent for the month, a sign of fatter paychecks for Kentucky workers. Property tax revenue was up 8.1 percent.
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Police say it was an unusual heist. They say a couple spent one night at a Harlan County motel and then stole nearly everything inside their room. The theft was caught on video at the Mount Aire Motel. Now police need your help finding the culprits. Surveillance video from the Mount Aire Motel shows a man and woman checking in on December 3rd. They stayed one night. Police know who they are because the motel employees got copies of their driver's licenses at check-in. Police say the woman is 37-year-old Crystal Craig of Pathfork, and the man is 43-year old John Rutherford. He has a Michigan address.
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The Harlan County Sheriff's Department arrested a man on sex abuse charges. The arrest citation says 41-year-old Marcus Halcomb abused a 16-year-old girl on Thanksgiving Day in Harlan. The arrest citation says Halcomb admitted to deputies he sexually abused the girl. Deputies believe he also abused her another time earlier this year. Halcomb is in the Harlan County Detention Center.
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Salvation Army officials got a big surprise when they opened a red kettle in Owensboro to count donations. a 2004 Liberty gold coin was found wrapped inside a $10 bill. It was found in a kettle that had been outside a Kroger store on Saturday. The Salvation Army reported last week that it has received more than 400 gold coins in kettles across the nation over three decades. The first was found in Crystal Lake, Ill., in 1982.
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The numbers are in for the Kentucky Kids Count county rankings on child well-being. The index shows a need for stronger investments in Kentucky’s children. Counties that show the most room for improvement include Owsley, Knox, Martin and Clay. The study focused on four major indicators: economic security, health, family and community strength and education. As part of an effort to encourage early success in the classroom, Clay County schools incorporate the nation-wide program “Early Steps to School Success” into their curriculum.

 

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.