EXPANSION OF PIKEVILLE PLANT NECESSARY
Officials in Pikeville say their wastewater treatment plant is currently running at about 92 percent capacity. With many other projects on the horizon like a new shopping center and optometry school .... they say expanding their service is necessary. The city is one step closer to having the funding for the multi-million dollar project. Pikeville is receiving millions in loan and grant money for the new plant, which officials say will allow the area to continue growing. The new plant will serve more than 3,000 homes and businesses in Pikeville and Coal Run.
JOB FAIR IN PIKEVILLE
Dozens of laid off miners attended a job fair in Pikeville on Tuesday. 'Hiring Our Miners Everyday' along with the Kentucky Coal Association hosted the event for White Oak Resources. Representatives from White Oak were on hand to take applications for underground jobs available in Illinois. Officials say while the coal economy is struggling in Eastern Kentucky, they want to help those unemployed find work ... even if it means relocating.
BELL COUNTY MEMORIAL DAY ROBBERY
A Bell County man is facing robbery and other charges for trying to steal a woman's purse. Bell County Sheriff's Deputies say on Monday night, 33-year-old Donnie Wayne Smith used force while trying to take a woman's purse at a building on Old Pineville Pike. Deputies say when he got to jail, he tried to smuggle drugs in. In addition to robbery, he also faces drug and promoting contraband charges.
Breathitt County is finally getting rock blasting plans underway after years of planning. For several years, rocks like these have fallen on or near the road. Elkins said the nearly four million dollar repairs will serve the community well. Weather permitting, the road should reopen by December. construction, which started Tuesday on the Highway 15 Bypass in Hazard, is supposed to last about two weeks.
EMERGENCY MONEY APPLIED FOR IN PIKE COUNTY
The Pike County Fiscal Court unanimously moved to apply for a $54,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. County officials say the money would be used to buy equipment that can monitor air quality in emergencies like last month's tunnel fire. The creosote-laden fumes from the Robinson Creek tunnel fire have been a concern since the flames started April 26th.
UK RAZING BUILDINGS
The University of Kentucky plans to proceed with razing eight buildings over the summer to make way for new construction. The move comes despite some objections from preservationists, who have noted that some of the buildings are historic and iconic. The school expects to spend $4 million to demolish buildings including Hamilton House, which was built in 1880, and Wenner-Gren Research Laboratory, which housed UK's early aeronautic research.
DRIVER RUNS CHECKPOINT IN NEON & ALMOST HITS OFFICER
Neon Police say one of their officers was nearly hit head on when a drunk driver ran through a safety checkpoint Friday Night. Officers say around 11:30 p.m. 25 year old Dianah Lynn Wyatt approached the checkpoint on Highway 805 near Cromona, stepped on the gas and forced Officer Tim Miller to jump for safety.Officers stopped her about one and a half miles down the road and placed her under arrest. She is charged with driving under the influence, wanton endangerment and no insurance.
FREAK ATV ACCIDENT IN BELL COUNTY KILLS MAN
A Mount Vernon man died in what some people call a freak accident Friday. We are told it all happened while Jesse McFerron was trying to help someone get their ATV unstuck at The Wilderness Trail off Road Park in Bell County. That is when officials say the winch and tow being used snapped under tension and whipped back hitting McFerron in the back of the head. He was taken to Pineville Community Hospital where the coroner pronounced him dead.
WHITESBURG MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE
As 21 shots rang out in downtown Whitesburg, folks gathered to honor veterans past and present. And while many took the day off with friends and family, the crowd attended the ceremony to remember. Veterans stood at attention through prayer, speeches, and song among those for whom they fought for. Some vets say they hope to include the younger generation in their close-knit brotherhoods.
CLICK IT OR TICKET THROUGH JUNE 1ST
Kentucky State Police are out enforcing their "Click It or Ticket" campaign. Over a two week span, troopers will aggressively target drivers who choose not to wear seat belts or use child safety restraints. Getting caught will leave you with a $25 dollar fine, but not getting caught could cost even more. Last year during the four day holiday weekend, seven people were killed on Kentucky roads. The "Click It or Ticket" enforcement campaign runs through June 1st.
JACKSON COUNTY ACCIDENT
A Richmond man is dead after a crash in Jackson County on Sunday. Jackson County Coroner Melvin Lakes says Jeffrey Cramer, 40, of Richmond, was killed when the truck he was in went airborne across Highway 421 and struck an embankment. Cramer was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene. speed is considered a factor in the accident.
HOARDING IN CORBIN
Corbin city leaders are cracking down on a hoarding situation in town. They gave Lawrence Johnson 20 days to clean up his house. Friends are helping him clear off his property. The outside of the home has defined Johnson in recent years, but there's much more to his story. He's from Hungary and came to America after his family's bakery was taken away. The goal is to remove the house and everything else on the property, leaving only a patch of grass behind. Johnson has until June 6 to clean up the property.
WESTERN KY PLANE CRASH
Officials in western Kentucky say a father and son were injured when their small plane crash landed on the shoulder of the Pennyrile Parkway in Hopkinsville. 58-year-old Mike Creed, the pilot, and 20-year-old Benjamin Creed of Hopkinsville took off in the Piper airplane shortly before the crash Thursday. when the plane began to lose altitude, the pilot decided to return to the local airport but couldn't make it and attempted an emergency landing on the parkway.
WEST VA CHEMICAL SPILL UPDATE
Health officials thought their safe level for consuming a chemical spilled into the water supply would have protected West Virginians from other modes of contact. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official says drinking contaminated water was the primary exposure and was associated with the most significant health effects. So, officials thought their safe drinking water level would protect against other exposures, like skin contact and breathing fumes. The January spill sullied tap water for 300,000 people.
STORMS CAUSE MAJOR POWER OUTAGE FOR LESLIE COUNTY
Wednesday nights thunderstorm left quite the mess for folks in Leslie County to deal with. Broken trees caused downed power lines in the Wendover area and throughout the county. Workers say once that line is fixed more than 400 customers should have power. Officials predict most of Leslie County to have electricity by now.
PIKE COUNTY MAN DEAD AFTER FREAK MOWING ACCIDENT
A Pike County man died after what officials call a freak accident. Johnny Shumate was cutting grass along Gardner Fork near Shelbiana when the deck of his utility lawnmower hit a rock, causing him to overturn. We are told the tractor then rolled about 150 feet over an embankment.
I-75 TRAFFIC ALERT
A traffic alert to those who travel I-75 in Whitley County. Beginning this morning the northbound right lane will close until noon around mile marker 14. Transportation officials say they will be making pavement repairs. You are asked to drive with caution and pay attention to signs and crews.
BREATHITT COUNTY INTENTIONAL SCHOOL FIRE
Officials say a 13 year old boy intentionally set a fire at a Breathitt County Middle School. We are told the teen set the fire in a bathroom stall at Sebastian Middle School Students were evacuated for a period of time to get smoke out of the school. The child was taken into custody and parents were notified.
Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell on Wednesday challenged his fall Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes to three debates, pitting his 30 years of policy experience against Kentucky's first-term secretary of state. At a campaign stop on Wednesday, Grimes said she would welcome the debates with McConnell. The GOP Senate leader sent a letter to Grimes inviting her to three Lincoln-Douglas style debates "without an audience, without props, and without notes."
LETCHER COUNTY ELECTION
Most of Letcher County’s current officeholders moved a step closer to another four-year term after Tuesday’s primary election. In one of the most closely watched races, incumbent Property Valuation Administrator Randy Hall defeated Randy Blair by a margin of 792 votes. Sheriff Danny Webb easily won the Democratic nomination over challengers Randall Adams, Jon Hall and Ellis Keyes.
WHITESBURG BIKE NITE BACK ON
Organizers of Whitesburg’s monthly “Bike Nite” say they have obtained the permit necessary to continued holding the event on Main Street. Donna Halcomb, spokesperson for the Bike Nite committee said she was handed the permit while visiting the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s District 12 office in Pikeville Tuesday afternoon. Halcomb and other members of the Bike Nite committee attended the May meeting of the city council last week after being told by city officials the committee would have to have a permit from the state in order to continue blocking a portion of Main Street for the event.
JEFFERSON COUNTY SCHOOLS AUDIT
A state audit of Kentucky's largest school system found a bloated administration that has left classrooms resources limited. The audit report released Wednesday made more than 200 recommendations for improvement at Jefferson County Public Schools. The audit found that JCPS ranked highest among them in school administration, support staff and instructional aides while ranking at or near the bottom in spending for instruction and teacher staffing.
KSP TROOPER AND LETCHER COUNTY NATIVE HONORED
A Letcher County native who is an 18-year veteran with the Kentucky State Police has been honored for the bravery he exhibited during an armed standoff with a man in Pulaski County who had shot and killed his wife. KSP Trooper First Class Chris Ison was awarded a “Citation of Bravery” for his actions during the August 2012 standoff that led to the successful capture of Timothy Hislope.
FOOD STAMP USAGE UP IN LETCHER COUNTY
The use of food stamps in Letcher County increased during the recession, assisting families in stretching their food dollars, contributing to local spending and helping spark a national debate about the future of the federal nutrition program. The proportion of Letcher County residents receiving food stamps hit 29.8 percent in 2011. Nationally, 14.8 percent of the population receives SNAP benefits.
On Kentucky's 2014 Primary Election Day, some incumbents struggled across the region. Incumbent Wayne T. Rutherford, working to seek his 7th term as county judge lost to Bill Deskins. Deskins held the county judge position for one term from 2003 to 2007. Deskins will run unopposed in November. Longtime Perry County Judge Executive Denny Ray Noble will not be moving on to the general election in the fall. Former Representative Scott Alexander defeated Noble by more than 1,500 votes. Alexander will face Republican Candidate Eddie Campbell in the fall. There will be a new sheriff in Harlan County next year. Incumbent Marvin Lipfird lost in the Democrat primary. Retired Kentucky State Police Captain Leslie "Smitty" Smith won the democrat primary by nearly 1500 votes and will move on to November to face Jayson Howard from the GOP Party. The Attorney General’s Election Fraud Hotline received a total of 205 calls with 210 issues reported on Tuesday. 2 calls complaints came from Letcher County. One for Electioneering within 300’ of Polls and the other for General Election Fraud or other. The largest number of calls came from Breathitt County, where there were seven reports of vote buying out of 13 calls total. Vote buying was also reported in Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knott, Lee, Pike and Wayne counties. Daniel Kemp said their office will thoroughly review each complaint for possible criminal violations.If an investigation is deemed necessary it will be referred to the appropriate agency.
Coal miners and industry leaders heard first hand Tuesday how a new coal dust rule will change operations inside Eastern Kentucky mines. It’s one of the biggest rulings in the history of coal mining and one that’s divided those within the industry. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joseph Main spoke at the meeting held at Hazard Community and Technical College. The new coal dust rule requires more sampling so officials can get an accurate picture of the air quality in and around mines.
A sexting controversy in Eastern Kentucky has several female high school students from Lawrence County at the center of it all. School officials said the racy photos, which could be considered child pornography, made their way on to the social media outlet Instagram. But they were quickly removed. That's a lesson students at Lawrence County High School have taken to heart. This comes after a sexting incident involving students last week. School leaders said they don't believe the post happened at school.
A fight between brothers in the Coal Branch area of Logan County ended Monday in gunfire, West Virginia State Police. Troopers said Gary Belcher, 45, of Whitman, was shot twice in the arm. His brother Jonathan Belcher, 35, of Mount Gay, was arrested shortly afterward. He faces a couple of charges, including malicious wounding.
A 10-year-old girl is facing life-threatening injuries after she was hit by a car in Scott County. Our crews at the scene say they've learned the girl lives on the street where it happened, on U.S. 460 near the Bourbon/Scott County line. She was rushed to UK Children's Hospital, where she is listed in critical condition.