LOCAL NEWS

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.

 

Friday December 6, 2013

We are following a breaking story out of Letcher County. Officials say a man has been found dead near the Little Shepherd Trail on US 119 in Whitesburg, on the Pine Mountain Overlook.  The Coroner got the call around 2 p.m. Thursday afternoon. No word yet on who it is or what the situation that lead to this is.
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The suspended fire chief in Cumberland is now facing charges. A Harlan County grand jury indicted 66-year-old Fess Eldridge on charges of theft by deception and abuse of public trust. State police arrested Eldridge on Tuesday. The indictment says in 2012, Eldridge deposited several checks totaling $2,452.00 into his personal account that were made out to two other members of the fire department. Officials say the checks were for training but the two firefighters did not attend.
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High school football fans are keeping a close eye on the forecast. The state championship games begin this afternoon in Bowling Green. The KHSAA and its member institutions as well as everyone involved in the hosting of these games urge all involved to make carefully considered decisions regarding attendance at the games and to exercise caution. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for most of the state on Friday.
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Winter weather is on its way to Kentucky, and the Bluegrass Chapter of the American Red Cross urges residents to take steps now to stay safer when severe weather threatens.
He are some helpful safety temps to consider as winter weather approaches. Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.  Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
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Two people were arrested Tuesday in Knox County after police say they found drugs while pulling the two over. Eddie Carroll, 50 years old, and Beverly Hoskins, 42 years old, were found with a hidden container under the vehicle they were driving. The container had Oxycodone pills and Xanax tablets. The traffic stop was a result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Special Investigations. Both were charged with trafficking controlled substances.

Thursday December 5, 2013

Despite coal industry layoffs and a high unemployment rate, both school districts in Letcher County have yet to see a dramatic decrease in student enrollment. Letcher County Public Schools is down seven students from the beginning of the 2013–2014 school year. The district had an enrollment of 3,223 in August and 3,216 at the end of the third month of school.  Letcher County’s unemployment rate for August was 14.9 percent. District administrators anticipate student enrollment numbers to decline as parents move elsewhere in search of jobs.
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Police say a 20-year-old Roxana man was burning copper near his residence when police arrived to serve outstanding warrants. Alvin Slone, 20, of 2708 Mill Branch Road, was arrested Nov. 26 and charged with violating probation. Slone was also charged with receiving stolen property. In January, Slone was indicted on charges of stealing computers, jewelry and other items belonging to Kevin Day, general manager of WTCW-AM and WXKQ-FM, and his family.
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The Jenkins Independent School System on sound financial footing with good financial practices, auditors Wallace Smallwood and Madgell Miller reported to the Jenkins Board of Education last week. The system’s total net position as of June 31, 2013 stood at $1,440,437 and the positive net change was $25,962. Smallwood told the board they had carefully examined the relationship between the board and the Jenkins Educational Foundation and found no issues, but both Miller and Smallwood told the board members to continue to be careful in monitoring activity funds.
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An early morning fire destroyed one Floyd County home Wednesday. It happened on Route 850 in the David community just before 4:00 a.m. Officials are not sure what caused the fire. The homeowner says the fire destroyed everything they had. All three family members say because of their smoke detectors they were able to get out unharmed.
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The chairman of the Letcher County Board of Education is concerned that a board policy limits the amount of days students stay overnight on eighth-grade trips while other school groups take lengthier trips. The Cowan Elementary School dance team’s to travel to Orlando, Fla., on March 30 to perform at Disney World has been approved by the board. The group will return to Letcher County on April 4. Supt. Tony Sergent said that three years ago the board approved a policy to gradually reduce the number of days spent overnight during an eighth-grade trip in order to make fundraising efforts fair for all schools in the district.
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Middlesboro Police say the Christmas shopping season has brought an increase of shoplifting cases. Middlesboro Police say the increase in shoplifting started a few days before Thanksgiving and keeps going up. Now police and store employees are keeping an even closer eye on the merchandise. Wednesday afternoon, Middlesboro police say Kroger employees caught two people shoplifting items in the store. Police arrested the man and woman.olice say they have made similar shoplifting arrests in town almost everyday since the beginning of last week.