Monday 11-2-15

There’s a new option in town if you get sick on Sunday’s.  People in Letcher County used to only have two options on Sunday: go to the emergency room, or wait until Monday.  The Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation and Appalachian Regional Healthcare will now be open on Sunday’s from 1pm til 6 pm.  The healthcare provider using those Sunday hours to promote colon cancer screenings.  While Dr. David Terwilliger says they’d like to see everyone over 50 in the county screened.

Open enrollment for Kynect is underway. This year, Kynect leaders say there are more options for families to choose from. If you already have Kynect, you must re-enroll to continue your coverage. The enrollment period closes January 31st.

More than 300 jobs are coming to southwest Virginia and recruiters are looking for locals to fill those positions. TeleTech is hoping to fill full-time customer-service openings at a new location in Weber City. The company will hold several hiring events this week.The job fairs will run Monday, Nov. 2 through Thursday, Nov. 5 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Virginia Workforce Connection in Norton.

UK head coach Mark Stoops says his Kentucky Wildcats need to man up.  He says after the 52-21 loss to the Tennessee volunteers they need to find a way to get better before playing Georgia last week.  They’re coming off a blowout loss to florida.

High school marching bands across the state competed in a championship Saturday. The Hazard Band of Gold was among many bands to compete in Bowling Green. Hazard placed fourth in the state in the 1A division. The band followed behind Beechwood, Murray, and Williamstown. One band member said this was a great accomplishment. 

The University of Pikeville will begin the new year with a new president — Burton Webb, PhD. Dr. Webb was chosen recently by the UPike Board of Regents, and will take over Jan. 1 from Chancellor Paul Patton.

Letcher County Clerk Winston Meade nnnot optimistic about voter turnout numbers tomorrow.  He says negative campaigning in statewide races, and no local offices on the ballot will  cause the lowest voter turnout in the 17 years he’s been county clerk.  Absentee voting  in the county was very low.  If that trend holds, Clerk Meade could be right.

Both candidates seeking the 7th District Supreme Court seat in Eastern Kentucky are experienced judges, but their experience is very different. Janet L. Stumbo, who is on the Kentucky Court of Appeals, has served 24 years on that court and the state Supreme Court. Her opponent, Samuel T. Wright III, the circuit judge in Letcher County, has been on the bench more than 23 years, first as a district judge for a short time but mostly in his current position.

With Veterans Day a little over a week away, the Veterans Referral Center held their 9th annual telethon.  The fundraiser supports the center's needs for the entire year. The telethon  at the Paintsville Recreation Center raises money to keep them going.  . 

A portion of Big Hollow Road in Sullivan County will be closed starting today.The Sullivan County Highway Department will be repairing a portion of Big Hollow Road to strengthen the shoulder. Big Hollow Road will reopen when repairs are complete

Keeneland was packed with a record attendance of about 50,100 people Saturday. They were all there for the Breeders Cup, and got a real treat as triple crown winner American pharaoh became grand slam winner American pharaoh.  Just a few minutes after he won the classic by six lengths he retired to stud at Coolmore Farms in Versailles. 

Wednesday 10-28-15

The Prestonsburg Police Department is making some changes after one of their officers was shot one week ago. Officer Adam Dixon was not wearing a bullet proof vest when he was shot last week, a decision the Prestonsburg Assistant Police Chief says was his to make.  Now they’re changing that policy requiring every officer to wear and be trained in bullet proof vests.  Both Assistant Police Chief, Gerald Clark and Sheriff John Hunt say they are guilty of not always wearing one, one reason being the heat, but Both agree no reason is worth risking your life. Dixon has been released from the hospital and will be okay.

Republican candidate for governor Matt Bevin made a campaign stop in Hazard. Bevin spoke to people at France's Diner in Hazard. While Eastern Kentucky tends to vote Democrat in state elections, Bevin says he hopes people will vote their values, not their party. Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced record voter registration ahead of the November 3rd election.

A Perry County man charged with attempted murder in connection to a shooting went before a judge yesterday.  Terry Newman, 53, has pleaded not guilty to shooting Chasidy Miniard in the arm. Miniard suffered non life-threatening injuries. Newman said in an interview from jail the shooting was an accident.  The grand jury will decide whether to indict Newman.

Alice Lloyd College is receiving positive attention for a new flag on campus.  The college posted a status on Facebook saying they put up a new Christian flag at the center of campus. The flag stands alongside the American flag, the Kentucky flag, and the Alice Lloyd College flag. President Joe Stepp says he’s happy to get such a positive response.

Good numbers of deer across the state coupled with a cool and wet summer and sub-par mast production means big harvest numbers Gabe Jenkins, deer and elk program coordinator with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources says early returns have been very good.  Archery hunters, youth hunters, and muzzleloaders all brought in more than expected so far this season

22 year old Bobby Snell is charged with murder, assault first degree, assault second degree and DUI. State Police troopers say Snell lost control and his car ended on its top and the three people riding with him along the side of the road. They said Shirley France, a nurse, tried to comfort the most severely injured, 18 year old Caitlin Simpkins, she later died.  Brandon and Justin Collins both survived the crash. Investigators said Snell admitted to driving under the influence the night of the crash. The grand jury will decide whether to indict Snell. If they do the case will then head to circuit court.   commonwealth's attorney John Hansen said right now he is unsure if he will seek the death penalty.

Danville police say a Danville Schoole system volunteer and youth director at Gethsemane Baptist Church is charged with with promoting sexual performance by a minor, unlawful transaction with a minor and portraying a police officer.  an investigation was launched into 28 year old Bobby Cassady  after the 17-year-old boy told police about "suspicious activity." That investigation led them to a 15-year-old boy who sent Cassady pictures and improper text messages over the next year.  The pastor at Gethsemane Baptist says the allegations are troubling based on the man they hired two years ago to work with their young people.  It’s not clear if the victims were members of the church youth group or Danville high school students or neither.

The Harlan County Board of Education has approved a three-year contract to Superintendent Mike Howard, whose current three-year deal ends in June. The offer was approved during the board’s recent special meeting,

A 43 year-old Martin County woman who police say was driving on the wrong side of the road died on Monday afternoon when her vehicle collided with a semi-truck. After hitting the semi-truck police say Hensley's vehicle left the roadway, overturned multiple times and rolled down an embankment. Police say Hensley who was not wearing a seat belt died at the scene of the collision, alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor to the crash.

Tuesday 10-27-15

A Letcher County man is accused of pulling a hunting knife on police after leading them on a chase. Officer Justin Luttrell responded to the BP gas station in downtown Harlan after a caller complained Smith used a knife to threaten two other people. Luttrell chased Gregory Smith through nearby yards, eventually cornering him.  That’s when smith pulled a knife causing the officer to draw his weapon.  Body camera footage shows Smith's arrest and the moments before and after.  He’s charged with attempted assault of a police officer and is also facing drug charges because police found a bag full of pills in his mouth.

Pikeville movie theater, Riverfill Ten says their safe was stolen in a burglary.  Officer Tony Conn says there was signs of force entry and deveral items were missing. An undisclosed amount of cash,  and two were taken.  Police say once caught those responsible will be facing felony theft along with criminal mischief charges for the damage caused while breaking into the theater. Riverfill officials are offering a one-thousand dollar reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Triple Crown champion American Pharoah was made the early 6-5 favorite Monday in a field of 10 for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic, the last race of his career. The colt will break from the No. 4 post on Saturday at Keeneland. He is 6 for 7 this year, and is coming off a loss in the Travers two months ago. American Pharoah is scheduled to arrive in Kentucky today.

Harlan County native, Jordan Smith, will be moving on to the live rounds of NBC’s the Voice singing competition.  The Harlan County High School grad won a knockout round singing Adele’s Set fire to the rain.  Smith says the best part of the win was getting to watch it with all of his friends and family in Harlan. 

After more than a decade of requesting a veterans cemetery is coming to Southeastern Kentucky.   Leslie County Judge Executive Jimmy Sizemore says through the local, state and federal government they’ve received $6 million grant for the  Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Southeast. " The cemetery will be located along Kentucky Highway 118, or the Hyden spur.

Police in Nicholasville are investigating after they say two suspects broke into an unmarked Lexington Police cruiser and stole four guns and ammunition. The theft happened early Monday morning. Police say the Lexington Police officer, who lives in Jessamine County, woke up and saw two people leaving the area where his cruiser was parked. He discovered that four guns and his ammo had been taken. Nicholasville Police believe this was a targeted incident. Lexington Police are working on getting serial numbers to identify weapons.

The Floyd County man accused of shooting a police officer, which led to a standoff with police, is out of the hospital and was in court Monday. Robert powers is accused of shooting Prestonsburg Police Officer, Adam Dixon , then barricaded himself in a home off Abbott Creek. After a more than five hour stand off powers was arrested and transported to the hospital.  Assistant County Attorney, Tyler Green says He was arraigned on charges of attempted murder of a police officer and flagrant non support. Powers pleaded not guilty to both charges and a preliminary hearing is set for November Second.

A Whitley County foster parents faces endangering the welfare of a minor charges after teens were found drinking at her house. Deputies arrested Paige Brown, after they say someone tipped them off that teenagers were drinking.Officers found two teenagers in the home drunk.  they were so concerned one teen was taken to the hospital.

ACT scores for Harlan High School students.Continue to outpace students from across the state on the ACT exam given each year, students at Harlan High School have an average composite score of 21.7 compared to a 20.0 from students across Kentucky. This is the school’s second highest composite score over the last five years.

Shoplifting is becoming a big problem in downtown Hazard.  Wildcat Wearhouse Manager Chrissy Napier says she’s gotten good at noticing the signs of a shoplifter including having an oversized bag and not making eye contact.   The Hazard Police Department says they receive 10 shoplifting-related calls per week. Police say those numbers only increase around the holidays, especially at stores like Walmart or Dollar General. Stores are already preparing staff for the holiday season and for possible shoplifting.

Monday 10-26-15

By Kristen Thoburn

Four inmates at the Pike County jail have been charged with felony assault after beating another inmate earlier this month.Pike County Jailer Freddie Lewis says Inmates, Larry Kendrick, James Rowe, Derek Nunemaker, and Adam Charles beat inmate Matthew Dotson after they heard he was in jail for child molestation.  in fact Dotson was in for theft, and has since been released.

Police are investigating after a double shooting in Pulaski County. It happened around 11:30pm Saturday at a home on Scenic Vista Drive in Somerset. Firefighters say two men were shot after an argument. According to firefighters both men had to be airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center. The shooting remains under investigation by Kentucky State Police.

In the final debate before the election next week Kentucky's nominiees for governor proved how different they are. Republican nominee Matt Bevin said he would legalize marijuana for medical purposes while Democrat Jack Conway called it a dangerous gateway to addiction during a televised debate at Eastern Kentucky University. Conway asked bevin to explain why he has said he will immediately reverse the expansion of Kentucky's medicaid program.  Bevin said Kentucky simply cant afford the program.   when it comes to recent school shootings Bevin said college professors should carry guns and be trained to defend their classrooms, Conway said the answer is not more guns.

There is an active search for a suspect that shot at a police officer in Putnam County, Tenn. Officers believe 62-year-old Floyd Ray Cook was then involved in a shootout with officers in the Burkesville area with a KSP officer shortly after the initial shooting in Algood that started after a traffic stop. KSP say they are actively searching for the man and should be considered armed and dangerous.Cook was last seen driving a black Ford F-150 truck with a KY license plate number 091HCS.   The officer shot was wearing a bullet proof vest and is expected to be ok.

A man who police say is a person of interest in his father's death is now booked in the Pulaski County jail charged with murder. 56 year old Edward Vanwormer was reported missing on September 15th. The search led police to find a body on his property. Police say Edward was shot to death outside of his home.  At the time police says his 26 year old son Jebediah and Jebediah's girlfriend were persons of interest.  he was transferred to the Pulaski County Jail from a jail in North Carolina.

A man accused of stealing millions of dollars from his job in Kentucky, who then eluded federal authorities for more than 6 years until he was caught in southwest Virginia, has pleaded guilty to committing a crime.  James Hammes originally pleaded not guilty to stealing 8.7 million dollars from his employer , G&J Pepsi cola bottlers over an 11 year period.  After six years on the run he was caught in may.   He is currently in the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service and will now await a sentencing hearing.

A Leslie county school is teaching a long lost art, woodworking.  Teacher Victor Pennington's class everything from trim work to framing and roofing. , the students practice the art of carpentry building everything from dog houses to picnic tables. As part of the program, students can become certified in carpentry. The certificate is through the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) and the certificate never
expires.  Pennington says with the mining industry declining he's hoping he helps at least one or two kids find a new path to follow.  The program is even taking special orders from the public.

Tuesday 10-20-15

By Kristen Thoburn

Police say Harlan County magistrate James Howard abused his authority by issuing checks to a company, for which he is a manager and major stock-holder. The allegations are in relation to five separate checks which police say, were issued in 2009 and 2010 to the company he manages, LP energy. Howard is charged with misuse of confidential information, and abuse of public trust, under $10,000. Howard says he hasn’t done anything wrong, and an investigation will prove that.

A Perry County man charged with murder in connection to a car crash pleaded not guilty Monday. Police believe Bobby Snell, 22, was driving under the influence Thursday morning and caused a crash that killed Caitlin Simpkins, 18. Snell will be back in court October 27 for a preliminary hearing.

Police say 61-year-old Tommy Reeves was found dead in a Barbourville river. Reeves was reported missing to the Knox County Sheriff’s Department by his girlfriend after he went missing on October 4. According to Kentucky State Police, an autopsy is pending, but preliminary results indicate Reeves died from cardiovascular problems. The death is still under investigation.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Matt Bevin made two stops in Eastern Kentucky Monday. He met with members of the chamber of commerce before stopping at the ribbon cutting of a new call center in Somerset. Bevin also stopped in London and Taylor County.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for farmers and processors who would like to participate in industrial hemp pilot projects next year. Applications are being taken through Nov. 5 by the state agriculture department for the new growing season. the amount of hemp grown in Kentucky has continued to climb. In 2015, 922 acres were approved for industrial hemp growing, up from 33 acres in 2014.

Changes are coming to The Tanglewood Downhill Trail in Whitesburg. The Kentucky Division of Forestry is bringing in students from the Virginia Tech Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC) to help create a vision that will adapt to the trail. Many say the city calls for some serious change, but folks still want to keep their heritage in the mountains.  the master plans will soon be given to the city of Whitesburg. It will then be up to the mayor, the board and the community to implement the ideas suggested.

Good for tourism or bad for the community? Folks in Elkhorn City are split when it comes to deciding if alcohol should be sold in restaurants. Last week the Pike County Clerk received a petition to let the people decide if alcohol should be sold in restaurants. The petition only allows restaurants that can seat 50 or more people and have at least 70-percent of their sells coming from food to serve alcohol. The Pike County Clerk must verify all the signatures on the petition before it is put to a vote. There is currently no alcohol sold in Elkhorn City. If there are enough a special election will be held, most likely in January.

It's going to be a busy Halloween night in Lexington with the Kentucky-Tennessee football game, Breeder's Cup and trick-or-treating. On Monday, the SEC league office announced UK-UT kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m. on the SEC Network on Saturday, October 31.