LOCAL NEWS

Monday November 10, 2014

BEREA COLLEGE PROGRAM EXPANDS

School Superintendents from Letcher and Harlan Counties were among those gathering for the launch of an expanded Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program at Berea College. The college's Partners For Education division is receiving a $5.5 million annual grant over the next 7 years to increase educational outreach work in Appalachian Kentucky to 7,000 more families. Organizers say the goals for GEAR UP - as the program is known for short - is to improve academic performance and college readiness along with increasing graduation rates from both high school and higher education. Students in Leslie, Knott, and Perry Counties already participate in the program.

COAL PRODUCTION DOWN

The state Energy and Environment Cabinet says coal production in Eastern Kentucky declined nearly 4.5 percent in the July-September period. According to the report that's a reversal from April through June and resulted in just over 200 jobs being lost. State production overall was up thanks to gains in Western Kentucky.

PLEA DEAL FOR SUSPECT IN OFFICER ASSAULT CASE

5 years in jail awaits a Pike County man from a plea deal on charges he stole an officer's weapon and struck him with it. Court papers say Robert Caldwell was being served an arrest warrant when he and the officer got into a struggle, and Caldwell grabbed the policeman's baton and hit the officer. Had Caldwell gone to trial he could have faced 10 years behind bars if convicted.

CAR SHOW WRAPS UP FOR 2014

Drivers and their rides turned out for the last monthly “Cruzzin in the Park Car Show” at Perry County Park for 2014. The show is the brainchild of Hal Dixon who says he started it 14 years ago as a way to show off your car and it costs nothing more than the gas to get there. Monthly shows restart in April.

BUSINESS EVACUATED

A small mercury spill forces the evacuation of a Harlan County business. The Enterprise reports it was at B&D Mine Supply in Coxton and according to owner Burl Fee Junior it happened when they moved a shelf and a spoonful of the mercury spilled. Environmental teams were called in to clean up the spill and no one was hurt.

NOT GUILTY PLEA IN BRIBERY CASE

A Pike County state lawmaker and a former mining inspector plead not guilty to bribery charges. Court papers say Rep. Keith Hall of Phelps and former state mine reclamation inspector Kelly Shortridge worked together in a suspected scheme to ensure Hall's mines passed inspection.  An indictment said Hall and Shortridge set up a shell consulting company which received money from a company Hall owned. Trial is set for January 5.

ROAD WORK - TRAFFIC ALERT

A headsup if you're using Hal Rogers Parkway or Kentucky 2447  in Perry County. Bridge repair work west of Hazard near Exit 56 begins today and continues for around the next 30 days. The road will have alternating one-way traffic and no vehicles over 13 feet wide are allowed through the construction zone. On Kentucky 2447 work begins today on the bridge crossing the North Fork of the Kentucky River and as with the Hal Rogers Parkway project, there will be alternating one way traffic over the span.

DETERRING REPEAT OFFENDERS

Pike County's Commonwealth attorney says repeat arrests for shoplifting from the same store are down - and it's because of greater penalties for those repeat offenders. Rick Bartley tells the Appalachian News Express his department handed down over a dozen indictments charging people with theft and felony burglary and not one single person returned to court for shoplifting. Bartley says the cases have been coming from Walmart because they issue outright bans to those caught shoplifting and any other business is welcome to contact him if they're the victims of repeat offenders so felony charges can be brought against suspected thieves.

Friday November 7, 2014

MULTIPLE INJURIES IN 2 CRASHES

Two separate crashes in Letcher County hospitalize 8 people. Police say they happened yesterday on US 119 near the base of Pine Mountain in Whitesburg. Investigators say the first crash was being attended to when the second crash occurred in the traffic backup. The road was closed for around 90 minutes.

MAN IN CUSTODY FOR EXPOSING HIMSELF

A Chavies man is arrested in Floyd County on suspicion of indecent exposure. Police say Herschel Mullins was at a home in Printer last month when he made derogatory comments to a neighbor, then removed his shorts and continued to make comments to her. Mullins faces multiple misdemeanor charges.

REMEMBERING A FALLEN HERO

Family and friends of a Leslie County Marine gathered yesterday to pay their respects. Sargent Gill Frazier's fellow soldiers say he faced any challenge with bravery and courage. Frazier - who died on Saturday - was a highly decorated soldier and his medals and certificates were on display at his full military honors service. He would have turned 32 later this month.

DOG SUFFERING GUNSHOT WOUND RESCUED BY FAMILY

A Floyd County family with a history of rescuing stray animals finds a dog with a gunshot wound. According to the Martin family of Cow Creek the German shepherd was found curled up by their garage and they took her in, cleaned her up and got her to the veterinarian the next day. The dog was taken via airlift to a Louisville animal hospital and is now recovering from her wounds. A $5000 reward is offered by the Humane Society for information leading to the arrest of whoever shot the dog, and tips can be called in to Prestonsburg Police.

PLEA FILED BY EX FOOTBALL COACH

The former Harlan County High School girls basketball coach accused of inappropriate activities involving minors pleads not guilty. Anthony Nolan and his attorney appeared in court yesterday and after his lawyer entered the plea, Nolan immediately left the courtroom. Nolan is accused of planting a video camera in a gym bag to record images of girls in the locker room. He posted $75,000 bond when he was arrested last week. Trial is scheduled for February 3.

CHARGES FILED IN INSURANCE FRAUD CASE

Four people from Floyd County are indicted on suspicion they set a number of cars on fire to collect on the insurance which was for much more than the cars were worth. Charles Ray Tackett, Michael Ray Tackett, Lou Teresa Tackett and Anna Grace McGuire face wire fraud charges. Court papers say the group worked with Harold Auto Body to get the inflated vehicle valuation estimates. If convicted each could face up to 20 years in jail.

SUSPECTED CHILD MOLESTER ARRESTED

A Johnson County man is held on a million dollars bond in the Floyd County Jail on child molestation charges. Court papers say Matthew Wayne Ramsey of Van Lear is accused of inappropriately touching a 3 year old and a 5 year old. If convicted Ramsey faces up to 20 years in prison. He is expected to make his first court appearance today.

A NUMBER OF INJURIES IN CAR CRASH

A 3-car crash in Pike County hospitalizes several people. It happened Thursday morning on US 23 near Food City, just south of Pikeville. Police haven't disclosed the severity of those injured or what caused the crash. The road was closed for a time and traffic was rerouted using Highway 460.

BURGLARY ARRESTS MADE IN 2 CASES

Kentucky State Police make arrests in 2 Floyd County burglaries. Investigators say Abram Swiger broke into a home in the Tram community and stole electronics, cash and a number of weapons. Police acting on a tip found most of the stolen property at Swiger's home and the guns were found in the possession of Jody Carroll of Harold. The other arrest was for a burglary at a home where Bobby Conley of Wayland broke in and stole money from someone staying there. Conley is released on $5000 bond.

MOURNING A WORLD WAR II VET

The State of Kentucky's oldest military veteran has died. Jay Cox served in the Army for 3-1/2 years in the Philippines during World War II. Cox turned 105 in April. Visitation is tonight at the Young Funeral Home in Louisa and the funeral is scheduled for tomorrow at 2pm.

Thursday November 6, 2014

TIME FOR NEW BUSES

Letcher County's School District's supervisor says they need to buy some new school buses - and it needs to happen now. Superintendent Tony Sergent the buses replace some that are replacing some that are 17 years old and have needed a number of repairs to keep them running. He says buses are fully depreciated within 14 years and the district needs to acquire 4 new buses per year through 2029 in order to keep the fleet running. Sergent says the plan is to use an already allocated $200,000 along with $289,000 from a contingency fund to buy 5 new buses

SHOOTING LEAVES ONE DEAD

One person is dead following a shooting in Floyd County. Police say it happened north of Prestonsburg on KY 321 in a former doctor's office's parking lot across from the Hyden Trailer Park. According to investigators there's no specifics on what led to the shooting but they're still interviewing witnesses. The road was closed for several hours during the investigation.

MAN KILLED IN CAR PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENT

A man walking along a Breathitt County road is killed by an oncoming car. Police say Noah Campbell of Lost Creek was walking along Kentucky 476 and was crossing the street when he was hit by a car driven by Michael Fugate of Jackson. Campbell was pronounced dead at the crash scene and Fugate was not hurt. No charges have been filed.

FEEL THE EARTH MOVE?

An earthquake was recorded Wednesday morning in Leslie County. The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 2.5 earthquake hit six miles NNE of Hyden. Kentucky Emergency Management says there were no reports of damage

DRUG BUST NETS 6

6 people from Pike County ranging in age from 23 to 38 are arrested on drug charges. All 6 were charged with trafficking in a controlled substance with 2 others facing additional charges. It's the result of a long term drug investigation by the Detective Division of the Pikeville Police Department and Operation Unite. Police say the investigation is continuing and they expect to have more arrests.

KSP HARLAN EMPHASIS PATROLS

Kentucky State Police Troopers in Harlan are stepping up patrols and focusing on enforcement efforts in high fatality crash areas in the Post 10 counties throughout the end of the year.  The department says there is a very high probability to finish this year under 600 deaths from motor vehicle crashes - the lowest number reported since 1948. Special attention will be paid to seatbelt violations, sobriety, insurance and registration violations.

TRASH TROUBLES TALKED THROUGH

The waste hauler for Perry County faces the music about its failure to pick up the trash. The Hazard Herald reports Waste Connections municipal marketing manager Carl Towne appeared at the Perry County fiscal court meeting to address complaints on garbage pickup, and he received an earful from magistrates and Judge Executive Denny Ray Noble. After the meeting quieted down, the court decided to give Waste Connections 30 days to fix the pickup problems and re-negotiate its contract or the county will put trash pickup out for a re-bid.

FATAL CAR-DUMP TRUCK CRASH

A Harlan County man dies in a car-dump truck collision. Police say Delbert Boggs of Harlan drove into the back of the dump truck on US 119 in the Dione community. Boggs was pronounced dead at Harlan ARH hospital. Investigators haven't said what led up to the crash.

THE WAGON GETS NEW WHEELS

The Health Wagon in Wise County, Virginia soon hits the road in a new mobile unit. Officials with the mobile clinic unveil the new vehicle today. The Health Wagon visits eleven sites in Southwest Virginia including Wise and Dickenson counties on a weekly, biweekly, and monthly basis.

Wednesday November 5, 2014

ELECTION 2014

For complete Letcher County election results for Tuesday 11-4-14 CLICK HERE

TRAFFIC STOP RESULTS IN DRUG CHARGES

A Harlan County couple are arrested on drug charges after being stopped at a safety checkpoint. Benham police took Stephen Golden and Leann Coker into custody after finding a stash of various drugs and a large amount of money. Golden also faces DUI charges and both are at the Harlan County Detention Center.

RAPE CASE DISMISSED

Rape charges are dropped against a Floyd County man after a grand jury fails to indict him on grounds of insufficient evidence. David Patrick of Prestonsburg was accused last month of raping a neighbor after returning a borrowed item to her. Patrick contended the sex was consensual. He's been released from home incarceration.

MULTIPLE CHARGES FILED IN ONE CAR CRASH

A Floyd County crash leads to the driver being arrested on drug charges. Police say a car driven by Krista Garrett wrecked on the Big Branch of Bull Creek and when officers searched her car they found a bag with pills and drug paraphenalia. In addition to the drug charges Garrett is charged with DUI and leaving the scene of an accident.

DEATH PENALTY OFF THE TABLE

A Perry County judge denies a Commonwealth’s Attorney's petition to seek the death penalty in a murder case.  Court papers say Billie Caudill was intoxicated when her car crashed on Highway 15 near the Perry-Breathitt County line in July of 2013. The accident took the lives of Caudill's husband and 2 others. In the ruling the judge says because Caudill was indicted on a felony charge - not a capital offense - she can't face the death penalty. The Hazard Herald reports Caudill is due back in court November 20.

Tuesday November 4, 2014

HELPING PEOPLE KEEP WARM

2 Letcher County charities join forces to keep the needy warm with colder temperatures ahead. Grace Closet in Jenkins opened yesterday and is the work of God's Love From a Diaper Bag and Smile Faith Foundation. Each person is given three full outfits every month.

DOWN TO THE WIRE

Kentucky's US Senate candidates made whirlwind trips through the mountains on the day before voters head out to the polls. Incumbent republican Mitch McConnell visited Hazard and challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes made a stop in Pike County. The latest WKYT Herald-Leader Bluegrass Poll has McConnell with a 5 point lead over Grimes.

HEARING DELAYED FOR EX TEACHER

A detention hearing for a former teacher from Harlan County man accused of distributing child pornography is delayed until next week at the request of the man's attorney. Kevin Crider of Evarts remains in the custody of US Marshals. Court papers say Kentucky State Police were contacted by Harlan Independent Schools after learning of Crider's suspected inappropriate communication with students. He was indicted in July. Crider is due back in court November 13.

SMOOTHING OUT THE BUMPS

The state transportation cabinet grants a Floyd County city money to smooth out its streets. Prestonsburg's mayor Jerry Fannin says the $150,000 grant is being used right away to get road resurfacing done. Fannin says some streets are in such bad shape that they might need more than just resurfacing, but by and large a fresh coat of asphalt should make things smoother for drivers.

POT CHARGES FILED

A Harlan County man is arrested on suspicion he supplied marijuana to 2 13 year olds. Michael Howard of Loyall is held in the Harlan County Detention Center on $22,000 full cash bond. Police say the boys were found at Howard's home and both tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Another unidentified person at Howard's home was also arrested on drug possession charges.

GET BACK TO CLASS

Registration is under way for the Spring semester at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. College administrators say students can choose between thousands of classes and a variety of programs that are completely online. Applications are accepted at the Prestonsburg, Pikeville and Mayo campus or online.

CITY RESPONDS TO WATER LAWSUIT

Leaders of one Knott County city being sued for unpaid water bills say they're waiting for some paperwork so they can take action on the legal action. Hindman's city council met Monday night and city attorney Jeremy Morgan told the council while the city has 20 days to respond to the lawsuit, Knott County Water hasn't yet delivered some requested information for the city to take action. The utility says both Hindman and Vicco owe around $200,000 each in unpaid bills.

MURDER TRIAL DELAYED

Trial is delayed for a Perry County woman accused in the deaths of 3 people in a one car crash. Court papers say Billie Caudill was intoxicated when her car crashed on Highway 15 near the Perry-Breathitt County line in July of 2013. The accident took the lives of Caudill's husband and 2 others. Commonwealth’s Attorney John Hansen filed paperwork to seek the death penalty.

CHARGES FILED IN ATTACK AND ROBBERY

A Harlan County man is arrested on suspicion he robbed and stabbed a man. Police say Robert Pace went to the Holly Point Apartments in Harlan to confront a man who Pace suspected of slashing his tires. Arrest papers say a physical confrontation ensued and Pace pulled a knife on the victim and made off with over $1000. Pace turned himself into police.

FIRE FORCES FAMILY FROM HOME

A house fire displaces a Wise County Virginia family. Investigators say when firemen arrived the home on Back Valley Road in Big Stone Gap was fully engulfed. The 2 adults and 3 children who lived there were away when the fire broke out and are now being helped by the Red Cross.