By Jerry Adams
The search is on for a man wanted for a murder in Floyd county and his 8 year old boy. Authorities say Floyd Sexton Junior and his son Nicholas were last seen in Letcher county in October but apparently left after a custody dispute. Floyd county police want sexton for the November killing of 36 year old Bill Russell Collins, who was shot outside a closed pediatric clinic in Prestonburg. Reports had placed him in Prestonburg after that killing but police think sexton and the child are probably out of state and have entered their names into a national database.
Whitesburg has lost a doctor who tended to the community's sick for almost 50 years. Dr. Vincent Arroz died last week from Leukemia. He was 78 and lived in Mayking with his wife, Shirley Gilbert.
You still have time to help the Hazard Police department's annual toy drive. That drive was supposed to end over the weekend, but organizers say they've extended it to next Thursday to let more people donate. They're looking for new unwrapped items that would be just right for boys and girls under 13. Officers say they'll stand in for Santa and deliver those gifts to kids around the community right on time for Christmas morning.
The attempted murder trial of a man from Knott county will soon be in the hands of a the jury. Testimony on the case against Rocky Wicker Sr wrapped up yesterday, with defense witnesses and testimony from Wicker himself, who said that he shot at parole officers who arrived at his home looking for his son because he thought they were bounty hunters and that he had no intention of killing anyone. One of the officers was hit in the arm and prosecutors say wicker shot on purpose to protect his son. The jury will get the case Friday.
Authorities say an accident on Hyden Spur in Leslie county could have been a whole lot worse. A tanker tuck loaded with diesel fuel lost its brakes, shot past the pull off, hit a pole and rolled onto its side on Wednesday afternoon. The highway was shut for more than an hour as a precaution. The driver is expected to be OK.
Officials hope that a new plan will bring people looking to adventure to the region. Tourism groups from the Cumberland valley say this is the perfect spot for tourists who like to hike, kayak and ride in the mountains, rivers and valleys and want to get the word out. The efforts involve organizations from Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee and members say adventure tourism could be a great way to attract people and pump dollars into the economy.
Members of the Alice Lloyd College basketball team say they're pulling for a quick recovers of one of their own. Sophomore Tyler Killburn is in U K hospital with viral meningitis and while his family says he is improving, his teammates say they will be in their thoughts and prayers this week as they travel to an away game in Florida. Tyler is the student assistant coach for the Eagles and is in a wheelchair because of a 1999 accident.
GOLDEN ALERT ISSUED IN HARLAN COUNTY
Kentucky State Police issued a golden alert for 81 year old Rose Ella Long. She is from Wallins Creek. She is described as short, with blonde hair and blue eyes. She was on her way to Dayton, Ohio and was last seen driving a red Chevy Cavalier around 9:00 a.m. on Thursday. Anyone with information is asked to call your local law enforcement.
CLAY COUNTY MURDER CASE GETS NEW JUDGE
A different judge will now hear a Clay County murder case. Whitley County Circuit Judge Paul K. Winchester will take over for Clay County Judge Oscar Gayle House. Court officials in Manchester tell us House recused himself from overseeing the case of Dwight Hughes. A grand jury indicted Hughes on murder, assault, and wanton endangerment charges. Investigators say Hughes shot Brian Griffin and Jason Roberts in April. The two men were hunting in Clay County at the time. Griffin died and Roberts survived.
MARTIN COUNTY MAN FACES DUI AND OTHER CHARGES AFTER A WEDNESDAY CRASH
A Martin County man faces several charges following a crash near the Mingo County, West Virginia line Wednesday. Officials say 49 year old Steven Mullins crossed the center line on Marrowbone Creek Road and hit another car. Investigators say when Mullins got out of the car, he could barely stand. They tell us he admitted to taking four Xanax pills. The man and child in the car he is accused of hitting were not hurt. Mullins is charged with DUI and reckless driving, among others.
LETCHER COUNTY CHILD MISSING AND COULD BE WITH HIS FATHER WHO IS WANTED FOR MURDER IN FLOYD COUNTY
A Letcher County woman wants her missing grandson home for the holidays. Lillie Mae Adams says her eight-year-old grandson, Nicholas, is with his father Floyd Junior Sexton. However, a judge awarded her custody, Tuesday. Sexton is wanted for the murder of Bill Russel Collins in Floyd County. Letcher County Sheriff's Deputy, Berry Engle, says the child's safety is their top priority. If you have any information on this case please contact the Letcher County Sheriff's Office at (606)-633-2293.
DRUG ROUND UP IN FLOYD COUNTY THURSDAY
On Thursday, Kentucky State Police at Post 9 in Pikeville went after nearly two dozen alleged drug dealers in Floyd County. Troopers say the indictments that make up this roundup all come from lengthy investigation by the Post 9 Criminal Interdiction Team. With 20 sealed indictments, after months of investigative work....troopers were able to take the next step by arresting those now facing drug charges. Several arrests in the roundup were made on Thursday...troopers expect more through the night and into Friday. Police encourage folks who see drug activity going on in their community to contact your local state police post and you can remain anonymous.
EMPTY STOCKING FUND AUCTION IN HARLAN COUNTY
Harlan County's 34th annual Tri-City Empty Stocking Fund auction kicked off Wednesday night. The event was on the Cumberland campus of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. Everyone involved said this event helps their community greatly, especially during the holiday season. Jim “Muggins” Bennett is chairman of the Tri-City Empty Stocking Fund. For more information, call 606-589-5310.
LAUREL COUNTY GRANDMOTHER CHARGED WITH MURDER OF GRANDCHILD IN CRASH
Laurel County deputies say that they arrested 46-year-old Melissa Worstell, of London, on Monday night after being dispatched to a wreck on Parker Road in London. A six-month-old child died following in the accident. Deputies say Worstell's vehicle dropped off the shoulder, struck a culvert, flipped and hit a utility pole. Investigators learned that after the crash the woman tried to swallow a piece of a cigarette pack containing several pills. Worstell said she had taken neurotin and methadone earlier. Deputies determined that Worstell's six-month-old grandchild wasn't restrained properly at the time of the crash. The infant was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in London where she was pronounced dead. Worstell is now in the Laurel County Detention Center and charged with murder along with other charges.
COUNTERFEIT MONEY SHOWS UP IN FLOYD COUNTY
Counterfeit money has been passed at a business in Floyd County. Officials say the purchase made with a fake fifty dollar bill was made Sunday evening at the IGA gas station in McDowell. The incident could be linked to other counterfeit bills being passed in the area. Officials encourage business owners to mark their money as it comes through to prevent counterfeit bills from being passed around. Any business owners who think they might have seen counterfeit bills or if anyone has information in this case, you are asked to contact the Floyd County Sheriff's Office at 606-886-6171.
POLICE LOOKING FOR PERSON AFTER BELL COUNTY STABBING
Police in Bell County are looking for a man following a stabbing Monday. The Bell County Sheriff tells us 25 year old Jessica Sweeney lured a man to a home on Knot Hole Road near the Arjay community. The man thought he was going to look at a heater, but when he arrived, he was attacked. Sweeney gave another man a knife and he cut the victim's wrist and stomach. The victim was flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Police will not release the name of the man they are looking for, but they do believe he is 31 years old.
BAD CHECKS CAUSING LOSS FOR BUSINESSES IN THREE COUNTIES
Bad checks continue to cause losses for local businesses in Bell, Floyd, and Johnson counties. Police are trying to find the man responsible for cashing fraudulent checks at several stores in Eastern Kentucky. A man has passed the checks in at least four stores in the region, passing off fake payroll checks and getting away with more than $1,000. One of the stores victimized was the Paintsville Smart Stop on Nov. 19. The store's manager, Rachel Blair, said the man was wearing an AT&T shirt and had an AT&T credential badge clipped to his shirt. The phony checks all appear to be from AT&T in the amount of $367.54. They're made out to a Robert Martin in Prestonsburg - an identity Prestonsburg police said is fake. The suspect is white, around 5-11 and 240 pounds and wears a cell phone earpiece, police said. He may be driving a green, four-door car. If you have any information, call Prestonsburg Police at 606-886-1010.
APPALACHIAN WIRELESS COPPER THEFT ON CELL TOWER IN JOHNSON COUNTY
The Johnson County Sheriffs Office received a call from Appalachian Wireless November 25th saying they were missing wire from a cell tower off Highway 460 near Paintsville. Deputies say the wire was taken sometime from November 11th through the 25th.The estimated value of the items stolen from the tower is said to be around $6,000. The wire is fiber active cable which has four or five strands of fiber active cable in the middle incased with copper power line and then it has aluminum sheet around that wire to protect it. Deputies are asking for help to find the thief. If you have any information about the theft deputies ask you to call the Johnson County Sheriffs Office at (606) 789-3411.
HARLAN POLICE LOOKING FOR MAN WHO MAY HAVE SET AN OLD MOTEL ON FIRE
Police in Harlan are seeking the public help in finding a man they believe set an old motel on fire. The fire broke out at the motel early Monday morning. The Old Jones Motel has been closed for years and police say there was no electricity running to the building. Witnesses told police they say a white man riding a bike around the motel and he had a green pull over tied around his waist. Only the lobby area was damaged by the fire. Anyone with information is asked to call 606-573-1121.
POPULAR BRITISH DRAMA SERIES TO BE SHOT IN EASTERN KY
The creator of popular British drama series 'Call the Midwife' is writing a series based on Mary Breckenridge and frontier nurses in 1920's Appalachia. The series is expected to be shot in Eastern Kentucky. Breckenridge started the Frontier Nursing Services in Leslie County, bringing healthcare to the people of Southeastern Kentucky. Producers of the show have not announced the exact locations of the shoot or who will star in it.
PERRY COUNTY MAN INDICTED AFTER MULTI-COUNTY CHASE
A Perry County man will be indicted by the grand jury after a high-speed, multi-county chase with a stolen license. Larry W. Ratliff, 61, of Vicco, was indicted last month on one count of first-degree fleeing or evading police, one count of theft of identity of another without consent, one count of first-degree wanton endangerment, and one count of reckless driving. Documents at the Perry County Courthouse show Ratliff is also facing unrelated charges of trafficking in controlled substances in another case.
HARLAN COUNTY WOMAN DIES IN MONDAY AFTERNOON WRECK
An Evarts woman died after she lost control of her vehicle in Harlan County Monday afternoon. Police say 85 year old Evelyn Philpot was driving on Highway 38 when she lost control, hit a guardrail and hit another car. The driver of the other car was not hurt. Police believe wet roads contributed to the crash.
TRACTOR TRAILER ACCIDENT SHUTS DOWN POUND/JENKINS MOUNTAIN FOR A TIME LAST NIGHT
A crash involving a tractor trailer closed down both the north and southbound lanes U.S.-23 on Pound/Jenkins Mountain in Letcher County for several hours Monday night. It happened just before seven ‘o'clock Monday evening near the Virginia state line. Police say no one was hurt in the accident and both lanes of the road is now back open.
HARLAN COUNTY AMBULANCE INVOLVED IN LEXINGTON WRECK
Five people were taken to the hospital for minor injuries after an accident involving an ambulance in Lexington. It happened sometime before 3:00 p.m. Monday on Alumni Drive near the New Circle Road exit. The accident involved two vans and a Harlan County ambulance. Lexington fire officials say five people were transported to the hospital by the Lexington Fire Department with minor injuries.
MAN FOUND DEAD AT HARLAN COUNTY CHURCH WAS THE PASTOR
Woodrow "Woody" Fields, 52, Pastor of Evarts Free Pentecostal Holiness Church in Harlan County, died on Friday night at the church. The cause of death has not been determined, awaiting autopsy results, but those close to him say he died following a snake bite. The congregation had a service on Friday night and the Harlan County Coroner reports that Fields died during the service.
PERRY COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH INDECENT EXPOSURE
61 year old Frank Fraley faces a charge of second degree indecent exposure after he exposed himself to a woman Saturday. Kentucky State Police report indicates a woman said a man jumped out from behind some bushes naked. Fraley has not been charged in connection with other similar incidents in Perry County.
2 HARLAN COUNTY TOURIST ATTRACTIONS HAVE FINANCIAL SUCCESS
Harlan County’s two major tourist and recreation attractions have had a successful year. The Black Mountain Off-Road Adventure Area and the Black Mountain Thunder Zipline are also making plans for expansion in the coming year. Together, the two attractions draw thousands of visitors a year to Harlan County giving the local economy a boost. 15 full or part-time workers will be hired during the year. Overseeing their operations is the Harlan County Outdoor Recreation Board Authority, comprised of volunteers appointed by the Harlan Fiscal Court, which will celebrate its 10th year of existence next year. It was formed by the fiscal court in 2005 to promote recreation and tourism opportunities in the county. Ken Crider, a board member and treasurer of the HCORBA, says the organization is not only fiscally sound, it is also becoming a major factor in Harlan County’s economic well-being.
HARLAN COUNTY DEATH INVESTIGATION
Police received a call from the Harlan County Coroner around 11:15 Friday night after Woodrow Fields, 58, was found dead at Evarts Pentecostal Holiness Church. Police are still investigating at this time. Autopsy results are pending.
MISSING JACKSON COUNTY MAN FOUND SAFE
Kentucky State Police said a man missing from Jackson County has been found safe. Ronald L. Tincher, 73, was last seen Saturday morning . State Police Tincher reported he was found on Sunday afternoon by his family.
MURDER TRIAL BEGINS TUESDAY IN HARLAN COUNTY
Timothy Turner, 38, is set to face trial for the murder of Stephen Gibson. Gibson, 58, was found dead in his residence at 610 South Main Street in Harlan on June 2, 2011. The long-awaited trial is scheduled to begin Tuesday in Harlan Circuit Court. The victim was found when Harlan City Police Department officers assisted by members of the Harlan City Fire Department performed a well-being check at Gibson’s residence. Another person, Rachel Osborne, was originally charged with murder in the same case, but entered a plea of guilty. She is scheduled for sentencing on Tuesday. Osborne and Turner were arrested in June 2011 by Kentucky State Police on charges of murder, first-degree robbery kidnapping and tampering with physical evidence. Turner is charged with murder, two counts of theft by unlawful taking, first-degree robbery, kidnapping (victim death), and second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.
2 ESCAPE FROM BLACKBURN IN LEXINGTON-ONE HAS EASTERN KY CONNECTIONS
The Blackburn Correctional Complex in Lexington says two inmates walked away from the facility and one has eastern Kentucky connections. Employees discovered Michael Fleet and Joshua Stephenson were missing just after 8:00 pm on Saturday. Fleet was serving a 13-year sentence for burglary charges out of Bell County here in Eastern Kentucky. He would have been eligible for parole in March 2015. Stephenson was serving a 13-year sentence for burglary charges out of Campbell County. He would have been eligible for parole in May 2015. We're told Fleet is 26-years-old, 5'8", 185 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. Stephenson is 23-years-old, 5'4", 135 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information should contact police.
HARLAN ARH ADVISORY COUNCIL RECOGNIZES SEVERAL
Two outgoing members of The Local Advisory Council of Harlan ARH Hospital met recently and recognized Rev. Larry Toner, of Bledsoe, was recognized for his eight years of service to the council and hospital, as well as for his many years of work as Harlan’s representative to the ARH President’s Representative Advisory Council that meets four times per year. Randall Brock, of Harlan, was recognized for his seven years on the council as well as for his services the past two years as council chairman. The council noted the addition of three new members: Rev. Ronnie Hampton, of Lynch; Edna Burkhart, principal of Harlan County High School; and Rev. Nathan Boggs, of Pine Mountain.
HARLAN IND HIGH SCHOOL HONORED
Harlan Independent High School has been recognized as an exceptional academic institution by Carnegie Mellon University’s Niche.com. Founded in 2002 by Carnegie Mellon University students, Niche.com provides reviews and rankings of more than 120,000 K-12 schools across the country. Among Kentucky’s best was Harlan Independent High School, ranked No. 22. Other schools in the region making the ranking were Hazard High at No. 35 and Corbin High at No. 19. US News & World Report has routinely rated Harlan Independent High School as “One of America’s Best High Schools.” Categories used to determine the Niche.com ranking include Academics, Health and Safety, Student Culture and Diversity, Teachers, Resources and Facilities, Sports and Fitness, Parent/Student Surveys on Overall Experience and Extracurricular and Experience.