LOCAL NEWS

Tuesday August 27, 2013

Knott County Schools Superintendent Kim King tells WYMT that several students were injured this morning in a school bus crash.

Dispatchers say it happened about 7:40am Tuesday on Route 7 in the Beaver Creek area.

Police say a pickup truck and the bus hit head on.

King says 4 students were injured.

2 were taken to the hospital by ambulance and 2 were taken by their parents.

No word on the extent of their injuries.

We are still gathering information and have more as we get it.

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An investigation is underway into a deadly house fire in Powell County.

The fire started just after 10:00 Sunday night on Nada Tunnel Road in the heart of the Daniel Boone National Forest.

The Powell County coroner has confirmed that 74-year-old Robert "Therril" Ledford was inside the home at the time of the fire.

Fire officials say about 35 firefighters from three separate departments were on the scene trying to get the flames under control.

They say it took about 12,000 gallons of water to put the fire out because it was an old oak home.

According to the coroner, Ledford's body has been sent to Frankfort for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

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Some road construction in Martin County has residents fearing for their homes and safety.

Several homeowners have joined in a lawsuit to try to protect their property.

They've joined in a lawsuit against Ohio-based Kokosing Construction Company and Brandywine Explosives & Supply of Paris, Kentucky.

Both companies are contracted to build a road in the area, and the Maynards along with other families say the explosions are too big and too close for comfort.

Earlier this month, school board members chose to close nearby Sheldon Clark High School, citing concerns the blasting could weaken the building.

More than 20 people have filed suit against the companies so far.

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A Harlan County man is in jail, accused of breaking into a store and then threatening the man who called police.

Cumberland City Police say a person called them on Thursday night to report a man looking into windows on West Main Street.

When officers arrived, they found a broken window at an old furniture store.

Police say 26-year-old Johnathan Baldwin was inside hiding on the floor.

After officers arrested Mr. Baldwin and brought him outside, he  threatened the man who called police

Police say Baldwin was intoxicated.

He faces several charges including burglary, terroristic threatening, and criminal mischief.

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Funeral services will be held today for a Pike County coal advocate.

David Gooch died Friday at UK Hospital.

Gooch's funeral service will be this afternoon at 1 p.m. at the J.W. Call Funeral Home Chapel in Pikeville.

David Gooch lobbied on behalf of the coal industry throughout the commonwealth and the country for several years.

 

Monday August 26, 2013

 

Friday morning officials in Letcher County responded to calls of a possible explosion. But, as it turned out, it may not have been an explosion after all.

Kentucky State Police say they received a call of a possible explosion at the Isom Double Kwik just before 10 a.m. on Friday.

Letcher County Emergency Management Director, Paul Miles says contractors were about to inspect an underground storage tank from the inside, when the pressure in one of the tanks blew, shooting a vent cap off into the air.

Witnesses says the ground and even the building shook.

Investigators continue to look for the cause of the pressure release.

State Fire Marshals are leading the investigation.

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A victim has been airlifted out of the Harlan area Sunday afternoon.

We do not have many details about the incident but officials say a pedestrian was hit by a vehicle around 3:50 p.m yesterday.

That individual was airlifted to a hospital.

We do not know any further conditions or details at this time.

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The assistant director of emergency management in Clay County was killed in an ATV accident Sunday evening.

Clay County Sheriff Kevin Johnson saysJennings Johnson died around 6:00pm when he was going up an embankment and his 4-wheeler flipped, pinning him underneath.

It happened on Twin Oak Lane in the Burning Spring area.

The sheriff says a neighbor found Jennings and called for help.

He was taken to Manchester Memorial Hospital then to UK Hospital where he later died.

Jennings was 54-years-old.

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A Knott County man has been arrested after an anonymous tip phoned in to Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard.

Officials say they arrested 34 year old Casey Barnett a little after 3:30 pm Saturday in the Lotts Creek Community of Knott County.

Troopers say they found 18 marijuana plants in plain view around Barnett's house.

Barnett is in Kentucky River Regional and is charged with cultivation of marijuana five plants or more.

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In Jenkins, Lakeside Center Pool officials hosted their opening ceremony Saturday afternoon even though the pool first opened on Aug. 16th.

There are 13 employees at the site and city officials say the new pool will benefit the community.

Officials say the rest of the Lakeside Center, including an exercise room, coffee shop, restaurant and internet cafe, should be completed by the fall and at that point more employees will be hired.

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The former town manager of one Southwest Virginia town is facing a more than 130 count indictment on charges she embezzled thousands of dollars from a local arts center.

The Bristol Herald Courier says 46 year old Loretta Mays of Norton, Virginia was indicted by a Wise County grand jury on Wednesday on 135 counts ranging from forgery to felony embezzlement.

The indictment states Mays, who was at one time a city official in Coeburn, wrote and cashed nearly $30,000 dollars in checks from the Lays Hardware Center for the Arts account, dating back to February 2009.

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Former City of Martin Police Chief Brian Baldwin died Thursday night.

Coworkers say the 51-year-old never returned to work after getting sick earlier this year.

Before coming to Martin Baldwin worked at the Salyersville Police Department, Magoffin County Sheriffs Office, Salyersville Fire Department and Middle Fork Fire Department.

Baldwin's Funeral will be today.

 

Friday August 23, 2013

Barbourville Police say a man has stolen nearly $200,000 from a Knox County business.

Michael Jones of Pineville is accused of stealing from Bingham Tire in Barbourville.

Bingham Tire owners say the books just did not add up earlier this year so they turned it over to Barbourville Police.

Police say the now former employee Michael Jones stole merchandise and money.

Jones had been delivering merchandise to locations of businesses that had not purchased the items then billed the items to other clients.

Jail records show Jones posted bond and is out of jail.

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Five Letcher County men are named by the Letcher County Grand Jury in five indictments each charging them with theft of copper wire from Kentucky Power Company.

35 year old Elijah Duane Garrett, 42 year old Jesse Dean Craft Jr., 38 year old Brack Larry Joe Meade, 36 year old James Wayne Johnson and 29 year old Christopher B. Duff are charged in the case.

The grand jury says in addition to the theft of the copper wire, the men damaged or destroyed electrical power lines, circuits and other equipment belonging to American Electric Power.

The five indictments say the offenses took place from November of last to March of this year.

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Nine people are named in 12 indictments returned by the Letcher County Grand Jury including a painter and builder accused of taking more than $6,000 from the Whitesburg United Methodist Church.

37 year old Anthony Carl Day, also known as Tony Day is charged with possession of a forged instrument and theft by deception.

The grand jury says Day cashed several checks drawn on the account of the Methodist Church at Community Trust Bank from September of 2012 through February of this year.

For a full list of indictments and more info on both cases see this week's edition of the Mountain Eagle.

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A friend of a missing Floyd County attorney says they are scaling back their search after finding proof that he is alive.

Martin city attorney Clyde Johnson went missing last month.

His friend Ned Pillersdorf was helping the investigation and says records from a Tracfone Johnson was using show he is moving around the southwest, probably staying at campgrounds.

Pillersdorf says he believes Johnson is in Texas and says he does not believe Johnson is in any trouble and that he does not want to be found.

Pillersdorf has been appointed to run Johnson's law office.

 

Wednesday August 21, 2013

Federal investigators spent Tuesday afternoon searching the office of an eastern Kentucky Judge-Executive.

A Morgan County official confirmed to WYMT that federal investigators did search the office of Judge Tim Conley, and confiscated records and a computer from his office but didn't know why.

FBI and Kentucky State Police were the agencies involved with the investigation.

The judge-executive's office was closed Tuesday afternoon.

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The only survivor of a triple shooting in Bell County last week has been released from the hospital.

Police say Robin Smith, 21, was shot by former Knox County Judge-Executive Raymond Smith.

Police say Smith also shot Robin Smith's father, Michael, and her brother, Dustin.

Michael and Dustin died, and Smith later took his own life.

Police think 52 year old Raymond Smith was angry over how his relationship with the young girl ended.

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A Perry County woman faces child abuse and sex-related charges.

Court officials say a grand jury indicted Brenda Noble - also known as Brenda Bales - last week on sodomy, sex abuse and five counts of criminal abuse.

In the indictment, officials wrote she engaged in deviate sexual intercourse with a child younger than 12 years old between January 2008 and 2012.

Prosecutors also argue she abused two other children and confined them in a small attic without plumbing and electricity and prevented them from going to school.

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Mile marker 16 of the Hal Rogers Parkway near Manchester is where crews are restoring a concrete bridge deck.

It is also where 21-year-old Letcher County native Jacob "Jake" Lucas crashed into a wrecker on Friday which was stopped at a temporary red light.

Lucas died two days later at UK Hospital.

Jacob was an organ donor and several people have received his organs including a Perry County woman with family in Letcher County that received his heart yesterday.

Funeral arrangements for him are incomplete at this time.

Friends of Jake have declared Thursday Wear Blue Day across Letcher County in honor and remembrance of him.

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There was a large show of support on Tuesday for an Air Force Airman killed in an accident overseas.

Services for Sergeant Ryan Austin were held in Corbin.

The 25-year-old was electrocuted while serving in Europe.

After the funeral service in Corbin, Sergeant Austin was buried in a cemetery in Harlan County.

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A December trial date has been set for the man charged with killing Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum earlier this year.

Media outlets report Cabell Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell on Tuesday set aside two weeks for the trial of Tennis Melvin Maynard.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Dec. 9 in Mingo County.

Maynard is accused of shooting Crum April 3 as the sheriff ate lunch in his parked vehicle in downtown Williamson.

He also is charged with attempted murder linked to the pointing of a loaded firearm at Mingo County Sheriff's Corporal Norman Mines and fleeing with reckless indifference.

Maynard has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

A motions hearing will be held Oct. 15.

Tuesday August 20, 2013


Four people are behind bars in Bell County following a Sunday night robbery.

It happened around 9:15 Sunday night at the Circle K gas station on Cumberland Avenue in Middlesboro.

Police say 46 year old Sherrie Barnett walked into the store, pulled a knife on the clerk and demanded money.

Barnett then jumped into a car and got away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Barnett and the driver of the car, 36 year old Carl Turner were arrested about two hours later.

Police were also able to recover the knife and the stolen money.

Police say upon further investigation, they arrested and charged two employees at Circle K, 35 year old Lisa Evans and 40 year old Michael Evans.

All four are being held in the Bell County Detention Center.

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Dozens of schools across Kentucky will receive help in a project to provide elementary school students with fresh produce.

The Kentucky Education Department says the state received $2.78 million in funding for the program for the coming school year.

Each of the 134 schools taking part will receive operating funds based on about $50 per student enrolled as of last October.

The program is expected to reach nearly 56,000 students in Kentucky elementary schools.

Children are provided a variety of free fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the school day.

The program is implemented through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Schools were chosen based on applications submitted from elementary schools that operate the National School Lunch Program and have 50 percent or more of their students eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

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It has now been more than two months since a Pike County man was last seen.

Jimmy Kelly was last seen on June 12th near Shelby Gap.

Friends and family continue to search the area.

His car was found shortly after his disappearance with no sign of him nearby.

Family members are still offering a reward for any information that leads to the whereabouts of Kelly.

If you have any information contact state police.

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A sexual assault investigation that occurred more than a decade ago could be evidence in the slaying of Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum.

The Sunday Gazette-Mail reports West Virginia State Police investigated allegations that Crum sexually assaulted a 19-year-old woman in 2001 when he was Delbarton's police chief.

The newspaper says state police concluded that the sex was consensual.

No charges were filed.

A 2002 report on the investigation is included on a list of potential evidence filed by Mingo County prosecutor Michael Sparks in July.

Tennis Maynard is charged with fatally shooting Crum on April 3.

Maynard's attorney, Richard Weston, tells the newspaper that the sexual assault allegations support the general nature of the defense bit he wouldn't elaborate.

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Members of the United Mine Workers of America have voted to ratify a settlement with bankrupt Patriot Coal.

The union said in a statement Friday night that current or laid-off Patriot workers in West Virginia and Kentucky voted 85 percent to 15 percent in favor of the agreement reached late last week.

Some 1,800 members from 13 locals were voting.

Patriot said it wants the company to survive, and union President Cecil Roberts had said the deal may let that happen.

Roberts says the deal also reduces the restoration of some benefits and the continuation of others.

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Jimmy Rose was not on the national stage performing for America's Got Talent on Monday.

Instead he attended an open house for Congressman Hal Rogers in Perry County.

The event celebrated the opening of the new congressional office in Hazard.

Rogers shared ways he believes the new location benefits our communities and better serves constituents.

Rogers said moving his congressional office from the downtown location into a building on the highway 15 bypass means convenience.

This ceremony also gave the congressman the opportunity to praise rising country music singer Jimmy Rose.

Congressman Rogers said Rose represents Eastern Kentucky well.

Rose is now a semifinalist on America's Got Talent.

His next performance is on September 3rd.