LOCAL NEWS

Wednesday September 4, 2013

A fire early Tuesday morning here in Letcher County destroyed Hatfield's Hunting and Fishing Supplies and some adjacent buildings just off Highway 15 at Van between Dry Fork and Isom.

Sandlick Fire Chief Chris Sexton says it was a really hot fire that consumed a lot of water trying to put it out.

The fire required the work of four fire departments.

In addition to the building's size, its age, including oil in the flooring treatments, contributed to the heat and difficulty fighting the fire.

No injuries were reported but traffic congested for several hours in that vicinity.

Authorities have not released the cause of the fire.

_____


Police have arrested a man in Middlesboro after they say he pulled a gun on a young girl during a robbery on Monday.

Officers wrote in an arrest citation that 41-year-old Christopher Brown, also known as Sam Brown, held the gun to the girl and asked her to empty her pockets.

He ran away with a gold necklace.

Police later arrested him on 21st Street and Exeter Avenue.

Brown is charged with robbery and is also wanted in Lee County, Virginia on unrelated charges.

_____


An eastern Kentucky man will be honored for his accomplishments at a mine competition that happened on August 21st.

Burl Scott was just named to the Coal Mine Rescue Hall of Fame by the National Mining Association.

The Association says he was selected because of his accomplishments and commitment in the field of mine rescue.

The induction ceremony will be September 12th in Columbus Ohio.

_____


A man is behind bars after police executed a search warrant on his home in Pike County last week.

The Pike County Sheriff's Department had been conducting an investigation for illegal drug activity in the Raccoon Creek area in Pike County.

This led them to serve a search warrant to 70-year-old James Phillip West on Wednesday, where they found illegal guns in his home, as well as ammunition and prescription medication.

Police say the guns are illegal for West to have because he is a felon.

West is being held in the Pike County Detention Center for violating his parole.

_____


Back to school shopping can be expensive, but you could get a little break next summer if a bill is passed in the next Kentucky General Assembly session.

State Representative Fitz Steele of Hazard has prefiled the Sales Tax Holiday Bill, which means you could buy school supplies and clothes with no sales tax for one weekend each year.

And Representative Steele says it would also help the local economy.  

Tennessee began offering a sales tax holiday several years ago.

He says he has tried for several years to get this legislation passed.

If the bill is passed, the sales tax holiday would be the during the first or second weekend in August.

Tuesday September 3, 2013

Local wrestling star Marty Doyle, better known to his fans as Rock 'n' Roll Marty Gibson, died of a massive heart attack during a performance Saturday night in Cumberland.

Gibson was in his hometown of Cumberland Saturday along with his fellow Traditional Southern Wrestling stars.

The group was holding a fundraiser for the middle school football team.

They were also sharing with kids their Shout Drug Free anti-drug program.

Marty and others were busy outside the ring warming up the crowd when he fell to the ground and was pronounced dead a short time later.

Cumberland Coaches say plans are in the works for a memorial to be painted on the football field, and a memorial service September 14th during the Ray Jenkins Bowl.

_____


It was a busy holiday weekend in Pikeville at the first ever Hatfield and McCoy Heritage Days Festival.

Unfortunately, a string of car break-ins left many festival goers the victims of theft.

Pikeville Police say a thief was busy on Sunday after they received more than 11 theft reports throughout the day.

Officer Joseph Slone approached a man acting suspicious around 1:30 Monday morning and questioned him.

The office found 22-year-old, Johnathan Pugh, in possession of a stolen cell phone, he then lead the officer to his truck where officials recovered an estimated $10,000 worth of stolen items.

Pugh is being held at the Pike County Detention Center.

_____


Knox County Coroner Mike Blevins says a 29 year old man is dead after an ATV accident Saturday evening on Moore Creek Road, near the Stinking Creek Community close to Barbourville.

Officials say the man's body wasn't found until Sunday and has been identified at Michael Gambrell.  

His funeral will be Thursday afternoon in Barbourville.

_____


A fire ripped through the U.S. Post Office in Stopover KY in Pike County, nearly burning it to the ground.

It happened about 1:30 am on Friday.

No one was injured from the blaze.

As to the cause of the incident, there has yet to be an official word.

_____


She spent time in prison for the death of a school teacher in the 1990s.

Now, a Harlan County woman is in trouble with the law again.

Police arrested 35 year old Alisha Thomas of Wallins early Wednesday morning at the intersection of U.S. 119 and Billy G. Hollow Road.

Officers say they found Thomas sitting in a parked car.

Police say Thomas admitted she had taken Lortab and Xanax.

She was arrested and charged with possesion of a controlled substance and driving under the influence.

Thomas was convicted for her role in the death of retired school teacher Jeanette Gross in a car accident back in 1996.

_____


One person is dead after a car crash along US 23 in Lee County, Virginia.

Virginia State Police say it happened around 4:00pm Monday afternoon near mile marker 28 on US 23 near Duffield.

They tell us the car ran off the road, hit a culvert, and then overturned.

One person died on scene.

No word right now on what caused the crash or the name of the victim, but the investigation is ongoing.

Friday August 30, 2013

 

Two people were arrested after their car went into the Sears building at Mayking here in Letcher County on Thursday afternoon.

Police say Wendy Kimbley and Frank Perry were both arrested when their car backed into the Sears building.

There was damage to the bricks and glass in the front of the building.

Kimbley was charged with Wanton Endagerment and operating a vehicle under the influence and Perry was charged with Public Intoxication.

Both were taken to the Letcher County Jail.

No one was injured.

_____


Another arrest has been made in a triple stabbing in Cumberland earlier this month.

Police say 33 year old Lonnie Joe Tippett has been charged with assault.

He is currently in the Harlan County Detention Center on a $20,000 bond.

Officials say three people were injured during the stabbing.

Curtis Halcomb was arrested last week.

Police are still looking for the third suspect, Wayne Johnson Junior.

_____


A fatal accident occurred on US 119 in the Cumberland River of Harlan County.

51 year Shelia Fuller was traveling south when her vehicle left the roadway.

Police say evidence at the scene indicates Fuller over-corrected her steering, causing the vehicle to roll multiple times.

Officials say she not wearing a seat beltand was ejected from the vehicle.

The use of alcohol has not been ruled out as a contributing factor in the accident.

_____

A man died on Thursday following a crash in Norton, Virginia.

Sgt. Ken Adams from the City of Norton Police Department said  the 34-year-old man was driving on Dorchester Road just after noon when his SUV went off the side of the road, he over corrected. and went back onto the road where the vehicle flipped twice.

The man was not wearing a seat belt and died at the scene.

His name has not been released.

_____


Some people in Jenkins are worried they do not have enough access to emergency medical services.

Jenkins has the ARH clinic already there but Lisa Sanders said she worries that is not enough in the case of emergencies.

Sanders took action in the form of a petition, collecting signatures around town to bring back the city's hospital.

While city hall is one of the places you can stop and sign the petition, Mayor G. C. Kincer said that does not necessarily mean it is an endorsement from the city.

Mayor Kincer says ARH serves the city fine but an emergency room or ambulance service would provide even more services for the residents.

Sanders said she has 950 signatures and she is planning her next move.

She said the petitions will be out until September 3rd.

Mayor Kincer stressed this is not a petition sanctioned by the city.

Sanders said she would like to get another 300 signatures before contacting any hospitals about moving to the area.

______


Yesterday began the 13th year for the Labor Day checkpoint on US 23 at the top of Pound/Jenkins mountain.  

Police from several departments were looking mainly for seat belt and child restraint violations.

Departments taking part included officers from the Letcher County Sheriff's Department, Kentucky State Police, the Wise County Sheriff's Office, Virginia State Police along with the Whitesburg, Jenkins, Norton, Coeburn and Appalachia City Police Departments.

The Kentucky State Police campaign' "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" will also be going on this weekend. T

The agency will increase enforcement and use saturation patrols and safety checkpoints to improve this year's Labor Day weekend statistics.

The weekend period begins at 6 p.m. local time Friday and ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday.

 

Thursday August 29, 2013

Police have charged a Dry Fork man with stealing jewelry from a neighbor’s house.

29 year old Bennett Mathew Kincer of Little Dry Fork Road, was arrested Monday by Letcher County Sheriff ’s Deputy Travis Cantrell and charged with second-degree burglary (forced entry).

Police recovered jewelry stolen from Freda Campbell’s home located at Little Dry Fork and returned the items to her.

Kincer was being held Tuesday night in the Letcher County Jail.

_____


A Letcher County school district employee now home after spending more than a month in two separate hospitals after sustaining serious injuries in a freak accident while on vacation.

A tree fell on 41 year old Michelle Tilley of Pike County, on July 10 while she was in a cemetery at Cades Cove, in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Mrs. Tilley, an aide in the structured classroom for autistic students at West Whitesburg Elementary School, was treated at the University of Tennessee Trauma Center before being transported to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta July 22.

A welcome home party for her will be held at 12:30 this Sunday, September 1, at Millstone Missionary Baptist Church.

_____


A judge Wednesday restored privileges to all five members of the Breathitt County School Board.

Breathitt County District Judge Frank Allen Fletcher wrote an order stating that the Breathitt School Board is restored to the status of being able to once again be involved in school board meetings and business.

A copy of the order is attached to this story for viewing.

Board members filed a lawsuit after they claim Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday took away their rights as elected officials by minimizing their roles in meetings.

_____


Toyota wants to hire laid-off coal miners for its plant in Georgetown.

Jeff Whitehead, executive director of the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program said Toyota  reach out to them  because the miners in our region are a proven workforce.

He added that Toyota said some their best maintenance people come from eastern Kentucky and have been coal miners.

The meeting is part of EKCEP's job initiative called Hiring our Miners Everyday, or H.O.M.E.

_____


The Eastern Kentucky Veterans Center got a large gift this Wednesday, thanks to the generosity of some local county clerks.

The Eastern Kentucky clerks raise money throughout the year by selling bird houses.

Wednesday, they gave the center a $10,000 check to go toward several things, including a new pinball machine.

Officials at the center say this is not the first gift they have received from the group.

The group is made up of Letcher County Clerk Winston Meade, Perry County Clerk Haven King, and Leslie County Clerk James Lewis.

_____


A community water testing workshop will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 7, at the old Boone Motor Building on Madison Avenue in Whitesburg.

Participants will learn how to do basic tests of local streams, and how to get others involved. They will also discuss water quality issues in the mountains.

The workshop is free and open to the public and is sponsored by members of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, the STAY Project and Headwaters Inc. For more information, call Elizabeth Standifer at (606) 632-0051.

Wednesday August 28, 2013

Some Knott County high school students were involved in a bus accident Tuesday morning.

It happened before school along Highway 7 in the Beaver area.

Knott County Sheriff's deputies said Timothy Howard was driving his pickup truck when he dropped something, leaned over to pick it up and side swiped the school bus.

Brent Hoover, transportation director for the Knott County School District says 33 high school students were on the bus, seven were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Hoover said the driver did a remarkable job on two different issues.

He avoided a head on collision and he did an excellent job of keeping the bus from overturning.

The bus was not seriously damaged.

Sheriff's deputies tell us Howard will not face any criminal charges as a result of the accident.

_____


Deputies in Wolfe County made an arrest after a pharmacy burglary left the suspect bleeding Tuesday night.

Deputies say they got an alarm call from the Wolfe Family Pharmacy in Campton, and as they arrived, they spotted a car leaving the area.

When deputies went inside, they found shattered glass and blood spread throughout the store, and they say prescription pills were missing.

Deputies reviewed surveillance video and got a good look at the suspect.

Deputies say they traced the car they spotted to its owners and learned the couple's daughter had used it.

Investigators say 31 year old Jessica Chambers confessed to the burglary.

Despite the mess, the owner says the pharmacy will open for business today.

_____


A judge denied a motion Tuesday by the Kentucky Department of Education to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Breathitt County School Board.

Breathitt Circuit Judge Frank Allen Fletcher ruled the case should proceed, but both sides should try to settle their differences out of court.

School board members filed the lawsuit after they claim Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday took away their rights as elected officials.

Judge Fletcher ordered the board and state manager Larry Hammond to go on a retreat at a state park to try and settle their differences.

The case is scheduled for review on October 11 in Breathitt County Circuit Court.

_____


Tuesday morning in Bell County Circuit Court 27 year old James Otis Sizemore pleaded guilty to murder.

Prosecutors say he and William J. Anderson killed 61 year old Bobby Wiggins on November 23rd, 2011.

Police found his body on December 2nd, 2011 in a wooded area near the Bell-Knox County line.

Wiggins died from blunt force injuries to the head, neck, and trunk.

Sizemore agreed to a thirty year sentence.

As part of the plea deal, he agreed to testify against the other defendant, William Anderson, 34.

Wiggins' family agreed to the plea deal.

Sizemore will be sentenced after he testifies at Anderson's trial.

The judge scheduled Anderson's trial for February 4th, 2014.

_____


Kentucky State Police are making cuts to make up for a nearly $6 million budget deficit by cutting some of the most experienced troopers on the force.

On Friday, state police cut all 20 members of the Trooper R program, which was designed to keep retired troopers with 20 years of experience in rotation.

Five of those troopers were from Post 13 in Hazard, the largest cut than any other post in the state.

Post 13 Captain Blake Slone says as of Tuesday, 21 troopers were on the road covering a five county radius. That’s down from 26.

State police say more than 60 cadets will graduate from the State Police Academy in November and hope that will help with their numbers.

_____


The state medical board has filed a complaint against a Pikeville doctor.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Thad R. Manning is accused of conspiring to sell prescription drug samples in exchange for office rent and free or discounted prescription drugs for his employees.

The complaint says he's also been indicted for lying to FBI agents.

A bond hearing on the complaint is scheduled for February, 2014.

_____


A man accused of destroying property at Stonecrest Golf Course in Floyd County has been indicted.

Court officials say 23 year old Sean McManus is charged with criminal mischief and tampering with evidence.

Police believe McManus caused thousands of dollars worth of damage by driving on one of the course greens and doing doughnuts.

A pre-trial conference is set for November 14th.

He is out of jail on a $20,000 dollar bond.