LOCAL NEWS

Friday November 22, 2013

Jackson Police arrested a man in connection with the school break in's. Brandon Nipper was arrested within the last few hours about 10 miles west of Jackson in Breathitt County. He was hiding in a home on John Street off Quicksand Road in the Robinson subdivision. He was on the run from police already after escaping from the Breathitt County Jailer back in late October. Police recovered most of the stolen property, including several iPads.

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We're learning more information about a deadly crash involving a Kentucky State Trooper. The trooper's name is DeWayne Foley, described as a veteran with state police. Police say his cruiser collided with a car, driven by James King, 41, of Williamsburg. King was pronounced dead at the scene. He leaves behind a wife and three children. Police say Foley was responding to a crash at the intersection of Highway 90 and Highway 25 near Williamsburg.

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Don't forget Headwaters will hold a stream clean-up tomorrow morning on the section of the North Fork of the Kentucky River behind Food City and Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation in Whitesburg. The event will begin at 9 a.m. and will last until noon. Volunteers will meet at the gas station in the Food City parking lot at 8:45 a.m. Trash bags, gloves and drinking water will be provided.

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Governor Beshear said more than one million dollars is going to help develop and maintain 20 trail projects throughout Kentucky. Knott County is one of those projects. Tourism Director Shawn Owens said not only will this boost visitors, but also keep locals coming back for more. The $100,000 grant is coming from the Federal Highway Administration. The money will develop more than 20 miles of trails, including restrooms and information centers.

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The Kentucky Supreme Court rejected a bid by a former Pikeville judge to reinstate his law license. The courts majority concluded Charles Huffman's willingness to trade lenient sentences for prescription medication too serious a violation to allow him to practice law again in Kentucky. Huffman pleaded guilty in 19-95 to extortion while serving as a judge in Pikeville. He admitted to promising a defendant community service in exchange for several prescription drugs and served 15 months in federal prison.

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A Pulaski County Teen pleaded guilty to a solicitation to murder charge. Police say Tyler Phelps asked his friend Paul Scott Young to kill his parents. Investigators say Young attacked Edwin Phelps in his Pulaski County home and Phelps managed to fight Scott off and protect his wife until police arrived. Young pleaded guilty last month to two counts of attempted murder and received ten years on each count. Phelps is set to be sentenced on December 19th. He faces 10 years behind bars.

Thursday November 21, 2013

With job opportunities continuing to dwindle across the region, a record number of Letcher County residents filed for federal bankruptcy protection between October 9 and October 31.  At least 36 county residents are named in Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases filed last month in U.S. District Court in Pikeville. Of that number, eight couples and eight individuals filed for protection under Chapter 7 rules. Five couples and two individuals filed for protection under Chapter 13 rules.

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Letcher County magistrates who seek a partial exemption from the Whitesburg occupational tax were told this week they will probably have to file the necessary paperwork themselves and document the amount of time they spend working in the city in order to qualify. At the November meeting of the Letcher Fiscal Court, County Attorney Jamie Hatton told the court he had spoken with Whitesburg City Attorney James Asher about whether the magistrates could avoid paying the entire amount in light of their claim that most of their work is not done in the city.

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Five more candidates have filed to run for the office of magistrate in Letcher County in the May election. Incumbent Codell Gibson, Woody Holbrook and Leonard Tackett filed papers in the Letcher Court Clerk’s Office to run for magistrate in District Three. Four filed last week. James “Brad” Collie is running for magistrate in District Two and Richard Yonts is a candidate for magistrate in District Five. The deadline to file papers for the primary is Jan. 28.

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A Letcher County man has been named director of the Kentucky Office of Rural Healthat the University of Kentucky Center of Excellence in Rural Health. Ernie Scott joined KORH in January 2012 as a rural project manager, and assumed his new post on Nov. 1, following the retirement of former KORH Director Larry Allen, who held the position for more than a decade.

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During the next Appalachian Regional Commission funding cycle, The Center for Rural Development will award federally- funded minigrants to advance strategic planning efforts throughout the region. Grant applications from city and county governments and eligible nonprofi t organizations in 37 southern and eastern Kentucky counties including Letcher County will be accepted through Dec. 12. Grants range from $5,000 to a maximum of $10,000.

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Headwaters, Inc. will hold a stream clean-up this Saturday, November 23, on the section of the North Fork of the Kentucky River behind Food City and Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation in Whitesburg. The event will begin at 9 a.m. and will last until noon. Volunteers will meet at the gas station in the Food City parking lot at 8:45 a.m. Trash bags, gloves and drinking water will be provided.

 

Tuesday November 19, 2013

Emergency crews were cleaning up debris and assessing damage Monday after a band of strong storms passed through the state, damaging homes and striking a nuclear enrichment facility. Authorities reported tornado sightings in eight counties. The National Weather Service on Monday confirmed that an EF-1 tornado touched down in Butler County, damaging homes and snapping trees along a path near Huntsville. The weather service said teams also were dispatched to other western Kentucky areas Monday. There were no reports of serious injuries.

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The Whitesburg City Council updated and revised several city ordinances in an effort to comply with new state laws and to accommodate personnel needs. The council voted unanimously to direct City Attorney James Asher to change the personnel ordinance to separate the duties of the city clerk and bookkeeper/treasurer and to extend vacation for city employees to up to four weeks to honor a verbal agreement made with city employees several years ago. The council also voted unanimously to give the mayor the authority to purchase new accounting software to accommodate the needs of the city in light of the new tax.

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Prestonsburg Police made two arrests a local business on Friday. Now, the business owners face child abuse charges.  Officers say the arrests came after they were notified about the possible abuse of multiple children.  After receiving the complaint and information, the department began an investigation. Officers say they then went on to arrest both a man and a woman. The two arrested own the business located in the Prestonsburg Village Shopping Center.

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Firefighters spent hours battling flames in Floyd County Monday night. It happened in the Garrett community. Officials say it started in one house and spread to two others. Garrett firefighters say they got the call around 6:00 on Monday evening that an abandoned house was burning, and it was quickly spreading to two others. Firefighters say the two empty houses are destroyed.

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The cool weather caused by the longer nights of November have deer feeling frisky. Mating activity peaks in mid-November and increases deer movement. Data from the Kentucky State Police shows deer and vehicle collisions are highest in November. Motorists must pay attention while driving during this time of year, especially those traveling rural and outer suburban roads at night. Slow down and remain alert while driving, particularly in areas where woods border the road. Deer often dart out from wooded areas onto the road before a driver realizes it.

Friday November 15, 2013

 

The Hazard ARH Medical Mall was evacuated yesterday morning because of a small electrical fire. Fire Chief Sam Stacy said they got the call about a fire alarm going off at the mall around 11 a.m. Officials said they did find smoke in the building. The medical mall closed for the rest of the day to get rid of the smoke. The Veterans Affairs clinic at the medical mall will be closed today due to the fire.

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This past Wednesday a detective and officers with the Kentucky State Police, FBI, and Pikeville Police Department conducted a federal drug roundup in Pike County. The roundup was the result of a seven month joint investigation into the trafficking of heroin in and around Pikeville. Officers executed 14 of 15 federal indictment warrants without incidence. The accused were charged with Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin as well as other distribution charges.

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One man is still in jail tonight after police received complaints about an intoxicated man at a homeless shelter on Tuesday. Officials at the Pike County Jail say 29 year old Donald Bailey was intoxicated at the Westcare Emergency Homeless Shelter. After officers arrived at the shelter, they found pills on Bailey's body He was charged with public intoxication and promoting contraband.

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The nation's largest public utility has voted to close six coal-powered units in Alabama and replace two more in Kentucky with a new natural gas plant. Yesterday Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Bill Johnson said increasingly stringent environmental regulations and flat power demand have made it necessary to rethink how the utility generates power. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell met with Johnson last month to seek continued operation of the coal-burning Paradise Fossil Plant in Drakesboro, Ky. One coal-fired unit will remain there.

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Community Trust Bank officials released surveillance pictures from an October 3rd robbery. Police say during that robbery the man walked into the bank in Virgie demanding cash. He did get away but dropped some of the money in a nearby creek. Police told us they believe someone was waiting in a car nearby for him. If you have any information you can call state police.

 

Thursday November 14, 2013

 

KSP confirmed a bank robbery occurred at the US Bank at Virgie in Pike County a little after 10 a.m. on Wednesday.  Police say surveillance images show one man enter the bank with what appears to be a gun, then he drives away with another man on a Honda four-wheeler.  This is second bank robbery in Virgie in six weeks.  The Community Trust Bank down the street was robbed in October.  Police have not said the robberies are related.

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Anyone with information is asked to call Kentucky State Police.A scheduled hearing for three people accused of plotting and carrying out the murder a Millstone coal miner and father in June 2012 has been delayed until next month. The judge rescheduled a hearing originally set for Nov. 7 until 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 4 to address pending motions and to discuss continuance of the trial date in the cases of James Maggard, Sephanie Fleming, and Austin Ison. The three were charged with murdering Dradrick “Drad” Fleming after Fleming’s badly burned body was found near Eolia on June 23, 2012.

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Seventeen candidates including nine incumbents have filed to run for Letcher County offices in the May election. The offices of county judge/executive, sheriff, county attorney, jailer, county clerk, coroner, magistrates and constables will be on the ballot for the primary election. Incumbents who have filed papers in the Letcher Court Clerk’s Office since Nov. 6 are County Clerk Winston Meade, Sheriff Danny Webb, Judge/Executive Jim Ward, County Attorney Jamie Hatton, Jailer Don McCall, Coroner Marty Baker, District One Magistrate Bobby Howard.

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The Whitesburg City Council updated and revised several city ordinances at its November meeting Tuesday night in an effort to comply with new state laws and to accommodate personnel needs. The council voted unanimously to direct City Attorney James Asher to change the personnel ordinance to separate the duties of the city clerk and bookkeeper/treasurer and to extend vacation for city employees to up to four weeks to honor a verbal agreement made with city employees several years ago.

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 Kentuckians who care about the future of Southern and Eastern Kentucky are responding to efforts to focus on the success of the region. 600 people have signed up for the Summit "Shaping our Appalachian region" or "SOAR". Governor  Beshear, Representative Hal Rogers, Senate President Robert Stivers, and House Speaker Greg Stumbo announced this plan last month. Registration remains open for anyone who wants to give their opinion.