LOCAL NEWS

Thursday March 6, 2014

A 39- year- old Isom man is charged by the Letcher County Grand Jury with helping his 15-yearold son severely beat another juvenile at the Letcher County Recreation Center in Whitesburg last week. The grand jury charges that Lewis Brock, of 141 Stampers Branch helped his son in planning and committing an assault in which the second juvenile, also 15, suffered serious injuries which required hospitalization. This incident occurred in the gymnasium area of the recreation center on February 25, two days before the grand jury named Brock and eight other persons in separate felony indictments.
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Funeral services will be held tomorrow for a 37-year-old Burdine man who died from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident early Sunday morning. Police have not determined which of the three occupants was driving the pickup truck. Ronnie Campbell was pronounced dead at the scene. Robert Walker, 36, and Shawn Bevins, 44, both of Millstone, were transported to Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) Hospital for medical treatment.
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After demanding money from an Isom Double Kwik employee early Sunday morning, a man armed with a hammer left the convenience store on foot with a cash register drawer containing $400. The suspect entered the convenience store located at 9722 Highway 25 South at 2:08 a.m. on March 2. The robber, who was last seen heading north on KY 15, is described as a white male. Police say the store employee was unable to give an accurate physical description of the subject.
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If it seems too good to be true, it could be a scam. “If you get a check from a lottery or anything that you have to send money back, it is a scam. On average, two people a week have reported various telephone scams to the sheriff ’s department for the past month. In one incident, a woman was told that she had been selected as a lucky shopper. She would receive a check for $2,500, of which she was to send $2,100 back and keep $400 to shop. Don't it's a scam.
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The Mountain Heritage Festival Committee is accepting applications for the 2014 fall semester. The scholarship applications are available at www.mountainheritagefestival. com under the applications heading. Applications will also be available through the school’s guidance counselors. There will be four scholarships awarded in the amount of $250 each. The scholarships are available to high school seniors and current college students. Applications must be returned by May 15.
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Despite a lull in the winter storms that have pounded the state, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has advised its 12 highway districts to conserve salt supplies and focus on other conservation efforts in combating further snow and ice this season. Currently, the cabinet has less than 70,000 tons of salt on hand statewide. Historically, this amount has been more than enough for riding out the winter. A national salt shortage, delays in salt deliveries and wave after wave of winter storms have hampered the cabinet’s snow and ice removal efforts.

Wednesday March 5, 2014

A bill that would allow a greater number of employees to be legally classified as independent contractors has passed the Kentucky Senate. The bill would also shield primary contractors from liability for illegal activity conducted by the subcontractors they hire. All workers' compensation decisions regarding contractors and subcontractors would be handled by the Labor Cabinet. Sen. John Schickel, a Republican from Union says the measure has the support of Kentucky's business sector and would be beneficial for business interests in the state.
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An update on a deadly weekend accident in Letcher County. Police say 27 year old Ronnie Campbell died in the crash. Troopers say a truck ran off the road along Kentucky Highway 805, hit a tree and flipped.  Robert Walker and Shawn Bevins suffered non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the vehicle has not been determined.  Troopers believe alcohol played a role in the crash.
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Five different departments, consisting of nearly 60 firefighters. have been called in to help battle a blaze at an auto parts store in downtown Big Stone Gap, Virginia. Big Stone Gap Police said firefighters were called to NAPA Auto Parts, 13 East 5th St., around 5 p.m. Monday. Part of the NAPA store partially collapsed due to the blaze. Firefighters say one person was injured at the scene and rushed to the hospital.
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Workers have plucked a third Corvette from a giant sinkhole that swallowed eight classic cars at a Kentucky museum. More painstaking work lies ahead to retrieve the five cars still buried deep in the hole beneath the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green. Progress continued Tuesday when a 1962 black Corvette was extracted by a crane.
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A scheduled statewide tornado safety drill was delayed for a day due to a winter storm that has caused problems and closed schools around Kentucky this week. The drill is being held as part of Severe Weather Awareness Month and is set for 10:07 a.m. this morning. Kentucky Broadcasters Association will send a tornado test message that will activate weather radios and broadcast media.

Tuesday March 4, 2014

Most of the University of Kentucky direct deposit payroll that didn't make it into bank accounts as scheduled Friday has now been posted. The university says as of Monday afternoon, about 85 percent of employee pay had been posted, with the remainder expected to be posted by Monday night. UK said last week that PNC Bank, which handles payroll posting, had an error that resulted in the problem. The error affected about 16,000 full-time, part-time and temporary employees who are paid biweekly.
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More ATVs reported stolen in Knox County were recovered in Bell County. This is the third time this year police have found four-wheelers stolen in Knox County and hidden in the hills of Bell County. Deputies believe the thefts are connected. Bell County Sheriff's Deputies say last week, they got a tip two ATVs were in the woods in the Dorton Branch area. Deputies hiked a mile into the woods and found them.
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Fayette County Schools will not have class on Tuesday, March 4. The district made the decision to cancel on Monday evening. Schools were out Monday as well due to a winter storm that dumped about five inches of snow on Lexington. Tuesday marks Fayette County Schools 13th snow day of the school year.
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Severe Weather Awareness Week continues through this Friday, March 7th. All Kentuckians are encouraged to prepare themselves and their homes for severe weather, including tornadoes, flash floods, and severe thunderstorms. The National Weather Service in Jackson will be sharing information  on a variety of severe weather safety and preparedness topics using their website and social media outlets throughout the week.
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Kentucky artists who are qualified to conduct residencies in schools may apply to be included in the online Teaching Artists Directory. The Kentucky Arts Council says it is accepting applications until March 15 for the index. Applicants must reside in Kentucky and have the skills required to work with teachers and students to design and implement arts education programs.

Monday March 3, 2014

One of Michigan's s leading power companies says it's sending dozens of employees to Kentucky due to the ice storm.  CMS Energy Corp.'s Consumers Energy union says about 65 of its workers heading for Louisville. CMS Energy dispatched the utility crews, technicians, mechanics and supervisors under the Great Lakes Mutual Assistance organization. That group helped CMS Energy during Michigan's December snowstorm.
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June 3 will be the last day of the 2013-2014 school year for students unless Letcher County Public Schools miss more days. The Letcher County Board of Education approved taking the remaining two days of spring break. The board approved shortening spring break by three days at its January meeting. Classes will be in session today –April 4. The board approved using disaster days if the state legislature approves it. Schools must miss at least 20 days to qualify.
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The Jenkins Independent Schools Board of Education voted at its February meeting to sell the McRoberts Elementary School building and to set June 2 as the closing date for the current school year. The board authorized Superintendent Deborah Watts to dispose of the property by selling it at bid. All bids will be subject to Kentucky Department of Education approval and the board will have the option to accept or reject any offers.
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The National Corvette Museum in Kentucky says it plans to start removing cars from a sinkhole that opened beneath the museum last month. On Feb. 12, a large sinkhole swallowed eight prized cars like they were toys, piling them in a heap amid loose dirt and concrete fragments.
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New York Times bestselling author John Grisham was in Whitesburg recently, apparently researching material for a possible new book. Grisham’s presence in Whitesburg became known after a Facebook posting from an employee at Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center, which is located on Main Street in downtown Whitesburg. Grisham is a best-selling author of legal thrillers.

Friday February 28, 2014

Gov. Beshear has been at the forefront of pushing initiatives aimed at reducing tobacco consumption and improving the health of a state plagued by some of the nation's worst disease rates. The approximately $118 million investment by U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co. will create 42 more jobs at its Hopkinsville plant, which now employs 90 full-time workers.
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For the fourth time and the third year in a row Brooke Saurer has advanced to the state spelling bee. Saurer, an eighth grader at Whitesburg Middle School, won the Letcher County District Spelling Bee Friday by correctly spelling the word “fastidious.” Last March, Saurer received a trophy, a $1,500 savings bond and a $25 Amazon gift card for placing fourth in the Kentucky Saurer won’t have as much free time as she would like to study spelling words. As a member of the Letcher County Central High School band, she will be playing clarinet during district and regional basketball tournaments.
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A frantic night for state troopers in Pike County. Two men are in the hospital following a stabbing and officer involved shooting. It all happened late Wednesday night in the Island Creek community. Kentucky State Police say the alleged suspect in the stabbing also threatened police with a gun...leading troopers to shoot James "Jim" Sallette.
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The founder of a Bible-themed museum who debated evolution with TV's "Science Guy" Bill Nye says fundraising after the widely watched event helped resurrect its stalled Noah's Ark project. Creation Museum founder Ken Ham says a municipal bond offering to fund the theme park attraction has raised enough money to begin construction on the 510-foot wooden ark.
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No one was injured when a Leslie County kindergarten student brought a gun to school earlier this month. The boy brought the gun to Mountain View Elementary in Hyden Feb. 12. A teacher's aide confiscated the gun which was not loaded immediately after the student pulled it out. Investigators believe the boy brought the .38 Smith & Wesson revolver to show his friends and had no intentions of hurting anyone.
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A Kentucky House panel has passed a measure saying minors shouldn't be allowed to use tanning beds. The bill would make exceptions for minors who have been prescribed the use of tanning beds by physicians. rising cases of skin cancer among young women, and recent regulations on tanning beds were the reasons for the bill.