DAMAGE REPORTS FROM EF-1 TORNADO SUNDAY IN LESLIE COUNTY
Damage reports are beginning to surface from the EF-1 tornado that touched down in Leslie County on Sunday. At Shell Cemetery along Kentucky 2009 trees were uprooted which knocked over a number of headstones. And a tree fell on a carport at a home in Essie. The storm also had golfball sized hail that cracked the windshields of 2 vehicles parked at the home. The homeowner says the roof was replaced just 2 months ago. So far there have been no reports of injuries from Sunday's storm.
CITY COUNCIL DEEDS LAND FOR SPECIAL NEEDS HOUSING TO BE BUILT IN PRESTONSBURG
Over 2.5 acres of land in Floyd County has been deeded to a company planning to build apartments for those with low income or special needs. The Prestonsburg City Council allocated the land from the Stonecrest Industrial Park to Mountain Comprehensive Care on the stipulation it received approval for the project from the federal Economic Development Administration. The company says it will build a 24 unit complex on the site with around a fifth of the apartments reserved for special needs residents.
PIKE COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPUTY DIES FROM ACCIDENT INJURIES
A Pike County sheriff's deputy hurt in a horse accident earlier this month has died from his injuries. Ernie Rhoten had been the baliff at the Pike County Judicial Center for the last 18 months. Co-workers say Rhoten was one of the best officers the Judicial Center ever had, adding that he made everyone there smile. Rhoten had registered as an organ donor.
2 ARRESTED IN PERRY COUNTY ON BURGLARY CHARGES
2 people from Perry County are arrested for burglarizing a vacant home. Police say they caught Doyle Standafer and Sarah Krantz in the act of taking items from the home on Carter Street in Hazard and both took off on foot. Kratz was arrested several hours later and Standafer turned himself in a short time later. Both are scheduled to make their first court appearance next week.
PIKE COUNTY CHURCH LOST TO FIRE AND BEING INVESTIGATED
A Pike County church that members say has roots dating back to the 1800s is now nothing but a memory after it burned to the ground. The fire at Yeager Church of Christ in Little Creek happened on Saturday morning and investigators from the State Police Arson division along with the State Fire Marshal are determining the cause. One church members says nearby surveillance cameras may have captured images of what happened before the fire started. Another says the congregation will rebuild the church in the near future.
POSSIBLE NEW FLOYD COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL
The Floyd County Board of Education has given the green light to a preliminary design for a new high school building. Designer showed board members renderings of the new facility which is to be located on Route 380. It will have around 140,000 square feet of space with nearly two thirds of it used for classrooms. The design now goes to the state Department of Education for its approval.
PERRY COUNTY SHOOTING MONDAY RULED SELF DEFENSE
Police say they are not filing charges in a Perry County shooting Monday night, saying it was a case of self defense. According to investigators Filas Hilton was in the process of stealing from ginseng from property owned by Logan Sexton of Leatherwood when Sexton confronted Hilton. Sexton tells officers Hilton appeared to be reaching for a weapon and that's when Sexton shot Hilton, who was airlifted to a Pikeville hospital and is expected to recover from his injuries. A grand jury will determine if charges are to be filed against Hilton in the suspected ginseng theft.
IDA IN HARLAN COUNTY BEGINS TO REFORM RECORD KEEPING AFTER STATE AUDIT
Harlan County's Industrial Development Authority has begun the process to implement reforms in its financial record keeping procedures. This comes after the state auditor sumbitted a number of recommendations to correct problems which resulted in the county having to assume over $175,000 in debt. Step one of the process according to the I-D-A is to get a forensic audit of the agency's finances.
NWS CONFIRMS TORNADO IN LESLIE COUNTY SUNDAY
The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado did touch down Sunday in southern Leslie County – but was gone as fast it came, only on the ground for a minute or so. Tree damage was reported during the brief touchdown of the EF-1 tornado that had winds of around 75 miles an hour No one was hurt.
FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON TO VISIT HAZARD NEXT WEEK
Former President Bill Clinton will visit Perry County a week from tomorrow on a campaign swing with Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes. Clinton – who is a longtime friend of Grimes’ father Jerry Lundergan – will be in Lexington in the morning then appear at the Hal Rogers Center in Hazard at 3pm. The latest Bluegrass poll puts Grimes in a virtual dead heat with incumbent Senator Mitch McConnell.
PERRY COUNTY MAN AIRLIFTED AFTER SHOOTING
A man shot in Perry County last night had to be airlifted to a hospital. Police haven’t released many details on what happened other that the shooting occurred at a home off of Owens Branch Road near the Slemp Community. The gunman is still at large.
EVARTS LOOKING AT DIFFERENT WAYS TO COLLECT PROPERTY TAXES
One city in Harlan County is looking at some different approaches to collecting delinquent property taxes and unpaid privilege licenses. Just over $30,000 is due the city of Evarts and the city council says it’s taking a look at selling the debt to a third party that would then try and collect the money. Some of the delinquent taxes date back over five years, according to Mayor Eddie Manning. Another way to collect back taxes is by filing liens against the property owners – but one Evarts councilman says it’s best that people just pay their bills rather than lost their property.
NEW DETAILS IN SUNDAY SHOOTING AT PIKE COUNTY MOTORCYLE CLUB
New details are emerging about an early Sunday morning shooting in Pike County that left a man dead and two others injured. Police say they found the 3 shooting victims at a motorcycle club off Pond Creek Road on Straight Hollow and Daniel Ward – the man who would be later charged in the shooting – had taken off on his motorcycle. According to investigators Ward was pulled over and booked into jail on traffic violations, suspicion of DUI and for possessing a concealed weapon – a pair of brass knuckles. It was after he was in jail that the murder charge was filed. Ward is due in court August 6.
HARLAN NATIVE AND UK LEGEND "WAH WAH JONES" PASSES AWAY
Legendary UK basketball and football All-American, Olympic Gold Medalist and Harlan County native William Wah Wah Jones died Sunday at the age of 88. Jones led Harlan High School to a state championship in 1944, then went on to UK and to the Olympics in London 4 years later. With all the fame Jones gained, people say it never went to his head, always staying humble – and never forgetting Harlan was his home. Visitation is tomorrow from 5 to 7 pm at the Anderson-Laws-Jones Funeral Home in Harlan.
POLICE SAY NO PROOF OF SHOTS FIRED AT HOMES IN POUND VIRGINIA OVER THE WEEKEND
Police in a Wise County, Virginia city say they haven’t been able to find any proof that someone opened fire at a number of homes on Sunday as had been reported to dispatchers. Investigators from several agencies searched an area in the 7000 block of South Fork Road near the town of Pound but found no damage or any bullet casings. Officers did find there was some target shooting going on near the neighborhood.
CHILD CAR SEAT INSPECTIONS IN HARLAN COUNTY
Yesterday State Troopers in Harlan County conducted safety inspections for child car seats. In addition to making sure seats are safe, troopers helped parents make sure that the seats are properly installed in their cars. The troopers gave out free car seats to folks whose seats have been recalled.
FISCAL COURT VOTES TO PAY FOR AIR MED HELICOPTER SERVICES
At its July meeting the Letcher County Fiscal Court voted to pay $17,000 for Air Med medical helicopter services to be added on to the insurance plans for county employees and first responders. Last year the court voted to add the coverage which picks up the remaining cost after what health insurance pays out for the cost of an emergency flight. Judge/Executive Jim Ward says it would cost over $90,000 to provide this benefit to all county residents but County Treasurer Phillip Hampton told the court there’s no provision in the budget to pay that higher amount. Hampton suggested including the cost to cover the entire county in next year’s budget.
MURDER AT PIKE COUNTY MOTORCYLE CLUB MEETING
A man was killed and 2 people were hurt after a shooting in Pike County. Police say Daniel Ward shot and killed Bradley Coleman at a motorcycle club in the Stone community. The 2 other people shot were taken to the hospital but there has been no word on the severity of their injuries or their current conditions. Ward was arrested on suspicion of murder and police say additional charges are pending.
RESCUE DOGS IN KNOTT COUNTY FOR TRAINING
Rescue dogs and their handlers were out in Knott County over the weekend for training exercises. The class included rescue groups from Knott County along with those from 3 other nearby counties along with one rescuer who traveled from Wisconsin for the training sessions. Classes were conducted by from Carl Alexander from the National Search Dog Agency and certification paperwork was handed out once training was completed. A total of 8 dogs were involved in the training.
PERRY COUNTY VOLUNTEERS GIVE OUT FOOD BOXES
Volunteers in Perry County prepared and gave away over 300 boxes of food this weekend. It’s an endeavor conducted by the "Youth Awakening" ministry group which raised money all year to buy the food. The food boxes were handed out on Saturday at the National Guard armory.
HARLAN STUDENTS EARN COLLEGE CREDITS
High school students in Harlan County are getting a jump on their college education while finishing up work on their high school diplomas A joint program between the Harlan Independent School System and Jefferson County Community College gives students the chance to earn credit hours by taking college level classes along with their high school curriculum. School officials say one in 5 Harlan County seniors graduated with college credits in hand – as compared to just a handful 5 or 6 years ago. The classes include those on a typical freshman’s schedule including Humanities, college-level math courses along with science and tech classes. All credits earned transfer to four-year institutions.
SOUTHWEST VA MINE RECEIVES OVER 2 DOZEN CITATIONS
Over 2 dozen citations have been filed against a Dickenson County, Virginia coal mine by a federal watchdog agency. Dickenson-Russell Coal Company's Cherokee Mine was named in the latest report from the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Inspections began 4 years ago the Upper Big Branch explosion in West Virginia killed 29 coal miners.
CONSTRUCTION SCHEDULE PLANS TAKE SHAPE FOR NEW PIKE COUNTY INDUSTRIAL PARK
The timeline for construction of Pike County’s newest industrial park is beginning to take shape. Last week Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers unveiled plans for the new industrial park called Marion Branch – at the location of a 380-acre former surface mine site. Global animal nutrition company Alltech is planning to build a fish farm and egg farm at the park – and is the site’s first tenant. The first step is construction of an access road to Marion Branch and a bridge across the Big Sandy from U.S. 23 to the new access road. Pikeville officials say road construction could begin as soon as October and would likely take about 4 months. Bridge construction will take longer to complete – well over a year, according to officials.
FORMER WISE COUNTY PARAMEDIC CHARGED
A former Wise County Virginia paramedic is charged with inappropriate activities with a minor. The Wise County Commonwealth's Attorney's office says Andrew Justin Rose is also accused of using an electronic device to propose an indecent act. Authorities say he was a member of the Appalachia Rescue Squad at the time of the suspected activity. Rose had faced prior theft charges while with the Clintwood Virginia Rescue Squad.
NEW AD FROM ALLISON GRIMES FEATURING HARLAN COUNTY COAL MINER
The campaign for the Democratic challenger to Senator Mitch McConnell released a new TV ad yesterday - featuring an unemployed coal miner from Harlan County. Alison Lundergan Grimes is seen sitting next to David Stanley who asks Senator McConnell why he said it’s not his job to bring jobs to Kentucky. Stanley was referring to a McConnell quote from April in the Beattyville Enterprise newspaper. According to Kentucky dot com the head of the Kentucky Coal Association labeled the Grimes ad as unfair and inaccurate. The ad hit the airwaves a day after over 200 Arch Coal workers in Letcher County and Wise County, Virginia lost their jobs.
PLANS FOR NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN PERRY COUNTY
Plans are in motion to build a new elementary school in Perry County. Yesterday the school board okayed plans for a new West Perry Elementary school and those plans now go to the state for approval. Preliminary estimates put construction costs at around $18 million. A new building for East Perry elementary was completed last year.
FLOYD COUNTY SHERIFF CANDIDATE PULLS OUT OF RACE
More than three months before the November election, the race for Floyd County sheriff is already over now that Joey Collins pulled out of the race. According to the Floyd County Times Collins said he entered the sheriff's race over concerns about the other candidates - but once John Hunt decided to run, Collins felt he would make a good sheriff. Collins also asked those who supported his bid for sheriff to give their support to Hunt. The newspaper reports Hunt praised Collins’ decision as a move to put the county’s welfare over politics.
NEW FINES FOR CITY CURFEW IN EVARTS
One Harlan County city has implemented fines for those under the age of 18 who fail to obey the city's curfew. The Evarts City Council implemented a $25 fine for the first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense. According to the ordinance fines would be paid by the parent of those found to have violated curfew.
TENNESSEE FUGITIVE CAPTURED IN FLOYD COUNTY
A fugitive wanted in Tennessee was captured yesterday in Floyd County as he was just walking down a road. The Sheriff’s Office says it received word that police in Hancock County, Tennessee were looking for Jerry Wayne Anderson II on suspicion he embezzled $75,000 from a farm and home supply company there. 2 deputies found Anderson walking on a road in Auxier, stopped him and according to investigators admitted to one deputy he was the man wanted in Tennessee. He now awaits an extradition hearing.
NEW COMMUNITY CENTER DISCUSSED FOR PRESTONSBURG
iscussions continued Monday night about a new community center in Prestonsburg. City officials told those in attendance at the Mountain Arts Center that they believe that once operational, the center would bring in enough revenue to cover operating costs - and may even turn a profit. The big issue is getting money to build the facility - and a project consultant says grants could cover around half the construction cost.
BROADWAY SCHOOL BUILDING IN HAZARD BEING TORN DOWN
By the end of the week a school building in Perry County will be nothing but a memory. The old Broadway School building in Hazard is being torn down and in its place will be 6 new homes. The building was the first site for Hazard High School.
NEW CANDIDATE FOR PIKE COUNTY JUDGE EXECUTIVE
An employee in Pike County government says she's running to become the next judge-executive. According to the Appalachian News-Express once Community Services Commissioner Carol Napier files to run she will be out of a job as state law prohibits county employees from running for public office. 15 years ago Napier ran for the same office but lost.
VIRAL PERRY COUNTY VIDEO FEATURING DOG AND RABBIT
Viral videos from a Perry County family of their dog and rabbit playing together have landed the duo a shot on national television. The owners of Ellie - a poodle-golden retriever mix - and Petey the rabbit - tell the Hazard Herald they got a call from a TV producer after they saw the videos on YouTube. Crews are supposed to arrive sometime next week.