Local News Tuesday March 7, 2017

Watch out for Funny Money. That’s the warning from officials at Community Trust Bank in Hazard after fake 20-dollar bills were passed off at two of their branches in Hazard. Police say there have also been some fake bills used at the Hazard Walmart recently. The best way to protect yourself is to hold the casH up to the light to make sure the inside markings are visible—most fake money won’t have those.

A Grandmother in London Kentucky is grateful that a bank teller stopped her from handing over nearly every penny she had to a con artist. The woman says she got a phone call from someone who called her grandma… she thought it was her grandson. He said he was in jail and needed bail money right away. She went to the bank to pull out cash to wire, but the teller helped track down the location where the money was being sent, and found out it was a pharmacy, not a jail. Police say this is a common scam, and most people don’t realize it until it’s too late.

An Amish man from Bath County has been convicted on 13 federal counts for misbranding his homemade lotions. Prosecutors say Samuel Girod mislabled homemade salves, claiming they cured skin cancer, tumors, and headaches. An investigation was launched in 2013 after someone reported his products to the state health department in Missouri. A federal judge in Missouri told him to stop selling the products at that point… but he continued selling them in other states. There’s no word how long the father of 12… and grandfather of 25… could end up in prison on the charges. He’ll be sentenced in June.

State lawmakers want to make sure students in Kentucky learn how to write and read cursive. State Representative Jill York filed the bill to make sure cursive is included in elementary curriculum before students graduate from 5th grade. The Kentucky Education Commissioner supports the measure.

Floyd County Deputies put a large-scale drug dealer behind bars following what started out as an everyday traffic stop last week. John Hunt with the Sheriff’s Office says deputies pulled over an SUV in Garrett Friday. Two men were inside the rig… along with about 30 grams of crystal meth, some oxycodone and other controlled narcotics. 60-year old Hank Pelphrey is charged with two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance. 45-year old Jeremy Graff was arrested on outstanding warrants out of Kentucky and Florida.

A 2-car wreck on the Highway 15 bypass in Whitesburg yesterday morning led to  one man being charged with drunk driving. Police say Jordan E-step crossed the center line… colliding with an oncoming truck. Both drivers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. 24-year old E-step is charged with DUI, wanton endangerment and traffic charges. 

Authorities in Fayette County need your help finding friends or relatives of a man who died while a ward of the state.  Seventy-year-old James Walling passed away last month at the Fountain Circle Health and Rehabilitation in Winchester.  Officials know that at one point he lived in the Sarasota Drive area of Lexington.  Anyone who may have information regarding family or friends of James Walling is asked to call Fayette County Coroner’s office.

Patrick DeHaan with GasBudy.com says we’re paying about 45 cents more per gallon this week than we were a year ago… and prices state-wide are up 5 cents just in the past week. DeHaan says last fall’s decision by OPEC to cut production continues to weigh on the minds of investors, pushing gasoline prices higher. Right now in Letcher County were paying about 2.16 for a gallon of regular… 1.99 in Dickenson County.