LOCAL NEWS

Friday 8-14-15

By Jerry Adams

A man accused of firing the shots that killed a Clay County man last month has had his first day in court.  32 year old Roscoe Henson was arraigned Thursday  on charges that he killed Trevor Dykes as Dykes got ready for work on july 27th outside his home in Manchester.  Officials say a second man, Thomas Miracle, hired Henson to kill Dykes in a child custody dispute involving Miracle's girlfriend's child.  Sheriff Kevin Johnson says investigators continue to unravel strands of the case and that more arrests are possible.  Dykes family says the are grateful for the police work so far and want to make sure whoever did kill him is brought to justice.  Henson s next court date is set for Monday.

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Meanwhile, Clay County deputies have another murder case on their hands as well.   21 year old Kevin Stidham is accused of killing his girlfriend near a home on Miller Lane in the Big Creek community on Thursday afternoon.  Investigators say 32 year old Sherry Collins was shot to death and that allege that Stidham put marks on the his arms to indicate a struggle that never took place.  Reports say Stidham has confessed.  He is being held until his first court appearance.

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Letcher County officials say they have their hands full with the heroin epidemic, and want to set up a needle exchange program for addicts to keep down the risk from diseases spread my shared needles.  Health officials say it makes sense, and that some addicts may even be convinced to get help when they show up at exchange sites. Other people disagree, saying that giving away needs sends the wrong message that its OK to use heroin, as long as the syringes are clean.  In spite of those concerns, the county health department hopes to have some kind of exchange set up soon—before a serious outbreak of illness like hepatitis or HIV spreads into the community.

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The controversy over Rowan County clerk Kim Davis's decision not to issue marriage license in the wake of June's US Supreme Court decision legalizing same sex marriages may be heating up. Earlier this week, a federal judge ruled that Davis must comply and begin to issue those license, something she says she can't do because of her religious belief. Members of her office say they have been instructed not to go along with the ruling either and so, for now, no licenses are being issued. No word yet on what will happen next, but Davis says she is prepared to take her stand to the next level and all the way back to the Supreme Court, if necessary

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Officials in Harlan say they are addressing the issue of a residence on main street that is overlfowing with cats, where neighbors have complained abour the smell.  Residents are also concered about possible health problems near the home as well.  The city council says Police Chief Mike Thomas cited the woman who owns the property under the city nuisance ordinance and for faliure to have the cats vaccinated.  She is due in court on Augist 24th.  Animal control officials say their hands are times until the legal issues is resolved. The council also says the city health department will follow up on the matter and work to get the property cleaned up..

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Demolition work on a Laurel County landmark, heavily damaged by a fire in February is complete. Crews brought down the home of Weaver's hot dogs, which had been on that site on Main Street in London since 1940. Officials say the walls were just too weak for the building to remain standing and so for safety  reasons, they ordered it to come down.  Co owner Kimberly Weaver says while they have set up two new locations, she won't feel at home until Weaver's is back on Main Street. Some of the old place remains— a previous owner had made digital copies of the photos that  once hung on the walls.  Those pictures will be reprinted and hung on the walls of the NEW Weaver's when its built.

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The old east end bridge in Elkhorn City is about to come down. There is already a new bridge helping people get from Elkhorn City to the Breaks, but with the demolition work, officials are worried that debris from the project could fall into the river below and are warning boaters to stay away until the wrecking crews get done in October.

Thursday 8-13-15

By Jerry Adams

A second suspect in a suspect in a Clay County murder is now behind bars.  32 year old Roscoe Henson is suspected of being one of two men who were hired to kill Trevor Dykes at his home in Manchester last month. Reports say he was picked up and booked into the Clay County jail late last night.  Meanwhile,  the other person accused in the case is now identified as Thomas Miracle—who has been arraigned on solicitation to commit murder charges in Clay County District Court. Officials think the killing may have been the result of a custody dispute.  Dykes was gunned down as he left his home for work on July 27. His family hopes the arrests are the first step toward justice in the case.

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President Obama has signed an emergency declaration that means federal help for residents of Johnson County whose property was damaged in last month's flood.  That  help could include low cost loans and other federal programs to help them rebuild. The declaration also covers some of the storm related costs for governments and some non profit groups in other areas including  Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Letcher, Magoffin, and Perry counties.

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Police in Perry County have charged man with leading them on a chase that ended up with a crash on Kentucky 80 on Wednesday morning. Deputies say Aaron Jones took off as they tried to stop him near the Daniel Boone Motor Inn in Hazard. After the crash that ended the chase. they say Jones took off on foot but was quickly taken in to custody. He is facing charges of fleeing and evading law enforcement.

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A grand jury has indicted two women from Letcher County on charges that they embezzled almost 200 thousand dollars from a payday loan provider where they both worked. Christy Lee Sexton and Shelly Lynn Salyers are accused of taking out loans in the names of former customers, including some who were dead, and then taking the money for themselves.  The women worked for Cash in a Dash in Whitesburg before they were fired.  A few weeks after the investigation into the fraudulent loans began, the Cash in a Dash building caught fire. So far that case remains unsolved. Sexton and Salyers are in Letcher County jail and are due in county Circuit Court on August 25th  .

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Prayers for a high school student badly hurt in a crash in Harlan County ATV accident.  Sara Napier is a member of the Harlan County high school basketball and track teams—who was injured in a crash on Pine mountain. Her family and her friends are pulling for her recovery from a serious leg injury and they are confident that she will be back with her team as soon as she can.

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An openly gay former high school basketball player from Prestonsburg says his picture was left out of his high school yearbook on purpose.  Betsy Layne High school says Dalton Maldonado' s picture didn't make it to the pages due to an editing error and that they will re-print the book to include his photo. Maldonado came out earlier this year after an argument with an opposing player who he claimed had used anti-gay slurs during a game.

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A judge has ruled that the Rowan County Clerk must issue marriage license to same sex couples. Kim Davis has refused to do that, saying it would go against her Christian belief, but now a federal judge says she must comply with the US supreme court ruling making those marriages legal.  Federal District Judge David Bunning says gay and lesbian couples shouldn't have to go to other counties and that Davis is required to perform her duties under the law.  No word if Davis plans to appeal that ruling. She is one of three county clerks across the state who stopped issuing marriage licenses because of the conflict between their beliefs and the supreme court ruling.

Wednesday 8-12-15

By Jerry Adams

The cats at the Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter have been saved.  Earlier this week, the shelter put out word that they would have to euthanize 60 cats because of overcrowding, but now, the public has responded and adopted more than 100 cats and kittens.  People from as far away as Lexington showed up, and now the  shelter has plenty of room. In fact, they have no more cats left for adoption for now.

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More than 100 people lined up in Jenkins on Tuesday, for a chance to fill one of 50 positions at a new call center that is set to open there next month. Healthcare National Marketing plans to open that center to make calls to people about health and dental insurance. The Florida based company says after the initial 50 jobs are filled, they plan to add more, to staff an expected second shift at the facility. Healthcare National Marketing is based in Florida where they employ 200 people at a similar call center.

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Police have made an arrest in the murder of a Clay County man who was shot as he got ready for work last month. The aren't releasing the mans name and he was brought into jail with a jacket over his head to protect his identify as the search goes on for another person beloved to be involved in the killing.  24 year old Trevor dykes was gunned down on July 27th  in front of his home in Manchester. Since then, detectives say the have been working non stop to close the case. Dykes's friends and family says they have waited for this moment and now want justice. The suspect  in custody is facing solicitation to commit murder charges.

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A man from Harlan County is accused of leading police on a chase that began in the Bledsoe community—and ended several miles later in Bell County on Tuesday morning.. They say they had to use spike strips to stop the car, driven by 54 year old Byran Wells. The pursuit began when police say wells refused to stop for officers on Highway 221. He is facing several charges.

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Some people in Letcher County say they have found help from addictions though a new program.  The Letcher County Lifeline Connection is a faith based program, which uses something called neuron electric therapy, or NET, at the Isiah House drug treatment center.  The group also holds support meetings for people with any substance abuse problem—and for their families as well. They have several of those sessions scheduled in the coming weeks throughout the county.

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Johnson county sheriff's are looking for two people they say burglarized a charity there. They say they have surveillance video of the suspects who took items from the Christian Appalachian Project early Sunday morning.  The project says the theft of the items, in including tools and other supplies—will hurt. They also say they want the theives to know that they have stolen—not only from the project, but from members of the community who are in need. The sheriffs office is hoping the public can provide tips about that theft.

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When flood waters washed though Johnson County last month, thew swept away dozens of homess—and the precious meories that were inside. Now some volunteers are combing though debris, salvaging what they can and trying to put pictures that they have found back in the hands of people they belong to. All Hands volunteers say they are happy to do something meaningful—rather than just sorting junk and putting it in the trash.

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A woman who found a pair of World War II dog tags in a park in isom is hoping to get them back to their owner. Sarah Caudill found the tags near a dumpster at the isom Community Park and says  find the people who they belong to. She says they are important to someone and are of both personal and patriotic significance. The well worn tags are on a chain and have the name Richard
McCraken—and Caudill has posted pictures of them on the Internet, hoping someone will recognize them.

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Kentucky has joined the list of states suing the EPA over its tough new restrictions on coal emissions from power plants. Attorney general Jack Conway says the federal government is overstepping its authority with those rules that were announced earlier this year. Conway says the proposed regulations would make it difficult for the state to come up with its own air quality guildines and would likely lead to higher electric bills as well.

Tuesday 8-11-15

By Jerry Adams

Officials are investigating an apparently serious accident in Floyd County. Reports say a pickup went of an 250 foot embankment in the Prater Creek community near highway 1426. No word yet on the extent of any injuries.

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A tough choice facing the Kentucky River Regional Animal Shelter in Hazard—and you can help.. The shelter's board says they are urgently looking g for new homes for 50 to 60 cats by Thursday morning.  If not, the shelter may have to euthenize the animals because they just font have the room to hold them all. The cats that are up for adoption are inexpensive -- 5 to 10 dollars. Officials say saving one cat may not seem like much, but it does make a difference.. The shelter has more information and pictures of the kittens and some of their new families on its facebook page. We have put a link to it on the local news page at 103.9 the bulldog.com. (https://www.facebook.com/KentuckyRiverRegionalAnimalShelter)

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A church community in Pike  County is facing a rebuilding after a fire destroyed their house of worship on Monday. Officials say the Freewill Baptist Church in the Brush community is a total loss. There is no word on what caused the fire that apparently began near the back corner of the structure.  Investigators will be looking through whats left to find out how it started.  Members say they are heartbroken by the loss of the 60 year old church, but that their faith will help the through the tough time. They say the church is more than a building—that it is the people who attend services and worship god every Sunday, wherever that may be for now.

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As students head back to class this week, a new superintendent will head to a new job beginning September 1st. The Pike County Board of Education has named Reed Adkins as the distrct's new leader.  He's worked his way through the school system from bus driver, to teacher to basketball coach and principal.  Adkins says he is looking forward to the position and says he will focus on classroom achievement and student safety when he takes over the county's top school  job.

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A man from Breathitt County has pleaded guilty in a manslaughter case that began with a DUI related car crash a year ago,but the victims family says justice was not served. Four people died  in the wreck last August and Shawn Hardin was originally charged with four counts of wanton murder, but now, he has plead guilty to a lesser charge with a recommended 13 year old sentence. Family members say thats too lenient and that the plea on the eve of a trial is not what they had expected or hoped for.

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A new warning about counterfeit money in the area. There have been more reports of bogus bills now in  Letcher and Perry counties. Officials say its important for businesses to check all cash especially 20 dollar bills carefully, using a special pen that detect fake bills. They also say the money feels different than usual and is fairly easy to detect.  It's no laughing matter, printing and passing counterfeit money can lead to a 5 to 10 year federal sentence for forgery.

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People in Johnson County are hoping to get their hands on some real money soon to help them pay for damage done by last month's flooding.  Officials with the county disaster relief fund say they are doing the best they can  . They say they will be able to help even more people once insurance companies begin to pay claims and FEMA gets word that the county has been declared a disaster area.  No word yet on when that designation might come.

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And an honor for Whitesburg ARH for it's care of patients who have had a stroke. The Norton/UK Heath care Stroke network has named the hospital as a Rising Star for their work. Officials say Whitesburg ARH has shown a commitment to quality care that should be recognized. . The facility is an affiliate of U K health' stoke network and doctors say being part of that larger group improves the chances of recovering following a stroke.

Monday 8-10-15

By Jerry Adams

Police have made an arrest in connection with the theft a truck from a Wal-Mart in Hazard that was later recovered at another Wal-Mart in Whitesburg.  46 year old Ercil McPeaks was picked up over the weekend in Knott county and was taken to the Kentucky River Regional Jail.  Police say this is an unusual case, and that their investigation is continuing.

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The Whitesburg Bike night roared though town again on Saturday—days after organizers said they were considering  canceling the event. The city of  says the event—which is held every second Saturday—is a great tradition and that they are happy it can go on.  Last week, bikers said they  were looking at taking the event elsewhere because of a  state mandated insurance policy and what they felt was indifference by the city, but now, those involved say any problems have been ironed out and the riders say they are good to go in Whitesburg to have fun—and to raise money for charity.

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Police say they have found a man who escaped as he was being taken to the Harlan County Detention Center. They say 21 year old Christopher Thacker was able to escape from an officer who was taking him back to the jail after a hospital visit early Saturday morning . Reports say Thacker is now back in custody following his arrest at a residence in Caxton.

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Family and friends came  together  in Hazard on Saturday to remember a man who died while hiking in Colorado.  21 year old Joseph Combs was a graduate of Hazard High and was an avid soccer player, so organizers held a pickup game in his memory.  They also put together a motorcycle ride to help raise money and show support for the Combs family.

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Some volunteer firefighters from Harlan County have had a chance to practice skills behind the wheel of some of their department's rigs.  The Evarts fide department brought in the Kentucky State Fire Commission to host  a training and testing session over the weekend—including the state's 1.5 million dollar driving simulator. Officials say that while simulation is great, nothing beas  the real experience of being in the drivers seat of a big firetruck.

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A man from Laurel County is in custody after his arrest on charges that he killed 6 people in  drunk driving crash in Tennessee.  Police say they found 39 year old Benjamin Brewer late Friday near Lexington after receiving a tip. Brewer had been wanted in  connection with that wreck on I-75 near Chattanooga in June. He is facing several counts of vehicular homicide in Tennessee.

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Some real mountain history will be in the spotlight tonight on the National geographic channel. The show called “Diggers” will feature the Hatfield-McCoy feud  .The show had its premiere on Saturday in Pikeville—and several descendants of the dueling families were on hand. They say they have long ago buried the hatchet—and have now come together to help tell the story about the deadly fights of the second half of the 1800's.

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A 96 year old man from Laurel County has been honored for his courage and service during world war two. The Twin Branch United Methodist Church  in London gave it's St Barbara's award to Leonard Gilliam, who served in the artillery and distinguished  himself in on the battlefield. Those on had say it was an honor to spend time with Gilliam and to thank  for his service to country and the community where he has spent his life.