Johnson Co Man Awarded Carnegie Medal for Heroism Posthumously
A Johnson Co man, who died trying to save his grandmother during a flood, has been awarded Carnegie Medal for Heroism. 34-year-old Scott Johnson risked his own life to save his grandmother and other family members as high water ripped her home off its foundation during last year’s devastating flooding in the Flat Gap community of Johnson Co. Sadly, Scott and his grandmother, Willa, were both killed, along with two other Flat Gap residents. Scott’s family was aware that he was being considered for the award, but on Sunday they received a letter announcing that Scott had received the honor. This award recognizes those who risk their lives trying to save others. Scott is one of 25 civilians to be awarded the medal this year.
New UPike President to Take Office January 1, 2017
An inauguration ceremony will be held next month for Burton J Webb, who will be the new President for UPike. Webb was appointed by the board of trustees last year. The ceremony will be held at UPike’s Booth Auditorium on October 14. He’s scheduled to take office January 1.
Scores Released by KDE on State Assessment Testing
School and District results for overall assessment accountability were released Thursday, (September 30th) by the Ky Dept of Education. These results are for the 2015/2016 State Accountability Testing System. Unbridled Learning: College and Career Readiness Assessment program which includes achievement scores, growth scores, gap scores, college and career readiness scores, and graduation rate. The Johnson County School System and the Paintsville Independent School System are both DISTINGUISHED school systems in KY. To be considered Distinguished, a school district needs to have an overall score of at least 70.5.
* Overall, the Johnson County School District earned a Distinguished Rating for student performance, with a total district score of 74.2. Paintsville Independent School System earned a 76.4
Meeting Held to Discuss Upcoming Mountain Parkway Construction
Dozens of people attended a public meeting Tuesday night to learn more about construction that is starting soon on the Restaurant Row Segment of the Mountain Parkway Expansion. Read More
Paintsville Mayor Found Guilty in 3 out of 4 Counts
According to reports, a Federal jury in London, Ky has found Paintsville Mayor Bob Porter Guilty to 3 out of the 4 counts against him. Mayor Porter’s Federal Trial got underway last Wednesday, he was charged with theft of government property. He was found guilty on 2 counts of theft of federal funds aiding and abetting and 1 count of theft of federal funds. He was found not guilty on 1 count of theft of federal funds. A federal grand jury indicted Mayor Porter and former Paintsville Utilities Commission GM Larry Herald in December. Herald would eventually plead guilty in April, admitting he lied about being unaware that Porter was delinquent on his utility bill until confronted about it by the city council. Sentencing for Mayor Porter has been scheduled for Jan. 12 in Pikeville. Each of the counts carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. We will bring you further information once it is released.
“Human Remains” Found in Martin Co.
According to information from Trooper Steven Mounts, Public Information Officer with the KSP Pikeville Post, Investigators were on the scene Tuesday in the Milo community of Martin Co. were Human Remains were found. Trooper Mounts did not speculate on if the Remains were male or female, he just said “Human Remains” were found. Lead investigator is Det. Jason Dials spent several hours at the scene gathering information, as well as the remains. Trooper Mounts did not release any information on who or how the remains were found. The Human Remains will be sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort for positive identification. The KSP will release further information when it becomes available.
KSP Investigates Armed Robbery in Pike Co
According to a news release from the KSP, in the early morning hours of Monday, August 26, 2016, Post 9 Pikeville received a 911 call of a robbery at the Zip Zone Express / Fast Lane in Pike Co. Troopers responded to the scene and determined that an unknown male entered the business armed with a firearm. The male brandished the weapon and demanded money. The clerk retrieved an undisclosed amount of cash, and gave it to the male before he fled the scene on foot. The male was described as wearing a dark colored coat, black shorts, and a mask covering his face. The Kentucky State Police is asking the public for any information relating to this case, and can call the Kentucky State Police Post 09 at (606) 433-7711. Callers can remain anonymous. This incident remains under investigation by KSP Detective Kevin Newsome.
Two People Killed in Crash on Mountain Parkway in Powell Co Tuesday
The Mountain Parkway in Powell Co. was closed Tuesday for several hours following a deadly crash. According to information, the crash happened near the 19-mile marker just past the Clay City exit. Police say a car blew a tire, went off the roadway, and traveled down an embankment. A man and woman inside the car were pronounced dead at the scene. The couple was driving an older model Chevy car and Police say it was not equipped with seatbelts.
Johnson Co. Schools to Supply Students in Grades 7-12 with Computers
Officials with Johnson County Schools announced and approved plans this week for a 1 to 1 computer initiative for students in grades 7-12 that will supply those students with a new “take home” Chromebook computer. Johnson County Schools Superintendent Tom Salyer said these new computers will be given to the students to use during the school year free of charge and they can take them home to use and have access to information 24/7, which will be very beneficial in their academic progress. Johnson Co. Schools was able to purchase these computers through a program known as KETS – Kentucky Education Technology Systems. Officials expect the computers to be available to students by the end of October.
US-23 in Ivel Returns to Normal Traffic Flow
Installation of a rockfall barrier fence was finished late last week along US-23 in Ivel. This was the last step in the cleanup and work to make the site safer. The roadway had been narrowed in this area over the past few months as a result of a rockslide earlier this year. The container barriers (shipping containers) used to break the impact of any rocks or material tumbling down the hillside, were removed Monday, as will all traffic cones, barrels, and barriers. Both southbound lanes have been open for some time.
Emergency road aid funds awarded to Morgan County Fiscal Court
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced Monday that the Morgan County Fiscal Court will receive $24,600 in County Road Aid emergency funds. These funds will be used for slip repairs on Bethel Chapel Road, making it safer for cars, school buses and other vehicles that rely upon this highway. The project location is approximately 0.6 miles northeast of KY 844. The Morgan County Fiscal Court is responsible for administering the work.
Crews Rescue Man at Paintsville Lake Spillway
Crews were dispatched to Paintsville Lake State Park Monday morning for a man in unknown distress near the spillway side of the dam. The man was found near the downstream area in the water under the handicap fishing pier. Paramedics with Paintsville Fire and EMS tended to the patient while volunteers with Oil Springs Fire and Rescue readied rope rescue equipment. The patient was secured and moved out of the water and onto the fishing pier, then was taken to the emergency room by Paintsville EMS. Oil Springs Fire and Rescue was assisted at the scene by Paintsville Fire and EMS, WR Castle Fire and Rescue, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and the Army Corps of Engineers. The incident is still being reviewed.
Coal-Fired Cooling Tower Demolished
Many called it a sad day for east Kentucky. Officials with Kentucky Power were forced to idle a coal-fired cooling tower in Lawrence County last year. That tower was demolished on Saturday. It’s a sight east Kentuckians have seen for decades along US-23 north of Louisa. Kentucky Power posted video of the demolition on Facebook. The remainder of the power plant is still standing – it’s now powered by natural gas.
Jenkins Man Attacked by Bear in Alaska
A man from Jenkins is recovering after being attacked by a bear in Alaska. 57-year-old Douglas Adkins was hiking last week in Alaska when the bear attacked. His injuries are being described as “non-life threatening.”
2 Facing Meth-Related Charges in Floyd County
Two people were arrested in Garrett last week on meth-related charges. The Floyd County Times reports Jason White and Hayley Johnson were arrested a home on Stone Coal Road in Garrett after finding several items used in the manufacturing of methamphetamine. Both were taken to the Floyd County Detention Center.
Paintsville Mayor Bob Porter’s Trial Underway in London
Paintsville Mayor Bob Porter’s Federal Trial is underway in London. Mayor Porter has been charged with theft of government property. According to WYMT, prosecutors spent much of the time on the first day (Wednesday) outlining their case against Porter, citing several documents, including check and invoices, dating back more than six years ago. During the Prosecuting Attorneys opening statements, they said Porter used his position of authority to receive benefits he was not entitled to. Former Paintsville Utility Manager Larry Herald pleaded guilty in April after he admitted to lying about being unaware that Porter was delinquent on his utility bill until confronted about it by the city council.
KSP Trooper Not Indicted for a July Shooting
A Pike Co grand jury decided Thursday, not to indict a KSP Trooper involved in a July deadly shooting. Trooper Jonathan Rouse shot and killed John A. Casey on July 31, 2016. Rouse and another trooper responded to a complaint on Phillips Branch Road in Pike Co., where they found Casey and Lacy Wolford. Reports indicates that Trooper Rouse told Casey he was under arrest for an outstanding warrant. Wolford then ran off and the two troopers took off after him. He was later arrested. When Trooper Rouse returned, he learned Casey had also run off into the woods. Casey would later walk out of the woods in an area above the trooper, taunted him and threw rocks at Trooper Rouse. Reports went onto say, when Casey reached into his pocket to pull something silver out, Trooper Rouse feared it was a weapon, drew his weapon and shot Casey. They later learned the silver object was actually a can of beer. The Pike Co. Grand Jury heard testimony that Casey had a blood alcohol level of .100 and Gabapentin, which he did not have a prescription for. The grand jury found Trooper Rouse used justifiable force and believed if Casey would have submitted to the arrest, “there is no doubt he would be alive today.”
Pike Co Jail Rape Case Suspect Identified
Earlier in the week, we reported about an inmate at the Pike Co Detention Center on shock probation following a rape last week. Last Tuesday a Corrections Officer at the Pike Co Detention Center walked in on the rape during a watch tour. Reports indicate that the victim is doing okay and will serve the rest of his time on probation. The accused inmate has been identified as Mike Henry Fields. Fields has been indicted and charged with sodomy and is currently in isolation. Investigators are still trying to determine what happened in the moments leading up to the incident.
Plea Deal Taken in a Magoffin Co. Sexual Abuse Case
A Magoffin Co man has pleaded guilty to an amended-down charge of sexual abuse and is set for sentencing on November 3. Mark Minix, of Allen Drive, in Salyersville was indicted on six counts of first-degree sodomy with victims under 12 years of age, a Class A felony, in June 2015. According to the indictment, on or about February 14, 2014, Minix allegedly engaged in deviate sexual intercourse with a person or persons less than 12 years of age. According to the Salyersville Independent, on September 15, Minix took a plea deal offered by the Commonwealth, which amended the sodomy charges down to one count of first-degree sexual abuse, a Class D felony. For his plea of guilty on the sexual abuse charge, the Commonwealth is recommending Minix be sentenced to 27 months in prison, register as a sex offender for 20 years and complete the sexual offender training, if necessary, as well as five years of conditional discharge. They ask for the other charges to be dismissed and Minix is to have no contact with the victims. The plea deal, signed by Minix, his attorney and the assistant Commonwealth attorney, was filed in the Magoffin County Circuit Court on September 15 and sentencing is scheduled for November 3 at 10 a.m.
Pike Co Teen Charged in Connection with Missing Girl
A couple of weeks ago, a 14-year-old Shelby Valley High School student was reported as missing by her family. Since that time, the girl has been reunited with her family. Now, the man she apparently left with is facing a criminal charge. 19-year-old Lucas Pigg, of Ashcamp, has been arrested and charged with custodial interference. The arrest warrant alleges Pigg picked the girl up from school and kept her away from her family for several days. Pigg continues to be held in the Pike Co Detention Center without bond.
Earthquake Recorded in Pike Co Thursday
A small earthquake hit in Pike Co more than five miles South of Pikeville around 8:57 a.m. Thursday. Officials say it recorded 2.3 on the Richter Scale, the epicenter was in Virgie near Robinson Creek. No injuries or damage has been reported at this time.
Supreme Court Says Bevin Cannot Cut University Budgets
Kentucky’s highest court says the state’s Republican governor cannot cut the budgets of public colleges and universities without the approval of the state legislature. The 5-2 ruling by the state Supreme Court reverses a lower court ruling that said Gov. Matt Bevin had the authority to order public colleges and universities not to spend all of the money the state legislature gave them. Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear appealed, arguing Bevin’s order was illegal. A majority of the court agreed on Thursday, saying Bevin does not have that authority. The ruling is a victory for Beshear, who has sued Bevin three times so far questioning the extent of the governor’s power. Just last month, Bevin boasted on a Louisville radio show that Beshear “will lose every one of these cases.”
Report: Pikeville Kmart Closing in December
Another round of closures for Kmart and this time the Pikeville location is on the list. The store, located in Coal Run Village just outside of Pikeville, will be closing in mid December. The latest list, posted by Business Insider, includes nearly 30 locations. The Pikeville location is the only Kentucky location on the list. Liquidation sales will begin later this week.
Large Marijuana Plants Found at Boons Camp Home
Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputies found several thousand dollars worth of marijuana plants at a home in Boons Camp on Monday. Deputies say they were at the home serving a bench warrant, but no one was hope. While there they discovered the three very large plants which have a street value of nearly $9,000. No arrests have yet been made but charges are pending.
Actress Makes Large Donation to CAP
Hollywood actress Gwendoline Yeo has made a large donation to Christian Appalachian Project. The work of the organization caught Yeo’s attention and she says she feels the need to give back to the country that has given so much to her. An exact amount of her donations was not released but she’s reportedly one of the top donors of the organization.
Black Bear Sighted in Red River Gorge
Another black bear sighting in east Kentucky – this time in Wolfe County. Two hikers in the Red River Gorge spotted the bear and called 911. Forest officials remind campers to store food away from your campsite and hang it at least 10 feet about the ground.
Officials Investigate Rape at Pike County Detention Center
Jail officials are investigating a rape case inside the Pike County Detention Center that happened last week. A corrections officer walked in on the rape during a watch tour last Tuesday. The victim of the rape is a man and Pike County Jailer Freddie Lewis says he is doing okay. The accused inmate could be indicted on rape and sodomy charges this week.
Pike County Woman Dies in Car Crash
A Pike County woman died in a crash. 48-year-old Dorothy Wolford of Phelps was a passenger in the crash that occurred Friday night in Chillicothe, Ohio. 2 other people in the vehicle were also taken to the hospital.
Construction to Begin on New Magoffin County Library
Another step closer to building the new Magoffin County Public Library. The library board met last week with officials from Codell Construction and Summit Engineering. The Salyersville Independent reports holes should be drilled this week on the site of the previous building, and bid packages for the first step of the project are in the process of being prepared. A construction sign showing two views of the new library’s design will be going up soon. The library board meets again October 3rd.
JCSO Arrest 2 on Criminal Trespassing Charges with other Charges Possible
Deputies with the Johnson Co Sheriff’s Dept. are investigating a burglary that happened Wednesday, in the Denver community of Johnson Co. According to WYMT reports, Deputies were called to a house located on Lower Twin Branch on two different occasions Wednesday. The first call reportedly came in as a burglary in progress. Deputy Byron Fairchild said, “The homeowner stated that the subject broke into the home through a window and was actually armed with a knife.” The homeowner reportedly tried to keep the man and woman at the home until Deputies arrived, but when they (Deputies) arrived, the two people ran into the woods, eventually getting away.
Later that day, Deputies said the pair actually came back to the same location and the Sheriff’s Dept. were once again called to the scene. This time another Deputy responded and was able to make the arrest on the individuals. The two were identified as Christina Kestner and Brian McCoart. Both have been charged with criminal trespassing. Burglary charges is also expected to be charged against both individuals. No injuries were reported with this incident and the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Dept. is continuing to investigate.
City Closes Pedestrian Bridge Due to Safety Concerns
The city of Paintsville announced on Thursday, the closing of the pedestrian bridge or “swinging bridge” that was located next to Dr. Kousa’s Office. The bridge spanned across Paint Creek connecting Main Street and Rt. 321 (Southside) in Paintsville. The bridge dates back to the 1960’s and had been named in honor of Bill “Perk” Litteral (known as the Bill “Perk” Litteral Memorial Bridge), who was a former Paintsville business man and city councilman. According to Paintsville Mayor Bob Porter, he said “after several inspections not only by the city, but the state as well, the closing was for the safety of those citizens who used the bridge. We will look at all options in trying to repair the bridge, but at this point the bridge will remain closed until further notice”.
Interapt Ribbon Cutting Set for Monday in Paintsville
Big Sandy Community and Technical College, in conjunction with the Paintsville/Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, will host a ribbon cutting for the Interapt TechHire East Kentucky facility next week. The facility, located on the Mayo Campus of Big Sandy in Paintsville, is designed to develop a technology ecosystem in the region that will put Eastern Kentucky workers on a fast track to become computer coders. The ceremony will be held on Monday (9-19) at 3PM. K-94.7 will broadcast the event live.
New Tourism Signs Going Up in Salyersville
New historic tour road signs are going up along the streets of downtown Salyersville. The Salyersville Independent reports the signs – 10 in total – are disbursed throughout downtown Salyersville and give directions to local areas and features throughout Magoffin County, such as the Dawkins Line Rail Trail and the Gardner Farm, as well government offices. The signs will also feature QR codes that smartphone users can scan and get additional information. Officials say they hope the use of technology can be used to support local tourism. The signs are being funded in part through a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Martin County Family Looses Home to Fire
A family lost everything they had in a fire in Martin County while planning for their daughter’s birthday party. It happened in Beauty. WYMT-TV reports Robert and Brenda Runyon’s children had just been dropped off at school when the house went up. The even sadder twist to the story – it happened on their 9-year-old daughter’s birthday. There’s no word on how the fire started but everyone – including the family’s dog – made it out.
Floyd County Sheriff’s Deputies Need Your Help
Deputies in Floyd Co are needing the public’s help in identifying a truck involved in a recent theft. According the Sheriff’s Dept. they say someone pulled up to a house in the East Point community, hooked up a car trailer and then drove off. The truck is a white Chevrolet Silverado. The trailer is valued at more than $500, making this theft a felony. Deputy Landon Hall said they have worked several other theft cases like this one in Floyd Co. from vehicle thefts, tires, rims, and trailer thefts. Deputies said the thefts are not related. If you have any information about this recent theft, you’re ask to contact the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Dept. at (606) 886-6171.
Stolen Semi Truck Turns Up in Rowan County
A semi truck – stolen in Virginia – was discovered at a weigh station off Interstate 64 in Rowan County. An inspector stopped the truck for not having a valid Kentucky weight distance tag, but when the vehicle’s VIN number was ran through the system, that’s when the discovery was made. Authorities are continuing to investigate but no arrests have been made.
Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Warns of Scam
Officials with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office report a new scam targeting individuals on Facebook. The scammer poses as a member of the military, and claims to have a large amount of gold and cash they need to send to the United States. The victim is asked to send the scammer $1,800 to help them get the funds released, and are promised to get a large amount of money in return for the investment. The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department encourages local residents to be skeptical when asked for money over social media – and reminds us if a deal sounds too good to be true it usually is. The sheriff’s office encourages residents not to send money, photos or sensitive information to individuals you don’t know.
Veterans Aid Center Coming Soon in Elliott County
A new veterans aid center is opening in Elliott County. 200 acres of land was donated on Tuesday at the Kentucky Veterans Expo to soon become home of the Heroes Passage – which will be a facility designed for veterans to visit with other veterans, seek counseling and much more. There’s no word on when construction will begin on the project.
Harvest Festival This Weekend in Inez
Folks in Martin County are gearing up for the Martin County Harvest Festival this weekend. A pageant will be held on Thursday, a cruise in on Friday, and a parade will be held on Saturday. Martin County Veterans along with service men and women are invited to be grand marshals. The parade will begin Saturday afternoon at 2PM in Downtown Inez.
BSCTC President Takes Helicopter Ride
There’s not a lot Big Sandy Community and Technical College President Dr. Devin Stephenson hasn’t done… except ride a helicopter. Scratch that off the list. Dr. Stephenson took a ride with employees from Healthnet Aeromedical Services last week. P.D. Conley, a flight paramedic who attended Prestonsburg Community College (now BSCTC), joined pilot Tyler Weddington on the flight. Aaron Sparks, flight nurse, stayed on the ground at BSCTC so Dr. Stephenson and Joshua Ball, director of strategic communications, could take the flight. Dr. Stephenson said a special part of the trip was seeing the campus from the sky, as well as the development at StoneCrest golf course.
Martin County Board of Education Votes No Tax Raise
The Martin County Board of Education voted this week not to raise taxes on vehicles. The Mountain Wolf in Inez reports Martin County currently pays the lowest vehicle taxes in the state, but the school board did not want to impose any further hardship on the citizens of Martin County. Board members also say they don’t have any immediate plans to increase property tax, though the issue came up in the meeting.
Former Morgan County Judge-Executive Tries One More Appeal
Former Morgan County chief Tim Conley is asking a federal court to overturn his guilty plea for corruption. Conley still insists he didn’t realize what he was pleading guilty to. Conley admitted to taking 100-thousand dollars in bribes to steer bridge work to a local contractor.
Woman Seriously Injured in Fall at Red River Gorge
A woman was seriously injured after falling off a trail in the Red River Gorge. According to the Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team, they said the woman fell Saturday afternoon while on the Auxier Ridge Trail. The team’s Facebook post said the woman was not participating in Saturday’s Rugged Red Trail Half Marathon. The woman’s name and the extent of her injuries were not immediately released.
Community Remembers Floyd County Firefighter
Family and friends gathered this weekend to remember former Floyd County Firefighter Bluford Smith. Smith worked to assist in creating a rescue squad in Floyd County in the ’60s. He passed away last week. Over the years he was also a deputy coroner and a coal miner. Smith was also a veteran. He was 93 years old.
Prestonsburg Business Holding True to Values
Management with Giovannis of Prestonsburg took to social media Thursday after comments were made about Christian music being played in their business. Part-owner BJ Blackburn says it is their goal to honor God in their business, but not their goal to push their views onto anyone. A Facebook post expressing these views has gotten a lot of attention – several thousand likes and shares, and numerous comments from people saying they will now drive long distances just to eat at the establishment. The restaurant also prints bible verses on receipts. Blackburn is also pastor of Elevate Church in Prestonsburg, which airs it’s services on Sunday mornings on K-94.7.
3 Horses Found Shot in Johnson County
The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after 3 horses were found shot to death in the woods in Greasy. A man led deputies to his discovery on Wednesday morning. The man said he rescued one horse earlier in the week, but when he went back to rescue another, he found three shot and killed. A few other horses were still alive; they’ve been transported by local rescue groups to safety. Sheriff’s deputies ask that anyone with information to come forward – you may remain anonymous.
Martin County Man Arrested in Robbery Case
A Martin County man has been arrested in a robbery case. 46-year-old John Henry Jude of Debord reportedly robbed two women at gunpoint. Several hundred dollars are prescription pills were stolen from that home. Deputies say a teenager and 3 children were in the home at the time. Investigators say another man was with Jude in the robbery – they’re still looking for that other suspect. Jude has been taken to the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center in Paintsville.
Historic Fire in Paintsville – One Year Later
This week marks a year since a fire that destroyed the bowling alley along with several other businesses on Broadway. Still today the cause of the fire is not known. Paintsville Fire Chief Rick Ratliff tells WYMT-TV that fire officials do know the point of the fire’s origin, and they’re suspicious it could have been an electrical issue in or around the bowling alley. No one was injured in the major fire.
Martin County Animal Shelter Needs Your Help
Volunteers with Stray Hearts Animal Rescue in Martin County say they’re needing donations for the animal shelter in Martin County. A mold outbreak last month forced shelter officials to relocate several animals. The shelter is currently closed to the public and the county has reportedly withheld funding – leaving the shelter no means of purchasing supplies for the animals. They’ve set up a site on YouCaring.com if you’d like to help by making a donation.
On the morning of Monday, September 6th 2016 at 10:36AM, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy Terry Tussey responded to the Franks Creek area in reference to a theft complaint. Once, on the scene, Deputy Tussey was told by Myron Evans that Evans’ neighbor had called and told him that an older model Chevy truck was backed into a driveway across the road from his residence. Mr. Evans went to the other house and noticed that the pressure tank from a well and its components were missing. Read More
KY 946 in Morgan County to be closed Sept. 7-8
To allow for replacement of two drainage pipes, KY 946 in Morgan County will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 7 and Sept. 8. On Sept. 7, the road will be closed at mile marker 1.7. This is between the two KY 1010 intersections near Maytown. On Sept. 8, the road will be closed at mile marker 3.1, between Maytown and US 460. The work will begin around 9 a.m. each day and the road will be closed to through traffic while the projects are ongoing. No marked detour will be posted, but motorists can use US 460 and KY 1010 as an alternate route. Drivers should plan their trips accordingly. In case of inclement weather, the work will be postponed until another suitable day.
KSP Accepting Trooper Cadet Applications
The Kentucky State Police is now taking applications for its next Academy class. Interested applicants should visit the KSP website at http://www.kentuckystatepolice.org/career.html
Information available on the website includes an outline of the application process, a list of minimum requirements and disqualifications, a downloadable application form with a list of required supporting documents, a downloadable study guide for the written test, physical standards requirements and a list of testing dates, times and locations.
Application materials must be completed and returned to the KSP Recruitment Branch at 919 Versailles Road, Frankfort, KY 40601 no later than Oct. 14, 2016 by the close of business. If more information is needed after visiting the website, applicants can call toll-free to (866) 360-3165 during office hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday, or leave a message any other time.
Progress Continues Along Mountain Parkway
Crews continue their work on the Mountain Parkway in Magoffin County. Concrete beams are going up on the KY 7 interchange this week. The eastbound exit ramp onto KY-30 also remains closed this week – that should reopen to traffic by Monday morning.
Stanville Man Arrested for Drug Trafficing
A Floyd County man was arrested on Labor Day following a drug investigation. Deputies say they had been investigating into alleged illegal drug trafficing complaints in the Mare Creek community of Stanville for several months. Deputies say that during their investigation, they were able to gather sufficient evidence to present to a grand jury which returned an indictment against 31-year-old Ryan Hackworth of Stanville. Hackworth has been lodged in the Floyd County Jail charged with Trafficking in a Controlled Substance 1st Degree.
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held for New Boat Ramp
Several local officials including Paintsville Mayor Bob Porter and Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton were on hand Tuesday morning for a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new boat ramp near the Johnson/Floyd County line. Local tourism officials say the fact that two great cities are working together for the better of all is what tourism is all about. The new boat ramp is located near the Combs Airport on KY-321.
Martin Co. Deputies Searching for Suspect who Attacked, Robbed Elderly Martin Co Man
Deputies in Martin Co are searching for a suspect who they say assaulted and robbed an elderly man. Martin Co. Sheriff John Kirk says a 77-year-old man heard someone knocking on his door Friday evening. When he answered, Kirk says the suspect attacked the elderly man, beating him unconscious and robbing him. The sheriff says the man went into the home and stole several items including money, jewelry and prescription medication. The homeowner’s wife managed to escape out the back door, according to the sheriff. She then went to a neighbor’s house for help. That neighbor, who is also a police officer, tried to catch the suspect, but the man got away. Kirk says the suspect was heading south on Route 292 toward Pike County in a 2008-2009 white Ford Explorer. If you have any information, you are asked to call the Martin County Sheriff’s Office at (606) 298-2828.
KSP Investigates Fatal Collision in Pike Co
According to a news release from the Kentucky State Police, Pikeville Post, Troopers are investigating a fatal collision that occurred in Pike Co during the afternoon hours of Saturday, September 03, 2016. The initial investigation indicates that Cecil Hawkins, 62 of Blountville, TN was traveling North on US 119 in the Belfry community of Pike Co. Hawkins lost control of his 2007 Harley Davidson motorcycle and struck the rear of a 1997 Yamaha motorcycle. Both operators and two passengers were transported by EMS to Williamson Memorial Hospital in Williamson, WV. Hawkins sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at Williamson Memorial Hospital. Evidence at the scene indicated Hawkins was wearing a helmet at the time of the collision, and alcohol does not appear to be a factor. The ongoing investigation is being conducted by Trooper Curt Rowe.
Fatality Collision in Rowan Co
In a separate news release from the KSP in Morehead, on Friday September 2, 2016 at 3:16 PM Kentucky State Police Morehead received information about a two vehicle collision involving a motorcycle near the 133 mile marker on Interstate 64 in Rowan Co. Upon arrival it was determined that Jeremy Mynhier, 38, of Clearfield was traveling westbound on I-64 in his SUV when he exited the 133 off ramp and struck Jerry D Thatcher, 60, of Morehead who was beside his motorcycle. Mr. Thatcher was pronounced dead at the scene by Rowan County Coroner John Northcutt. Mr. Mynhier and his passenger Kimberly Johnson, 39, of Morehead were transported to St. Claire Regional Medical Center for treatment. The collision remains under investigation by Trooper Zalone.
Breathitt Co. Man Killed Sunday in ATV crash
A Breathitt Co. man was killed Sunday following an ATV crash. Breathitt Co Coroner George Griffith tells WYMT he was called to the scene of a crash around 6:30 p.m. Billy G. Campbell, 69, was killed in the crash. Campbell was driving the ATV when it evidently dropped off the road flipped into a creek.
Morehead Man Shot During Verbal Altercation
In another news release from the KSP in Morehead, at 10:37 a.m. on Saturday, September 3, 2016 Kentucky State Police Post 8 Morehead responded to a shooting incident at 76 Spring Street South in Morehead. Shaun M, May, age 36, of Morehead was shot by Clovis Hunter, age 86, of Morehead after a verbal altercation at their residence. The investigation is ongoing at this time and will be presented to a Rowan Co Grand Jury.
Hiker Critically Injured following a Fall in Letcher Co.
Officials were called to Bad Branch Nature Preserve in Letcher Co Saturday after a man climbed to the top of the falls and fell. This comes only months after a woman fell and lost her leg. Officials say 26-year-old Justin Lee Maynard climbed to the top of the falls. More than a dozen officials responded to the scene. Officials say climbing to top of the falls is the number one cause of death they see at Bad Branch Nature Preserve. Officials say paying attention is key. Always follow the trails, pay attention to signs and never climb to the top of the falls. Maynard was flown to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tennessee with serious leg and head injuries.
Pike Co Woman Arrested after Burglary
A Pike Co woman was arrested over the weekend after police said she broke into her parent’s home, fired gunshots at her father and stole drugs. Kentucky State Police arrested 40-year-old Melissa Damron Sunday evening. Troopers said Damron forced entry into her parent’s home, stole Xanax and a gun, then advised her parents she cut the phone lines to prevent them from calling 911. Authorities said Damron’s mother ran next door to call 911. Officials said Damron fired multiple gunshots while inside the home. One bullet grazed her father’s forehead and others damaging doors and cars parked outside. Police said they found Damron in her home with drug residue in her purse. Authorities located the stolen gun in her vehicle. Police charged Damron with multiple charges including assault second degree, burglary first degree and criminal mischief first degree.
Johnson Central Students visit Early College Program
Students from Johnson Central High School visited the Morehead State University campus, as part of the Early College Program, Friday, Sept. 2. More than 50 high and technical schools offered MSU classes during the fall semester with nearly 2,500 high school students participating in the program. “This program is truly a win-win opportunity. Students get to earn college credit for as part of the Kentucky Dual Credit Scholarship program and parents have less financial burden for a college education and schools get challenging new courses which fully optimize the talents of their high schools,” said Joel Pace, director of early college programs. Each course offered at the high school has the approximate cost savings of $1,000 per student while also allowing students to graduate from college up to a year semester or more sooner.
School systems taking part are: Bath, Boyd, Breathitt, Bullitt, Carter, Clark, Estill, Fayette, Fleming, Floyd, Grant, Henry, Jefferson, Jessamine, Johnson, Lawrence, Lewis, Martin, Mason, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Oldham, Pike, Powell, Rowan, Shelby, and Wolfe and Woodford counties; as well as Ashland Blazer, Jackson, Raceland, Russell, Somerset, St. Patrick’s independents; and Lakeside Christian.
Qualifying students are given the opportunity to prepare for the future while attending high school. In the program, students may enroll in a course taught in their high school and receive college credit for successful completion. The program allows qualified high school faculty, who meet accreditation standards, to teach the University courses.
MSU and the partner schools are collaborating to offer 24 college credits to all high school students before they graduate. Additional information is available by calling Joel Pace, director of early college programs, at 606-783-2995 or you can find an application at www.moreheadstate.edu/earlycollege/.
Floyd Co Deputies Make Drug Arrest
Sheriff’s deputies in Floyd County have arrested a man on several charges after they say they believed he made a drug exchange at the park in Minnie. Paul Hayes, also known as Frank Tackett, was arrested after deputies found him to be in possession of numerous pills including hydrocodone. Deputies also obtained a search warrant for Hayes’ home; they say they discovered drug paraphernalia, plastic baggies and scales, police scanners and more inside his residence. He was lodged in the Floyd County Jail.
Man Pulled Over for DUI; Police Find Stolen Items
Kentucky State Police troopers say they pulled over a man on Highway 119 in Pike County for DUI, but found several stolen items in their car. Ralph Francis was arrested on both DUI charges and felony burglary in the 2nd degree. Several items stolen from one or more homes were found in his vehicle. Pike County Sheriff’s deputies also assisted in the traffic stop. Francis was taken to the Pike County Detention Center.
Johnson Co Sheriff’s Dept Searching for 2 People after Side-by-Side Theft
According to the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Dept. deputies are looking for two people they said stole a side-by-side from the Johnson Co. Clerk’s home in the Sitka community. Deputies eventually found the stolen side-by-side in the middle of Kentucky Route 201. Sallee Holbrook, the Johnson Co clerk said she received a call, Tuesday morning, that her side-by-side was in the middle KY RT 201, not far from her home. Security footage shows two people stealing the vehicle from their yard, while the Conley’s were asleep. Despite having the side-by-side back at home the Holbrook’s said it’s totaled. The Holbrook’s are asking the community to help them find the two people responsible. Sheriff Dwayne Price said they have seen a rash of thefts along KY RT 201 and they ask that if you any information on this incident or any other illegal activities, you can call the sheriff’s office at (606) 789-3411. You can remain anonymous.
Lawrence Co. Woman Arraigned on Several Unlawful Transactions with a Minor
A Lawrence Co. woman has been arraigned on several charges, including Unlawful Transaction with a Minor, 1st Degree, Sex act, minor under the age of 16 and Unlawful Transaction with a Minor, 2nd Degree. Audrey Horn, 29 of Louisa was indicted by a Lawrence Co. Grand Jury on August 12. The charges state that on or about March 1st, 2016 through April 8th, 2016 Horn allegedly committed the offense by knowingly and unlawfully inducing, assisting, or causing a minor, a juvenile child less than 16 of age to engage in illegal sexual activity. Horn also knowingly and unlawfully induced, assisted or caused a minor or juvenile child less than 16 years of age to engage in illegal controlled substance activity, marijuana. Horn could be facing up to 25 years in prison if convicted. Her pretrial date is set for September 23, 2016.
Accused Lawrence Co. Killer Present for Pre-trial Hearing
A Lawrence Co. double murder suspect recently appeared in a Lawrence Co. courtroom during his pre-trial hearing in his double murder case. Stanley Webb, Jr. 48 has pleaded not-guilty to charges of 2 counts of Murder, Theft by Unlawful Taking, and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. He is charged with the double murders of Lois “Peggy” Gartin, 79, and her stepson Michael Gartin, 52, who were shot and killed at their home near the Blaine community on April 2, 2016. Webb’s next court appearance is set for October 14, 2016.
Pike Co Woman Accused of Abusing Elderly Man
According to reports from WYMT, Pikeville police has uncovered evidence an assault on an elderly man. “Strangling, punching and visible wounds”, said Detective Bruce Collins. The Pikeville Police Department arrested Angela Polley on Wednesday after they received the complaint that she assaulted 85 year old John Carter, who is Polley’s step-grandfather. The arrest warrant details that witnesses saw Polley assault the man and the entire encounter was caught on video. Police said John Carter is legally blind and has dementia. Officials said it happened August 8th at Myers Towers in Pikeville.
Court Documents Link Man to Kentucky Overdoses
Federal court documents say a man has been arrested in Cincinnati, Ohio in connection with up to a dozen drug overdoses in Central Kentucky last week. Documents filed in U.S. District Court in Lexington show a hearing was scheduled on Wednesday for Robert Lee Shields, who is charged with conspiring to distribute the controlled substance fentanyl. An affidavit said Shields was arrested last Friday. Shields appeared before a magistrate judge earlier this week. The Lexington Herald-Leader first reported Shields’ arrest. The affidavit said police reported there were 10 to 12 overdoses in Montgomery Co., Ky last Wednesday and Thursday, including at least one victim who died. Spikes in heroin overdoses were reported around the same time in Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia.
Traffic Pattern Changes Expected Today on US 23 at Ivel. Long Delays Expected
Kentucky Department of Transportation District 12 office has announced that starting today, Thursday 9-1-2016, there will be traffic shifts throughout the work zone on US 23 at Ivel in Floyd Co. Crew members will be working in traffic to make necessary changes so that the road will not have to be shut down at any time. Southbound traffic will get both lanes back. One northbound lane will be open for all northbound traffic. The outer lane – the one next to the hillside – will remain closed until construction is complete on a rockfall barrier fence. This is the final phase of the slide repair project that began in May after a serious rockfall briefly closed all four lanes of US 23 at this site.
While the road is reconfigured for the traffic pattern change, motorists can expect intermittent delays of as much as 15 to 20 minutes. “In order to put traffic back in one of the northbound lanes, we must remove the temporary striping that signaled the traffic shift into the southbound lane,” said Darold Slone, Engineering Branch Manager for Highway District 12. Slone said that other work includes repositioning and changing signage, repositioning and/or removal of barrels and barriers, and re-striping to direct drivers into the northbound inside lane. The speed limit in the work zone will still be reduced to 45 miles per hour. However, the restriction on wide loads will end as soon as the work tomorrow is finished.
Stapleton Nominated for “5” CMA Awards
Johnson Co. native Chris Stapleton is one of the leaders at the 2016 Country Music Association Awards, receiving (5) five nominations Wednesday. Stapleton is nominated for:
Entertainer of the Year
Single of the Year for “Nobody To Blame”
Male Vocalist of the Year
Musical Event of the Year (with his Wife Morgane) for “You Are My Sunshine”
Music Video of the Year with “Fire Away.”
The CMAs will air live Nov. 2 on ABC in Nashville, Tennessee, celebrating its 50th anniversary.
Salyersville Man Charged with Rape and Sodomy
A Salyersville teenager was arrested Saturday by the KSP and was charged with raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl. Media reports indicates that Kentucky State Police troopers found Brandon Williams, 18, in the home of the girl after they were called by the girl’s guardian. Williams reportedly admitted to the police that he had consensual oral sex and intercourse with the girl, according to reports. The girl was taken to Highlands Regional Medical Center for a rape kit. Williams was arrested and charged with rape and sodomy and was lodged in the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center. No additional information has been released at this time.
Blaine Motorcycle Crash Injures Law. Co. H.S Student
According to the Levisa Lazer website, the Blaine Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene of a motorcycle accident over the weekend in the Blaine area of Lawrence Co. The accident happened around 4 P.M. in the curve right before the Blaine Community Center. Officials reports Blake Ramey, a 17 year old boy that attends Lawrence Co. High School wrecked and received several injuries. Medics say he has severe “road rash” and a possible head injury. Netcare Ambulance transferred Ramey from the scene of the accident to the Air Evac Lifeteam that landed at the Community Center not even a mile from the accident. Air Evac Lifeteam then flew the boy to a trauma center in Huntington, W.VA.
Semi Fire, Explosion Closes a Portion of Hal Rogers Parkway for Several Hours Monday
The Hal Rogers Parkway was closed for almost three hours Monday following a semi-truck fire. Officials report the closure affected the area between the 20 and 24 mile-markers, near highways 80 and 66. According to the Highway Transportation Cabinet, a trailer hauling spray insulation foam caught fire. Both sides of the parkway were closed and there had been a small explosion. HAZMAT crews were called to the scene due to toxic chemicals in the insulation. No one was reported injured.
Floyd Co. Man Dies in Prison Awaiting Retrial
Dwayne Bishop, a Floyd Co native, passed away at the Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange on August 15. Bishop was convicted of the murder of his estranged wife, Carolyn Bishop. Witnesses said Carolyn Bishop was last seen alive on August 31, 2000 with her estranged husband. Her body was discovered three days later at an abandoned strip mine in Floyd County. Bishop’s conviction of his wife’s murder was overturned in 2009 and was originally scheduled to be retried in 2010. Due to conflicts with his attorneys, Bishop’s retrial suffered numerous setbacks and delays. Bishop’s case was never retired and he remained in prison.
One Person Killed in a Magoffin Co Crash
One person was killed and another person injured following a crash Saturday afternoon in Magoffin Co. Police say the crash happened around 2 PM on Rt. 30 between two motorcycles and a truck. The victim’s or the driver’s names have not yet been officially released. Kentucky State Police closed the roadway for several hours to conduct their initial investigation. The road was re-opened around 6 Saturday evening. No foul play or use of alcohol is suspected at this time.
Fire Destroys a Home in Pike Co
Reports out of Pike Co. says a fire on Sunday morning completely destroyed a mobile home. The home was located in the Mouthcard community of Pike Co. Officials say there were no occupants inside the home at the time of the fire. Firefighters were able to quickly respond to the fire, but were unable to save it. The home owner said the tenants had recently moved out, so the house was empty/ Officials said the home had electricity hooked to it, but at this time do not know what caused the fire. Officials are continuing to investigate the cause of the blaze and foul play cannot be ruled out.
Martin Co Sheriff’s Office Warn Residents about the Rise in ATV Thefts
According to the Martin Co Sheriff’s Office, two suspects were arrested late last week, in connection to a stolen ATV. Those two suspects turned out to be family members of current Martin Co Sheriff John Kirk. “I arrested two of my fourth cousins for receiving stolen property,” Sheriff Kirk told WYMT. The two arrested were Brett and Steven Kirk of Warfield. Authorities said there were two separate ATV’s stolen in Martin Co on Thursday and three more recently stolen across the border in Mingo Co, West Virginia. Sheriff Kirk said as the economy gets worse there will be an even bigger problem with crime and now the police are asking for your help. Sheriff Kirk said despite being limited on resources, his Department is doing everything they can to keep people and their property safe.
Rowan Co. Man Accused with the Murder of his Daughter’s Boyfriend Pleads Not Guilty
Teddy Johnson, 59, who is accused of shooting and killing his daughter’s boyfriend last week, pleaded not guilty in Rowan Co District Court on Friday morning. Johnson was arrested Tuesday (8-23-2016) afternoon and charged with murder after there was reportedly a domestic dispute at his home on Brown Ridge Road. Kentucky State Police officials say they were first called Tuesday morning to the home for a report of a man causing trouble, but say by the time they got there, he was gone. Police say after they left the man came back and there was another scuffle. At that point, state police say Teddy Johnson shot Marvin Adkins, 24, who is his daughter’s boyfriend. Troopers say Adkins staggered across the street before collapsing in a field.
Federal Authorities Investigate Computer Virus Affecting ARH Hospitals
Federal authorities are investigating a computer virus affecting Kentucky and West Virginia hospitals in the Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) system. On Saturday, ARH Spokesperson Melissa Cornett released a statement saying they were dealing with technical complications. Cornett said the ARH system of hospitals in Kentucky and West Virginia are operating under their Emergency Operations Plan due to a computer virus “that has limited our use of electronic web-based services and electronic communications.” Cornett said all ARH computers were shut down to prevent further spread of the virus and all paperwork is being managed manually.
On Sunday, Cornett released another statement saying federal authorities were looking into the situation: This issue is now being investigated by the proper governmental authorities, in close collaboration with ARH. Since this is an ongoing investigation, we are not at liberty to provide further information or comment at this time. Cornett said staff will assess all critical patients to determine if they should be transferred to another facility for care. Officials ask all patients visiting a physician practice bring all prescribed medications to upcoming appointments until further notice.
Vote-Fraud Evidence Not Enough to Strip Magoffin Judge-Executive of Office
The State Supreme Court ruled Thursday, there was not adequate evidence to support earlier election-fraud rulings that would have forced Magoffin County Judge-Executive Charles “Doc” Hardin out of office. The decision will allow Hardin to keep the office he won in a disputed November 2014 contest, the latest of several in the county marked by allegations of vote fraud. According to Lexington Herald Leader reports, Circuit Judge John David Preston had declared the judge-executive’s office vacant in a February 2015 decision, ruling there were so many election improprieties that there was no way to determine whether Hardin or challenger John Montgomery fairly won.
Hardin, a Democrat, defeated Montgomery by 28 votes to win a third consecutive term. A three-judge panel of the state Court of Appeals upheld Preston’s ruling. However, the Supreme Court overturned those rulings in Thursday’s decision. The high court said that Montgomery did not present sufficient evidence to justify throwing out the vote tally in the judge-executive’s race. Lower courts erred in ruling he did, the Supreme Court said in its unanimous decision.
Pikeville Police Recover Thousands of Dollars, Worth of Stolen Property
Police in Pikeville arrested a man Wednesday in connection with the recovery of thousands of dollars, worth of stolen property. Police say it started at City Tire in downtown Pikeville, where police said Damron stole two tires in broad daylight. Police said security video outlines a theft at City Tire and in the video, you can see someone taking tires off of a rack and putting them in his truck. Police identified the man as Brandon Damron, 24. Besides the 2 tires, Police said Damron also had stolen items from Betsy Layne Elementary, Pikeville RV, and Millard Vocational School. All of the items totaled approximately $10,000. Before arresting Damron police said he led them on a chase through Harold’s Branch. Police finally caught up with Damron and arrested him. Police said a woman with Damron helped them find the stolen items, she was not charged. Damron now faces receiving stolen property and fleeing and evading charges and more charges could be filed.
Former Lawrence Co Constable Arrested
According to reports from WYMT-TV, a former Lawrence Co constable is facing charges of indecent exposure after police in Martin Co. say he urinated in the parking lot at the Martin Co Public Library. 65-year-old Simon Smith told police he “had to go” yesterday afternoon when he urinated in the parking lot. An unidentified woman who was parked next to Smith witnessed the incident and ran inside to call police. Martin Co. Sheriff’s deputies say that security footage confirms the accusations. Deputies say Smith could have used the restroom inside of the library, but it is unclear why he chose to go outside. Smith was taken into custody and charged with indecent exposure in the second degree. He was taken to the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center, but has since been released. His court date is unknown at this time.
K.S.P. Morehead Post Seeking Public Assistance in Locating a Murder Suspect
According to a news release from the Kentucky State Police Post 8 Morehead, Troopers are seeking public assistance in locating Christopher Todd White, age 42, of Owingsville, Kentucky in connection to the death of Judith A. White, age 44, of Owingsville, Kentucky. Christopher Todd White was last known to be operating a white 2015 Jeep Patriot with Kentucky registration 165VPE. White should be considered armed and dangerous and anyone with information on his whereabouts should contact the Morehead Post of the Kentucky State Police at (606) 784-4127.
Rockslide Work Continues Along US-23 in Ivel
Restaurant Bringing Over 100 Jobs to Pikeville
Benefit Car & Bike Show to be Held on Saturday in Paintsville
Vandalism Reported at Van Lear Historical Society
Local law enforcement and firefighters were honored during Sunday morning’s service at Paintsville First United Methodist Church. The church held a Prayer Coin Recognition Day. Each official in attendance was presented with a prayer coin and was served dinner in the Family Life Center. Read More
School officials in Floyd County are thanking the Prestonsburg Walmart store for their efforts to collect school supplies in the annual “Stuff the Bus” campaign. Over $3,000 worth of school supplies were donated to the Floyd County Board of Education through the campaign, and the Prestonsburg Walmart contributed an additional $1,000 to the students. Floyd County Schools Superintendent Dr Henry Webb says he appreciates “amazing community partners like Brad [store manager] and Walmart.”