KSP Makes Drug Arrests in Pike Co

According to a news release from the Kentucky State Police, troopers made a felony drug arrest in the early evening hours of Tuesday, May 24, 2016. KSP Post 09 Criminal Interdiction Team received information that a quantity of marijuana would be transported to Pike County. Troopers contacted Christopher Higgins, 48 of Stockbridge Michigan, in the parking lot of the Pikeville Food City. After a KSP canine unit alerted on Higgins vehicle, Troopers located and seized approximately 8 pounds of marijuana.

Higgins was arrested and charged with Trafficking in Marijuana over 5 pounds – 1st Offense. He was lodged in the Pike County Detention Center. This case remains under investigation by Trooper Bryson. Drug tips can be reported to investigators at Post 09 by calling (606) 433-7711. Callers can remain anonymous.


Authorities Investigating a Stabbing in Rowan Co

The Rowan Co Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation, after a man was stabbed outside a local soup kitchen on Wednesday afternoon. Deputies were called to The Soup Kitchen on Route 32 just before noon. Witnesses told deputies that they victim and another man, identified as Gary Brickles, got into an argument. During that argument, witnesses say Brickles pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim in the chest. The victim was airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center with unknown injuries. Brickles was arrested and charged with assault and tampering with physical evidence.


3rd Person Arrested in Death of a Former W.Va Coal Official

A call about a possible kidnapping led police to a man charged in connection with the murder of longtime coal executive Ben Hatfield. According to WSAZ news, the Elsmere (Kentucky) Police Department were dispatched Wednesday morning to a business in the 4300 block of the Dixie Highway for a report about a possible kidnapping. Just before police arrived, the suspect left in a vehicle. Officers would later locate the car and they determined that a kidnapping had not occurred, however when they searched the car they found $5,000 worth of meth and a person wanted in connection with Hatfield’s murder.

Arrested was Brandon Fitzpatrick, 18, Louisa. He is facing charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Elsmere Police contacted WVSP. Troopers then went to Elsmere Wednesday afternoon to interview Fitzpatrick. As we reported earlier, on Monday morning, Hatfield’s body was found near the Mountain View Memory Gardens in Maher with gunshot wounds, Anthony Arriaga was arrested Monday morning and was charged with murder. West Virginia State Police say he has confessed to the crime. Troopers allege that Arriaga and Fitzpatrick were in the Maher area of Mingo County selling drugs. They said the pair ran out of money and made a plan to rob Hatfield. Hatfield was at the cemetery visiting the graves of his late wife and in-laws.

Ricky Peterson was arrested Monday afternoon and was charged with conspiracy in the case. Investigators say they got a tip that Arriaga visited Peterson after the murder. They say Peterson initially told them he had made no contact with Arriaga and had no knowledge of the murder or the suspect, but according to the criminal complaint, two other people who live in the home told investigators Arriaga was at the home and told Peterson about the murder. Also arrested Wednesday and in the vehicle with Fitzpatrick was Angela Marcum, 43 of Delphos, Ohio. She is facing drug charges and falsely reporting an incident. WVSP troopers say Marcum is the mother of murder suspect Arriaga. She has not been charged in connection with Hatfield’s murder. Arriaga was brought back to West Virginia on Wednesday and is being held at the Southwestern Regional Jail. Peterson is being held in the Western Regional Jail. Fitzpatrick is in the Kenton Co Jail in Kentucky. An extradition hearing is expected to happen Today.


Health Insurance Rate Hike Requests Average 17 Percent in Ky

Health insurance companies in Kentucky want to increase rates by an average of 17 percent next year. The Kentucky Department of Insurance posted rate requests from the state’s major insurance carriers on Wednesday. They include plans for individuals and small groups. These are not premium increases. The base rate is one of several factors used to determine a person’s premium, including age, sex and where a person lives. Individual premiums will vary. State officials blame some of the increases on the failure of the Kentucky Health Cooperative. Many of the company’s high-risk customers were picked up by other companies, leading to higher rates. The rate requests cover plans sold on and off kynect, the state’s health insurance exchange. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin plans to dismantle kynect by the end of this year.


Six People Indicted after Car, Tool Theft in Hazard

Six people were indicted Monday following the theft of a car and more than $40,000 in tools from Master Tech Auto. Randy Dale Campbell was arrested after the theft, but police were not able to recover all the tools. Deanna Gwinn, Charles Griffith, Charles Thomas, Sammy Watts, Angelia Joseph and Randy Campbell were each indicted. Prosecutors allege Campbell stole everything and the other five conspired to help him. All six are charged with participating in an organized crime syndicate, Campbell was also charged with theft and burglary, and Joseph was charged with receiving stolen property.


Ky. AG asks Supreme Court to Hear College Funding Case

Kentucky’s Democratic attorney general has asked the Supreme Court to decide whether Gov. Matt Bevin has the authority to cut college and university budgets without the approval of the state legislature. A state judge ruled last week that Bevin does have the authority to order public colleges and universities not to spend all of the money the state legislature gave them. Attorney General Andy Beshear is appealing the decision, arguing it gives the governor’s office too much power. The case would normally go to the state Court of Appeals. But Beshear is asking the state Supreme Court to take the case because of its “great and immediate public importance.” A spokeswoman for Bevin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Sanders Campaign Requests Kentucky Vote Re-canvass

Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign is requesting a recanvass in Kentucky’s presidential primary, where he trails Hillary Clinton by less than one-half of 1 percent of the vote. The Sanders campaign says it will ask the Kentucky secretary of state to have election officials review electronic voting machines and absentee ballots from last week’s primary in each of the state’s 120 counties. Clinton holds 1,924-vote lead over Sanders out of 454,573 votes cast. The Associated Press had not called the race, despite Clinton’s slight lead, in the event that Sanders might ask to recanvass the vote. A recanvass is not a recount but a review of the voting totals. Both Clinton and Sanders received 27 delegates, but one delegate remains to be allocated in a congressional district that includes Frankfort and Lexington.


Johnson Co Sheriff Employee Charged with Stealing County Tax Money

According to reports, a Johnson Co grand jury has indicted a former employee with the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office on theft charges. Joyce Estep is charged with theft by unlawful taking under $10,000, a Class D felony, for stealing $919 worth of county tax money from the property tax collection. According to the indictment, Estep took the money between December 1, 2015, and January 31, 2016. Sheriff Price says Estep would accept the cash payments from the local citizens, mark them as paid in the system, then come back and take them at a later date and time. She was fired the day the discrepancies were discovered, according to reports. Estep was an employee at the Sheriff’s Office for nearly 5 years. Estep was booked into the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center on Friday afternoon, but has since been released. She is scheduled for a pretrial conference June 3. The KSP handled the investigation. No other information has been released at this time.


One Man Dead, One Arrested following a Floyd Co Stabbing

According to information from the KSP in Pikeville, a Floyd Co man is dead and another man arrested following a stabbing Sunday evening. Reports indicate that the incident happened at a home on Denwood Road in Martin, (Floyd Co). The Floyd Co. Coroner’s Office identified the deceased as Timmy Ward. Kentucky State Police arrested Trenton Ward in connection to the incident. Information says following the incident, Trenton Ward went to his aunt’s house, changed clothes and threw his old clothes into a creek. Trenton Ward was lodged in the Floyd Co Detention Center, but at this time, has only been charged with tampering with physical evidence. An autopsy was performed on Timmy Ward’s body Monday, but the results have not been returned. KSP in Pikeville are continuing to investigate this incident.


Morehead State Univ. Police Officer Injured in Accident

An officer with the Morehead State University Police Department was injured Monday morning in a motorcycle accident. According to the University Sgt., Anthony Daulton was on his way home from work on his personal motorcycle when he lost control on University Blvd. Sgt. Daulton then crossed a creek and struck an embankment. He was taken to the University of Kentucky Medical Center with unknown injuries. His condition is not known at this time. University officials say Sgt. Daulton was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.


Man Charged In a Deadly Apartment Fire in Winchester, May Have Bond Reduced

The man that police say is responsible for an apartment fire that killed three people, including his own son, may have his bond reduced. According to the Winchester Sun, a judge is considering lowering the bond of Jackie Hisle. Hisles is accused of starting an explosion and fire at the B & P Apartments. Hisle admitted to smoking while on oxygen, triggering the explosion. His attorney asked the judge to lower the bond, and the prosecutor admitted that the million dollar bond was excessive. The judge will make a decision at a later date. For now, Hisle remains in jail.


2 Kentucky Groups Receives Federal Grants to Help with Poverty Areas

One group will receive a $250,000 federal grant to help low-income communities develop businesses and create jobs in eastern Kentucky. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the grant last week for the London-based Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation. The USDA reports matching funds are required locally to double the impact of the grant. The grant will support the Leslie Co and Perry Co fiscal courts and the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program. The agency also announced a $95,000 matching grant to Community Action Kentucky to help five rural utilities operate a database to map and manage assets. The communities are Cumberland, Evarts, Jenkins, Liberty and Lynch. The USDA reports the grants involve persistent poverty areas.


Knott Co Man Dies Following Shooting Incident Involving KSP

A Knott Co man was fatally wounded Thursday evening after being involved in a shooting incident with the Kentucky State Police. Troopers with KSP Post 13 in Hazard responded to a complaint of an intoxicated man who was fighting with several individuals at a home on Jenny Holland Drive in the Fisty community of Knott Co. While Troopers were in route to the residence, an additional call was made advising that this same male subject, later identified as 36 year old Timothy Brandon Stacy of Fisty, had possession of a firearm which he had fired several times outside of the residence. Officers with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife also responded to the scene.

When Troopers arrived on scene, they observed Brandon Stacy outside of the residence. They began talking with Mr. Stacy, who became combative and ran inside the home. Commands were given to Stacy urging him to come out of the residence unarmed, which he ignored. After several more attempts to negotiate failed, Stacy retrieved the gun and waved it toward Troopers, making threats to them. He ignored pleas from officers to drop the weapon and suddenly raised the gun toward them. Perceiving a threat to their safety, Troopers discharged their issued firearms, fatally injuring Brandon Stacy, who was pronounced deceased at the scene by Knott Co Coroner Jeff Blair. The body was sent for an autopsy at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort

Troopers Josh Huff and Charlie Moore, and Detective Chris Collins have all been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure, in a trooper involved shooting. This investigation is being conducted by Lt. Jeff Lewis with KSP Post 8 in Morehead. He will be assisted by Lt. Aaron Martin with KSP Post 14 in Ashland and Lt. Ryan Catron with KSP Post 13.


Floyd Co. Deputies Recover Stolen Items. Warrant Issued for Man

According to a news release from the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office, on May 16 the agency received a report of a stolen 2002 Green 450 Honda 4 wheeler from the John Hall/Bill Hall area of Floyd Co. Through tips from the public, deputies were able to recover the stolen 4 wheeler and return it to its rightful owner. A warrant has been issued for Douglas Martin of the John Hall/Bill Hall area in connection with the theft. If you have any information to supply the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office, please call the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office at 606-886-6711 or you may call the anonymous Tip Line (606) 949-2020.


Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office needs Help in Recent Robbery at Dewey Lake

In a separate news release from the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office, the agency is continuing to investigate the theft of Army Corp equipment from the Dewey Lake and they are needing the public’s help in catching those responsible. Investigators say the theft happened sometime between 8:00 PM on April 29th and 6:00 AM on April 30th near the Dewey Lake Dam area. Reports indicate that 2 male individuals unlawfully entered a fenced area where the Corp of Engineer keeps their boats stored. The 2 men then stole property from the boats including a two-way radio. If anyone has any information on this incident, you’re ask to contact the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office at 606-886-6711 or you may call the anonymous Tip Line (606) 949-2020.


KSP Investigating Collision in Fleming Co

According to a news release from the KSP in Morehead, on Friday May 20, 2016, at 08:03 A.M. Kentucky State Police Post 8 Morehead received information from Fleming County 911 about single vehicle collision that occurred on Highway 697 in Fleming County. Trooper Jared Wagner responded to the scene. After further investigation it was determined that Christian Garcia, 18, of Flemingsburg was traveling northbound on KY 697 when he lost control of his vehicle and exited the opposite side of the roadway before coming to a final rest over an embankment. Mr. Garcia was airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center where he is listed in stable condition. The collision remains under investigation by Trooper Jared Wagner.


Judge Denies Motion to Exclude Testimony in Federal Vote-Buying Case

According to reports from the Salyersville Independent, the judge in the federal vote-buying case has denied a motion to exclude evidence of alleged acts from the 2010 general election. In the superseding indictment filed on February 25, Magoffin Co Magistrate District #1 Gary “Rooster” Risner, Tami Jo Risner, Mason Daniels, Scott Lynn McCarty, and Larry Shepherd were charged with paying and offering to pay for votes in an election, broken down into 17 counts of felony offenses. All have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Reports say Gary Risner’s attorney, filed a motion in limine to exclude evidence of alleged acts from the 2010 general election since the defendants are only on trial for punitive acts concerning the 2014 primary and general elections, stating McCarty’s statements to the FBI strain his credibility as to whether or not he was actually “in the fold” with Hardin, Shepherd and Gary Risner and that many of the statements were only hearsay. On Tuesday, May 17, United States District Judge Danny C. Reeves filed a memorandum opinion and order, denying Risner’s motion in limine to exclude the evidence, citing case laws that indicate that allowable background evidence includes “those other acts that are inextricably intertwined with the charged offense or those acts, the telling of which is necessary to complete the story of the charged offense.”

The jury trial is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, July 5, 2016, at 9:30 a.m. at the Pikeville Federal Courthouse. A pretrial conference is set for Thursday, June 2 at 2 p.m. in Pikeville.


Kentucky sees Big Unemployment Drop in April

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for April 2016 dropped to 5.3 percent from a revised 5.6 percent in March 2016, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The preliminary April 2016 jobless rate was identical to the rate recorded for the state in April 2015. The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for April 2016 was 5 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In April 2016, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 1,982,338, an increase of 268 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment was up by 6,405, and the number of unemployed decreased by 6,137.


Speed Limit Lowered on US 23 in Floyd Co

This reminder, according to officials with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the speed limit on US 23 in Floyd Co has been reduced to 45 miles per hour through the area where a rockfall last week, reduced traffic to two lanes. A news release said drivers who will not slow down and those who are speeding up to pass vehicles before merging into the single lane create a serious safety hazard in the area. “We’ve had some close calls,” said Darold Slone, Engineering Branch Manager. “Some people insist on reckless driving, aggressive driving, trying to get in front of other vehicles before the road merges into a single lane, especially northbound drivers. They are putting themselves, other drivers, and our workers in danger.” The hillside where the rockfall started is still unstable, the release noted.

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