Local News 1-27-2014

KSP Continue Investigation of Three Separate Armed Robberies in Eastern Ky.

The KSP in Pikeville are continuing to ask for the public help with their investigation of three (3) armed robberies that happened recently in Eastern Ky. The first robbery happened on Monday January 13 at 11:59 P.M. at Bella's Gas N Go in the Freeburn community of Pike County. Two males entered that business wearing dark colored clothing and masks covering their faces. One brandished a weapon and demanded money, then fled on foot.

The second robbery happened Tuesday, January 14 at 10:49 P.M. at the Fast Lane located in the Eastern community of Floyd County. Two males entered that business, one brandishing a weapon and demanded money, the other watched the entrance to the business. The two men fled on foot after getting the money.

The third robbery happened Thursday January 16 at approximately 8:12 P.M. at the MI-DEE Mart in the Lackey community of Floyd County. An unidentified male entered the business, brandished a weapon, demanded money, then fled the scene on foot.

No injuries were reported in any of the three incidents. KSP in Pikeville ask that if anyone has any information pertaining to any of these robberies, to please contact Kentucky State Police at 1-800-222-5555 or (606) 433-7711. Callers can remain anonymous.

KSP Investigating Interstate Accident

According to a news release from the KSP in Morehead, on January 25, 2014 at 11:03 A.M. Kentucky State Police Morehead received a call for service from Rowan County Dispatch in reference to a tractor trailer overturned at mile marker 146 on Interstate 64 eastbound in Rowan County.  Trooper Mary Drilling, Trooper Brett Kirkland, Morehead Fire & Rescue and Rowan County EMS responded to the scene.  Ralph Mayes, 57, of Ashten, West Virginia was traveling eastbound on Interstate 64 in a 2014 Freightliner when he lost control of the tractor trailer causing it to overturn.  Two tractor trailers also traveling east bound, traveled into the median to avoid the collision.  Mr. Mayes was transported to Saint Claire Medical Center in Morehead, Kentucky where he is listed in stable condition. Drugs or alcohol are not believed to be a factor of the accident. The collision remains under investigation by Trooper Mary Drilling. 

A Former Floyd Co. City Mayor’s Vote-Buying Trial Set for March 10

Former Martin Mayor Ruth Thomasine Robinson and five others are scheduled to go to trial on March 10 for conspiracy and vote-buying charges, after they each entered not guilty pleas Thursday in U.S. District Court. Robinson, along with her husband, James “Red” Robinson; her step-son, James Steven Robinson; Ginger Michelle Halbert; Johnny T. Moore; and Henry A. Mulins were each accused in an indictment last month with a single count of civil rights conspiracy. Ruth Thomasine Robinson, James “Red” Robinson, Moore and Mullins also each face a single count of vote-buying, while James Steven Robinson is charged with three counts of vote-buying. Halbert is the only defendant not charged with vote-buying. Each defendants has entered a not guilty plea and each waived formal arraignment.

According to the indictment against them, the six allegedly conspired to induce public housing residents and tenants renting homes owned by the former mayor to vote for her by absentee ballot, using an already completed ballot, during her 2010 re-election bid. Some of the voters were allegedly told they could get better apartments if they voted for Ruth Thomasine Robinson, while others were allegedly told they would face eviction if they did not. And the indictment alleges the defendants backed up those threats.

Former Mayor Robinson lost that election by three votes. In the event of conviction, the conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 in fines. The vote-buying charges each carry maximum penalties of five years in prison and a $250,000 in fines.

All of the defendants remain free while their case is pending.

Rowan County Child Found Living in Filthy Conditions

Three people are facing charges after a child was found in a cold home in filthy conditions in Rowan County. State police went to the home of Rebecca and Timothy Jones to do a welfare check when they found a child with an aunt, living in filthy conditions. Police say the allegations date back to November

According to the citation, troopers found thousands of roaches throughout the home, trash that covered most of the floor, and animal feces in several places, including the child's room. Rebecca and Timothy Jones, and the child's aunt, Leslie Gentzler, are charged with endangering the welfare of a minor.

Kentucky's Unemployment Rate Down In December 2013

Kentucky's seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate fell to eight percent in December 2013 from a revised 8.2 percent in November 2013, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The preliminary December 2013 jobless rate was the same as the rate recorded for the state in December 2012. In December 2013, Kentucky's civilian labor force was 2,047,213, a decrease of 11,634 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment dropped by 5,671, while the number of unemployed people decreased by 5,963.

Kentucky's statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are seasonally adjusted. Employment statistics undergo sharp fluctuations due to seasonal events, such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings. Seasonal adjustments eliminate these influences and make it easier to observe statistical trends. However, because of the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Ky. Power Urges Customers to Double Check you Bill

The bitter cold means many folks will be turning up the heat, which could mean more money out of your pocket to pay the electric bill. Representatives from the power company said a hike of roughly 5% went into effect on January 1st. "That was a result of our Mitchell Transfer case which allowed us to transfer generating assets from Ohio Power to Kentucky Power to replace what is going to be lost when unit two at our Big Sandy facility is closed," said Kentucky Power Company Communications Manager Ronn Robinson. Kentucky Power is seeking approval to convert the other unit to burn natural gas instead of coal. Power officials ask everyone to review their bill closely. AEP officials said if anyone has a concern about their power bill they are encouraged to call the Kentucky Power Customer Solutions Center at 1-800-572-1113.

Plans Revealed regarding Upgrade of U.S. 460 in Magoffin County

Big changes could soon be coming to one stretch of road in Magoffin County. Transportation officials want to upgrade U.S. 460 in Salyersville from the Mountain Parkway to the intersection of Kentucky 114. The proposal calls for 460 to be widened from two lanes to four. People got the chance to look over the proposed changes at a public meeting Thursday night at Magoffin County High School. Some folks who live near 460 expressed concerns that widening the road would change the routes they take to and from their homes. Construction cannot begin until the General Assembly approves the Transportation Cabinet's six-year highway plan. For information on submitting questions and comments on the plan, call (606)-666-8841.

Photo Contest Seeks To Get Kids Outdoors

The state Energy and Environment Cabinet is taking submissions from young nature photographers for a contest. The cabinet's "Capture the Earth" contest is for middle school students grades 6 to 8. Cabinet Secretary Len Peters says the contest is meant to get students outside to explore their natural surroundings. Entries will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. April 4. The winner will receive lodging for two nights at a Kentucky State Resort Park. Students can email one photograph as an attachment to kidsphotocontestky.gov.

Filing Deadline Is Tuesday for Primary Election

People interested in running for public office have a few more days to file paperwork to be placed on the May 20 primary election ballot in Kentucky. The secretary of state's office says almost 4,000 candidates have already filed for more than 300 offices on this year's ballot. The deadline is 4 p.m. Tuesday. Candidates who are required to file with the secretary of state's office are those running for U.S. senator, U.S. representative, state senator, state representative, Supreme Court justice, Court of Appeals judge and circuit and district judge. Candidates for city and county office file with the county clerk in the county of service.