Local News 2-27-2014


Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office Report Operation Broken Heart Effective

According to a news release from the JCSO, Sheriff Price wanted to informa the public that Operation Broken Heart has ended with 100% arrests effective Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014 with the arrest of the last person wanted on indictments.

According to Sheriff Price, everyone is capable of making a bad decision. Many learn a lesson and go on to lead productive lives. Those who continue to put their lives, their families lives and the lives of our citizens in danger are not making mistakes or one bad decision. They are choosing a life of crime. I hope they accept personal responsibility.

For those addicted to drugs, or whatever vice that has a hold on them, it is my (Price) sincere hope and prayer that they seek help and if needed rehab. They owe it to themselves and those who care about them. If you or someone you know is seeking help, there are organizations that can help.

As always, Sheriff Price wanted the public feel free to contact him, Chief Deputy Kevin Pelphrey or any of the JCSO officers if you need assistance or have information to assist us in cleaning up our county. All information will remain confidential.

Pike Co. Man Arrested for Charged with Disorderly Conduct after Receiving Donations

Officials in Pike Co. are investigating a Pike Co. man after he went through the Virgie community asking for donations to help his deceased child. Police report they received numerous complaints about David Pugh, 27, claiming he needed donations to fund his dead child's funeral, but police say this was a phony request.

Pugh reportedly went from house to house requesting money using more than one story. Police report their investigation discovered that Pugh would tell residents he needed the money to help pay for his two month old babies funeral, but another story said he asked for money for his nephew that needed a transplant.

Police say they received five different calls about Pugh and finally caught up with him outside of Tackett's Market Tuesday morning. They say he admitted later he was using the money to support his Suboxyne addiction. Police arrested Pugh and took him to the Pike County Jail, charging him with Disorderly Conduct. He bonded out just hours later.

Former Martin (Floyd Co) Mayor and Daughter Found Guilty on Federal Charges

The former mayor of Martin in Floyd Co, Thomasine Robinson, along with her daughter Christine Whicker have both been found guilty on all counts related to their attempts to defraud the federal government of money. In October 2013, a federal grand jury indicted Halbert along with former Mayor Thomasine Robinson, Christine Whicker, and Ethel Lee Clouse for allegedly defrauding the social security administration and misapplying federal funds. All charges against Ethel Clouse were dismissed. The sentencing for Robinson and Whicker is set for June 9th.

Robinson, along with five others, were also been indicted in December 2013 on a vote buying scheme. Prosecutors say they intimidated, threatened, and even injured potential voters in the Martin community. A trial date for the group is set for March 10th. A trial is expected to last four days.

Trial for Two Perry County Jailers Continues

The trial for two Perry Co. deputy jailers, facing manslaughter charges, is continuing. According to WYMT-TV, a special prosecutor was appointed on Wednesday in the case of Damon Hickman and William Howell. Assistant Attorney General Barbara Maines-Whaley will now serve as the prosecuting attorney.

Back in August 2013, a grand jury indicted the duo for the death of Larry Trent at the Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard. Trent was serving time in jail on a DUI charge and according to the state medical examiner’s office, Trent reportedly suffered injuries as a result of a "jail beating" that led to his death. The trial was continued until April 28th.

Obesity Among Young Kids Improving Nationwide, But Plenty of Work Remains in KY

Over the past decade the percentage of kids ages 2-5 who are obese has dropped a staggering 43 percent nationwide, according to a new federal report. However, according to Susan Zepeda, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, childhood obesity remains a big problem in the Commonwealth. She pointed to underlying data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that finds no change in the obesity rates.

Zepeda said a lot of good things are being done in Kentucky to address the problem. "Preschool is obviously a great place to reach children, but these data also suggest that we need to look at what's happening in our communities. We need to look at the awareness families have about the importance of early nutrition," Zepeda said. Health experts have said a young child's high weight is an early warning signal that he or she will be at a higher risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer later in life.

The good news from the national report is that children are consuming fewer calories from sugary drinks and that caloric intake, overall, is down. Allison Tse, Perry County wellness coordinator, said with schoolkids ages 5-18, the focus is on three things: "Nutrition, physical activity and tobacco use." While the news is good nationwide for the country's youngest children, the federal report noted that one out of every three adults and nearly one in five youths in the U.S. (17 percent) are still obese. Those rates have remained stable in recent years.

In the Bluegrass State, the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has launched a new initiative, Investing in Kentucky's Future, aimed at helping today's school-age kids grow up more healthy than their parents. Zepeda said the foundation has made a five-year investment in seven communities that have active health coalitions, "bringing together not just the usual suspects, but other folks who care about the health and prosperity of their communities to bend the curve on key health issues for children." Another sign the bandwagon against childhood obesity is picking up steam is the governor's recent rollout of Kentucky Health Now. It lists seven goals to improve the health and wellness of Kentuckians, and obesity is on the list. The report is available at https://jama.jamanetwork.com.

State Senate Panel OKs Trial use of Cannabis Oil

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A Kentucky Senate committee has advanced a bill to allow trial use of cannabis oil to treat children suffering from severe seizures. Republican Sen. Julie Denton predicted Wednesday that her bill has enough support to pass the Senate and House. The measure now goes to the full Senate. The Senate Health and Welfare Committee heard emotional testimony from parents who pleaded with lawmakers to legalize cannabis oil for their ailing children. Rita Wooton of Hyden says her young son has been plagued by severe seizures since birth. She says they've tried more than a dozen drugs but nothing has worked. The bill would allow use of the non-intoxicating medical marijuana oil when it's recommended by doctors practicing at a state university research hospital.

Body of a Johnson Co. Soldier Who Died Overseas, Comes Back Home

The body of a Johnson County soldier who died while on active duty in Afghanistan is now home and his funeral is set. According to the Department of Defense, PFC Joshua A. Gray, 21, of Van Lear, Ky., died February 10 at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident. Gray’s body was returned to the Big Sandy Airport in Martin County Monday morning.

Visitation for Joshua Gray will be held on Friday evening from 5 until 9 at in Johnson Co. middle School gym, with his funeral taking place on Saturday March 1 at 11 AM, also at the middle school. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has ordered flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff on the day Gray is buried.

Gray is survived by his father, Seth William Gray and Robin Rena Gray.