Local News 4-22-2014

KSP Make Arrest in a Johnson Co. Burglary

According to a news release from the KSP in Pikeville, on April 18, 2014 Trooper Zach Haney was dispatched to a burglary complaint on Kentucky 40 in Johnson County. Tpr. Haney responded to the complaint and conducted an investigation where several items were taken from the residence. Later this same day Tpr. Hunter Hensley was dispatched to an Intoxicated Person complaint on Kentucky 40 in Johnson County, stating that the intoxicated person was sitting in a vehicle and was refusing to leave. Tpr. Hensley was assisted on scene by Johnson County Jailer Doug Saylor. Upon arrival KSP made contact with the male and consent to search the vehicle was obtained. Tpr. Haney was also requested to respond to the scene. Located within the vehicle were items that were taken from the residence that Tpr. Haney had previously responded to earlier the same day. Also located in the vehicle were items that were taken from other homes in the area. Terry N. Porter was arrested and charged with Burglary 2nd Degree, Criminal Mischief 3rd Degree, Possession of Controlled Substance 1st, Promoting Contraband 1st, Possession Controlled Substance 3rd, and Possession of Burglary Tools. This incident remains under investigation by Kentucky State Police Trooper Zach Haney.

Trial is Underway in a Fatal Johnson Co. Crash

Jury selection ended Friday and the trial is underway for a Johnson Co. woman, charged in the death of an 18-year-old, killed after she collided with a motorcycle. The trial for Myra Castle, 53, of Wittensville began Monday morning. Castle has been charged with second degree manslaughter and DUI in connection with the death of C. J. Mollett. Mollett was killed after the motorcycle he was riding on, collided with the car Castle was operating. The accident happened along Ky. Rt. 201 on August 16, 2013. According to the original indictment, Castle had a blood alcohol of 0.200 when investigators say she crossed the center line and hit Mollett. In a statement to WSAZ news, Castle's attorney, Ned Pillersdorf, said Mollett caused his own death by traveling at an excessive speed and Castle was only going 15 mph and was making a legal left turn at the time of the accident. According to the Kentucky State Police incident report, Castle told troopers at the hospital, she had been drinking vodka earlier in the day.

Alford Plea Accepted in a Magoffin County Murder Case

Reports out of Magoffin County indicate a judge has accepted an Alford Plea for a Magoffin Co. man accused of Murder. Daniel Hackworth was originally charged with the murder of 49-year old Donnie Allen in January 2013. Allen's body was found in Hackworth’s yard, who Police say was found inside his residence with a gun. With the Alford Plea offered by the commonwealth's attorney, the murder charges were dropped to reckless homicide and Hackworth was given a three year probated sentence, which started last week. No further information has been provided.

Pikeville Doctor Pleads Guilty to Drug Conspiracy

A Pikeville doctor has admitted that he allowed a pharmacy access to prescription drug samples. Dr. Thad Manning pleaded guilty to conspiracy to misbranding drugs and has agreed to pay $250,000, which represents the proceeds he received as a result of the conspiracy. He also agreed to enter into a drug rehab center for an addiction of hydrocodone. Manning will be sentenced in July. He faces one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.

Ex-Mingo County, W.Va Prosecutor Set for Sentencing

A former Mingo County, W.Va prosecutor will soon learn his fate in a federal corruption investigation. Michael Sparks is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday, April 24 in federal court in Charleston, W.Va. He faces up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine. Sparks and former circuit judge Michael Thornsbury were accused of protecting the late Sheriff Eugene Crum from revelations that Crum bought drugs from a campaign sign maker. Crum was killed in an unrelated shooting last April. Sparks pleaded guilty last year to depriving sign maker George White of his constitutional rights. Thornsbury pleaded guilty to conspiring to deprive White of his rights. Charges against White were dismissed in February. Thornsbury is scheduled to be sentenced June 9.

Ky. Releases County Unemployment Rates

Annual unemployment rates were lower in 51 Kentucky counties in 2012 than in 2013, while 57 county rates went up and 12 counties had the same annual rate for both years, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The annual jobless rate for Woodford County was the lowest in the Commonwealth in 2013 at 6.1 percent. It was followed by Fayette and Oldham counties, 6.5 percent each; Scott County, 6.7 percent; Boone, Daviess, Franklin, Madison and Shelby counties, 6.8 percent each; and Caldwell, Owen and Warren counties, 7 percent each.

Leslie County recorded the state’s highest annual unemployment rate in 2013 — 17.7 percent. It was followed by Harlan and Magoffin counties, 17.6 percent each; Letcher County, 17.3 percent; Knott County, 16.1 percent; Fulton and Jackson counties, 15 percent each; Bell County, 14.9 percent; Perry County, 13.7 percent; and McCreary County, 13.5 percent.

Long Time Johnson Co. Clerk Passes

Johnson Co. officials, along with the public are mourning the passing of long-time Johnson Co. Clerk Betty Jo Conley, who served the residents in office for 33 years, 25 of those as Johnson Co. Clerk and 8 more as a Deputy Clerk. Betty Jo (Pelphrey) Conley passed away Easter Sunday morning, April 20th at the age of 75 years. She was a proud resident of Leander, Ky. with her husband Wallace.

Betty Jo first took office in 1970 and served 6 terms as the Clerk of Johnson Co. and for that period of time, if you ever stopped by and visited the Johnson Co. Clerk’s Office and spoke with Betty Jo, you immediately recognized her warmth and friendliness to each and every person, but you also had to notice you’re surroundings. From the smell of coffee simmering in the pot, to the smiles and laughter of her employees and of course who could forget the many, many antique dolls and figurines that lined every inch of the Clerk’s office. Visiting there was more than just stopping by and licensing you’re vehicle or taking care of any other business you had, no visiting with Betty Jo Conley left you with a sense of being a person, being someone that for that moment you was talking with her, you were her focus. She knew everyone throughout the county it seemed and if she didn’t know you right off, she would before you left.

Betty Jo would always greet you with that smile of hers and eventually in your conversation with her, would call you “Honey” or give you a “Bless your Heart” and you knew she meant it. Betty Jo Conley was a marvelous woman, a strong woman, a good business woman, there’s so many ways to describe her, but I feel it would be best just to describe her as Friend, a true Friend to MANY and she surely will be missed by everyone.

She is survived by her husband Wallace, one son Chris Conley and wife Chastity; one daughter, current Johnson County Court Clerk, Sallee Ann (Conley) Holbrook and husband Winfield; one daughter-in-law, Kerri Conley Ratliff; five grandchildren; one great grandchild; three sisters.

Funeral: 2:00 p.m. Thursday, April 24th, 2014 in the Jones-Preston Funeral Chapel Visitation: 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014,
9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014 and after 9:00 a.m. until time of service on Thursday, April 24th, 2014 at Jones-Preston Funeral Home

In honor of Betty Jo Conley and her service to Johnson Co. the Johnson Co. Clerk's Office will be CLOSING on Tuesday, April 22 @ 2 PM and will REMAIN CLOSED until Friday, April 25 @ 8 AM. Also following the Funeral @ around 3:15 PM or so, the Funeral Procession will go through downtown Paintsville, in front of the Courthouse on Court Street in route to her final resting place at Highland’s Memorial Park at Staffordsville. (Tune into the Morning Funeral Announcements @ 5:30 AM and 7:30 AM, the Mid-day News @ 12 Noon and the 5 o’clock News for the complete Funeral Announcement.