Local News 10-15-2012

Officials in Johnson Co. Continue Search for Missing Couple Throughout the Weekend

All weekend long, Johnson County Sheriff Dwayne Price, his staff and other search crews from all around the area, searched the land surrounding the Oil Springs home of the missing Johnson Co. couple,  Sandra or Sandie and Larry Blanton. The Blantons have been missing for at least a month, with no signs of their whereabouts. Sheriff Price said in his 30 plus years of law enforcement, he has never seen anything like the turnout to look for this couple, with volunteers on foot, ATV's and horseback, as well as the help from search dogs. If you've followed this story over the last month, the Blanton's were last seen at their home on Pigeon Creek Rd at Oil Springs during the first week of September and that's been the last contact anyone has heard from them. As Sheriff Price puts it, "It's like they just vanished without a trace, but we will not give up the search". The couple's son, William or "Willie" has given Sheriff Price different stories of the whereabouts of his parents and according to Price they've been different each time, so this obviously has given officials cause for concern for the safety of Sandie and Larry Blanton. Willie Blanton along with his girlfriend Amanda Fannin have both been named persons of interest and both are currently lodged behind bars due to recent arrest on drug related and other charges. Sheriff Price and his team have not released any findings, if any from thier weekend search, but they say if nothing turns up this time, they will continue to search and plan to execute another search within weeks. Sheriff Price ask the public that if they have any information, even the smallest bit, to please contact his office at 606-789-3411 or dial 911.

Former Perry Co.Sheriff's Office Employee Pleads Not Guilty

A Perry County woman was arraigned on charges that she stole nearly $600,000 in tax money while working for the Perry County Sheriff's Office. The Hazard Herald is reporting that 66-year-old Lana Dean pleaded not guilty. An indictment returned last week says that Dean allegedly stole $590,000 from the tax accounts. She is scheduled for a pretrial hearing in June of next year.

Boyd County Drug Task Force Make Heroin Bust

An undercover informant in Boyd Co. has helped police bust two drug traffickers. According to the Boyd County Sheriff's Department Drug Task Force, they picked up Ramal Lee and Christinia Hinkle on Saturday. Lee is from Detroit and Police say he has been staying with Hinkle at her home in Ashland Kentucky. Police arrested the two for drug trafficking. Both heroin and money where found inside Hinkle's home. Both are now in the Boyd County Detention Center.

Greenup Co. Man Sentenced To Life In Prison

A Greenup Co. jury has covicted Charles "Steve" Lee of murder in the March 2011 death of his wife, Leslie "Crickett" Lee-Lanham. One hour later, Judge Bob Conley sentenced Lee to life in prison. Lee will be eligible for parole in 20 years.

United For Coal Rally Unfolds In Appalachia

Friends, families and business operators who depend on coal mining are showing solidarity by lining up along highways in Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio. Groups in the hundreds gathered Saturday along U.S. Highway 23 as part of the United for Coal demonstration. Wearing yellow shirts, hard hats and other coal-related items, supporters stood along the highway for about an hour as cars drove by honking their horns. Supporters were set to gather in Pikeville, Ky., following the demonstration. The grass-roots effort is aimed at showing support of the thousands of miners have been laid off across the region this year. It's also intended to send a message that coal country is a political force to be reckoned with.

Morehead State Scientist Make Contact With Satellite

Scientists at Morehead State University have made contact with a satellite built by the school that was launched into space in September. The Dailey Independent cited a statement from the university in reporting that the next step will be to assist the Cosmic X-Ray Background Nanosatellite perform experiments, including taking measurements that could add insight to physics of the early universe. The satellite was one of many launched on a U.S. Department of Defense rocket on Sept. 13. Scientists expect it to remain in orbit for about a decade. The newspaper reports that if the device is operational, it will be the first satellite built entirely in Kentucky to be launched and deployed. Morehead State scientists recently detected the radio signal, which means the device and its subsystems are still operating. Scientists will start the systems that control experiments after spending the next few weeks testing the satellite's different systems. A successful mission would prove that small satellites could effectively perform a variety of functions. Dr. Ben Malphrus, who chairs the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at MSU, has served as principal investigator on the project. He led a team of students and faculty at MSU's Space Science Center to build, test and deliver the device, which is about the size of a loaf of bread, to NASA in a one-year time frame. The school partnered on the project with Kentucky Space LLC, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, Noqsi Aerospace, Black Forest Engineering and Little H-Bar ranch. Kentucky Space and its partners tried to launch a similar satellite in 2010, but the experiment was unsuccessful when the rocket failed.