Local News 2-11-2013

8 Charged With Illegally Getting, Cashing Checks

According to the KSP, the Martin Co. grand jury has indicted eight people on charges of organized crime in thefts from the local water district. Kentucky State Police said those arrested include seven people from Inez. They are identified as 24-year-old Jerry L. Maynard, 26-year-old Colby C. Maynard, 35-year-old Nannie Lucy Blackburn, 38-year-old Alvin Wesley Johnson, 28-year-old Melissa Hinkle, 29-year-old Justin Keller and 27-year-old Sean Keller. Also charged was 34-year-old Dennis Scott of Pilgrim. State police said the suspects fraudulently obtained checks from the Martin County Water District and cashed them. They are all charged with engaging in organized crime. KSP Detective Jason Dials continues an investigation of the case.

Three People Arrested on Meth Charges in Floyd Co. 

According to reports, the Prestonsburg Sheriffs Dept conducted a raid 2 weeks ago on a Green Acres apartment in Prestonsburg and made several arrest after a meth lab was found. Now the Kentucky State Police added another series of arrests last week in Prestonsburg at Prater Fork, near Hueysville. According to police reports, Brandon L. Arnett, 27, of Salyersville; Ryan A. Lykins, 29, of Hueysville; and Angela Shepherd, 32, of Hueysville, were all arrested near Hueysville for manufacturing meth. Shepherd and Lykins were each arrested and charged with one count manufacturing methamphetamine, first-degree possession of a controlled substance, and endangering the welfare of a minor. Shepherd’s last charge was amended down in court Thursday to fourth-degree controlled substance endangerment to a child. Arnett was charged with manufacturing methamphetamine and first-degree possession of a controlled substance. All three were arrested and transported to the Floyd County Detention Center.

High Speed Chase on Mountain Parkway Ends In Winchester, One Suspect Still Sought

A Kentucky man led police on a high-speed chase across the Mountain Parkway on Saturday. According to authorities, they say 23-year-old Shelby Turner was behind the wheel.  After several miles and high speeds, the chase ended with Turner's arrest in Winchester, but one of Turner's passengers ran off on foot and police say they are still searching for him. Turner however, has been charged with fleeing police, receiving stolen property, wanton endangerment and more. No further information has been provided and the investigation continues.

Powell Co. Woman Indicted With Abuse Charges On The Run

A Powell County woman indicted last week on charges she abused and exploited a mentally handicapped woman is on the run. Sheriff's deputies say Ruby Richardson is dangerous and desperate. Richardson's home on Campton Road in Stanton is empty. Chief Deputy Robert Mathews, with the Powell County Sheriff's Office, says Richardson disappeared a few days ago. He came by her home to arrest her Wednesday after a grand jury indicted Richardson on several charges, including four felonies. He says the indictment stems from charges of abusing a mentally handicapped woman Richardson used to live with. Investigators say Richardson beat her, forced the woman to eat dog food, and stole her disability checks. Investigators say they also think Richardson may have sold the woman's pain pills for cash. Something else that troubles investigators: they say they recently discovered that back in January Richardson took out a 10,000 dollar life insurance policy on the handicapped woman she lived with. Authorities ask that if you have any information, to please contact the Powell Co. S.O.

Pike Co. Man Charged in a Fatal Crash

A Pike Co. man has been charged with murder after a passenger in a vehicle died after colliding with a coal truck. The accident happened on US 119 in Pike County back in March 2012. Kentucky State Police say 35-year-old Mark Scott was a passenger in the car and died. William Akers has been charged in the murder. According to the Pike County Circuit Clerk's Office, Akers was indicted on a murder charge on January 16. He was arraigned on January 25 and no bond was set. Friday Akers was in court again for a bond hearing. His bond was set as a $20,000 property bond. If he makes bond, he will be on home incarceration with GPS monitoring. Akers is also not allowed contact with the family of the victim, or allowed to drive a vehicle. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for April 5. If Akers does not make a plea on that date, a trial date will be set.

Kentucky Senate Passes Government Pension Reform Bill

Legislation that would reform the pension system for state and local government retirees in Kentucky has cleared the Senate without an identified funding source to resolve worsening financial problems. The proposal would create a 401(k)-like hybrid retirement plan for new employees and would eliminate cost-of-living increases for retirees already drawing benefits in an effort to deal with a $33 billion deficit. The Senate voted 33-5 on Thursday to pass the measure containing recommendations made by the legislative task. The legislation calls for the state to begin paying its full contribution to the pension system beginning next fiscal year. That would require more than $200 million a year in additional funds. Jim Carroll, a leader of the group Kentucky Government Retirees, said the Senate bulldozed ahead with legislation that does nothing to resolve the financial problems. Gov. Steve Beshear said last week, he wants lawmakers to fully fund the state's contribution to the pension system. In a speech to a joint session of the House and Senate, he tied pension reform to a revamping of the state's tax structure.

A group of experts serving on a commission appointed by Beshear last year proposed a list of tax reforms that would generate nearly $700 million a year in additional revenue. By adopting those recommendations, the Democratic governor said lawmakers could generate needed revenue to help restore solvency to the pension system. The legislation now moves to the Democratic-controlled House where leaders also have said they want a designated funding source for making the state's contribution to the pension system. Democratic state Rep. Brent Yonts of Greenville, chairman of the House State Government Committee, said the issue is far from resolved, even though lawmakers have only 22 more working days remaining in the legislative session. Beshear has said he's willing to call a special legislative session if lawmakers don't get the issues ironed out. The legislation is Senate Bill 2.

EKU President Warns Of Possible Layoffs

Eastern Kentucky University's president is warning of campus layoffs as the school prepares to reallocate 10 percent of its budget. In an email sent this week to faculty and staff on the Richmond campus, EKU President Doug Whitlock did not specify how many jobs would be cut or when. He said there's no way the budget reallocation can be made without a workforce reduction. Whitlock promised that the process of deciding on layoffs will be done in a "fair and humane" way. He says the budget cuts will allow for future salary raises for faculty and staff and program improvements. He says every part of the budget will be reviewed and that there are no "pre-determined exemptions." 

Several Dignitaries in Morgan County Today for Recovery Project Announcment

U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) announced today that he will join Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, along with other federal, state and local officials for a community meeting on Monday, February 11, 2013 for a major project funding announcement and groundbreaking ceremony for the tornado recovery and rebuilding efforts in West Liberty, Kentucky. On March 2, 2012, a deadly tornado ripped through Morgan County, demolishing buildings in downtown West Liberty, along with dozens of homes and businesses across the county. Thanks to vital partnerships, a multimillion dollar project is being launched to rebuild Morgan County.

When: Monday, February 11, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. (EST)
Where: Morgan County High School, located at 150 Road to Success, West Liberty, KY 41472

The public is invited to attend.