Local News 2-15-2013

Woman Wounded, Man Arrested in Johnson County Shooting

Police are continuing their investigation of a Johnson County shooting. The incident happened at about 5:15 p.m. Thursday near the Pineview Trailor Ct. in Paintsville  According to the Kentucky State Police, they say Jeffery Irvin, 43, of Paintsville fired a weapon into a residence, striking a female who was inside. The female was transported to Saint Mary's Medical Center for her injuries. Last report received by WSIP News is that the female, whose name has not been released, continues to be listed in critical condition. Irvin was arrested and held in the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center on one count of first-degree assault.

After 6 Years, A Warrant Has Been Served in Old Drug Case in Magoffin Co.

A Magoffin County man has been arrested on bench a warrant that was issued nearly six years ago. Jeremiah Holland, 32 of Salyersville, was picked up February 8 on grand jury indictments released March 17, 2007. Holland was charged with one count of trafficking in a controlled substance, second degree (a Class D felony), and one count of conspiracy to traffic in a controlled substance, second degree (also a Class D felony). According to the indictments, on or about December 19, 2006, Holland allegedly knowingly and unlawfully trafficked hydrocodone, a Schedule III narcotic, as well as agreed to sell an illegal narcotic with the intent to facilitate or promote a crime. Holland was taken to the Big Sandy Detention Center, but posted a $3,000 bond and was released the same day he was arrested. No court date has been set at press time.

Floyd Co. Woman Pleads Guilty to Prostitution

According to the FLoyd Co. Times, a Floyd County woman has been arrested for prostitution, after police tracked her down through an ad on Craig’s List. Reports indicate, Valerie King, 33 of Martin, was arrested on Wednesday at her home on Bucks Branch in the Martin community of Floyd Co., after police found her through an ad placed on the Craig’s List website. King advertised sex for a fee of $100 on Craig’s List, and emailed officers “what she would and wouldn’t do for $100.” She also emailed the officers her address. King has been in trouble in the past, pleading guilty to shoplifting and public intoxication of a controlled substance. King has already pleaded guilty to this class B misdemeanor charge of prostitution in Floyd County District Court and is expected to appear in court today for sentencing.

Grayson Looking for New Police Chief

The City of Grayson is looking for a new Chief of Police, after Ed Ginter’s resignation Tuesday night. Ginter submitted his letter of resignation to Mayor George Steele last week and was accepted by city council members.The resignation takes effect February 19. Ginter said that he felt it was in the best interest of he and his family to move on and that it was an honor to serve as Chief, and he will hold the memories dear to his heart. The former Kentucky State Police Trooper has been Chief since August 2008. No interim or permanent replacement has been named at this time.

Suit Filed to Remove Knott Co. Judge Executive from Office

A lawsuit has been filed to remove Knott County Judge Executive Randy Thompson from office. Thompson was convicted in a 2009 federal vote buying case, but has kept his title, even after going to prison. Thompson reported to federal prison more than two months ago, but never relinquished the title of judge executive. The lawsuit filed Tuesday is designed to officially remove him from office. Prosecutors claim Thompson has refused to resign and should be removed to make it easier for the Knott County Fiscal Court to pass a budget. In the suit, Thompson is accused of threatening legal action against the Knott Fiscal Court, which last week voted to quit paying his salary while he serves a 40-month prison term in Pennsylvania. If Thompson is removed, Kentucky's governor, Steve Beshear, would need to appoint someone to fill the vacancy. The suit was filed in Knott County Circuit Court.

Operation UNITE Installs Med-Return Box at Pikeville Police Department

People can now safely dispose of their old pills in Pike County, as Operation UNITE officials installed a Med-Return box in the Pikeville Police Department. This is intended to give people a place to take their unwanted or unused medications. Anyone can drop off their medications at the police department during office hours.

Ky State Goverment News:

* Industrial Hemp Bill Passes State Senate

The comeback of industrial hemp in Kentucky has gained ground with state Senate passage of a bill to regulate the crop if the current federal ban is lifted. The bill cleared the Senate on a 31-6 vote Thursday. It now heads to the House, where its prospects are much less certain. Industrial hemp once thrived in Kentucky, but the crop has been banned for decades since the federal government classified it as a controlled substance related to marijuana. Hemp supporters say its reemergence can help farmers and create jobs turning its seeds and fiber into products. Opponents doubt hemp's economic potential and worry it will complicate marijuana eradication efforts. State Sen. Chris Girdler Pulaski County, who opposed the bill, compared growing hemp to growing the novelty plants known as Chia Pets.

* Ky. Senate OK's Bill To Review Nursing Home Lawsuits

A panel of doctors would have to review and approve malpractice lawsuits against nursing homes before they could proceed to court under a bill that has passed the Senate. The vote late Wednesday afternoon was 23-12, mainly along party lines, in the Republican-controlled chamber. Republican Sen. Julie Denton of Louisville, the bill's sponsor, said the panel would weed out frivolous lawsuits filed by large, out-of-state law firms. She said the money currently spent on litigation would be better spent on care. Democratic Sen. Ray Jones of Pikeville, who voted against the bill, held up poster-sized photos of bed sores and other signs of abuse and neglect of some nursing home residents. He said such victims should have direct access to the courts. The bill will proceed to the House for consideration. The legislation is Senate Bill 9.

* House Education Committee Approves College Scholarship Program for Coalfield Students

College students from the coalfields would be eligible for special scholarships under legislation that passed the House Education Committee on Thursday. Democratic state Rep. Leslie Combs of Pikeville, the bill's sponsor, said the scholarships of up to $6,600 a year would be available only to college juniors and seniors in one of the state's 34 coal-producing counties in eastern and western Kentucky. Called the Kentucky Coal County College Completion Scholarship Program, the initiative is a compromise that came from a failed push last year to create a four-year public university in the Appalachian coalfields. Lawmakers saw that proposal, intended to boost the number of college graduates in the coalfields, as too expensive considering Kentucky's tight state budget. The money for the scholarships will come from a tax on mined coal.

Magoffin Co. Highway to be Named for a Local Soldier

A joint resolution was passed last week designating Kentucky Route 867 in Magoffin County as the "Spc. Ralph Honaker, Jr., Memorial Highway," which reads,
Whereas, Ralph Honaker, Jr., a courageous son of the Commonwealth, was born July 8, 1948, and grew up in Ivyton, in Magoffin County; and
Whereas, Ralph Honaker answered his nation's call to service as a member of the United States Army during the Vietnam War; and
Whereas, Ralph Honaker paid the ultimate sacrifice when he was killed in action in South Vietnam on June 6, 1969, barely one month short of his 21st birthday; and
Whereas, his passing has left the family and friends of Ralph Honaker with a void that cannot be filled, even now almost 45 years later; and
Whereas, it is appropriate that the service and sacrifice of Ralph Honaker, Jr., be memorialized in some tangible way, however inadequate it might be;
Now, therefore, be it resolved by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:
Section 1. The Transportation Cabinet shall designate Kentucky Route 867 in Magoffin County as the "Spc. Ralph Honaker, Jr., Memorial Highway," and shall, with 30 days of the effective date of this Resolution, erect appropriate sign denoting this designation.