Local News 6-4-2013

Fatal Crash on U.S. 23 in Lawrence Co.

Acording to reports from the Lawrence Co. Sheriff's Dept., one person was killed Tuesday following an accident involving a tractor trailer and car on U.S. 23. The crash was reported  just after 2:45 p.m. near the intersection with Kentucky 645 in Lawrence Co. Initial reports say the tractor trailer colidded with the car, killing one person in the car. The driver of the tractor trailer was not injured. WSIP news hasn't received any information on how many people were in the car,nor their identities at this time. Law enforcement were forced to close the northbound lane of U.S. 23 for several hours to allow emergency personel to do their job.  WSIP will bring you further information as soon as it becomes available.

KSP Investigating Floyd Co. Armed Robbery

Acording to a news release from the KSP, on Sunday June 2, 2013 Post 9 Pikeville received a call of a armed robbery at Subway located in the Allen community of Floyd County. KSP Troopers responded to the scene and information obtained at the scene indicates that an employee was attempting to close the business for the evening when a male subject entered the business. The unidentified male was wearing a white hooded sweatshirt, white handkerchief over his face and a pair shorts. The unidentified male brandished a weapon and obtained an undisclosed amount of cash from the register before exiting the business through the back door. The unidentified male fled the area on foot in an unknown direction of travel. The unidentified male was described as white, approximately 6 feet tall and slender build. This case remains under investigation by KSP Detective William Petry. Anyone with information is asked to contact Kentucky State Police Post 9 at 1-800-222-5555 or (606) 433-7711.

Nineteen Die On Kentucky Roadways Last Week

Preliminary statistics* indicate that 19 people died in 18 separate crashes on Kentucky’s roadways from Tuesday, May 28 through Sunday, June 2, 2013. One double-fatality, motor vehicle crash occurred in Calloway County. One of the victims was not wearing a seat belt. Four single-fatality motor vehicle crashes occurred in Jefferson County. Two of the victims were not wearing seat belts. Two of the crashes involved the suspected use of alcohol.  One single-fatality, motor vehicle crash occurred in each of the following counties: Calloway, Campbell, Gallatin, Hardin, Johnson, Marshall and Scott. The victims in Gallatin, Johnson, Marshall and Scott counties were not wearing seat belts. The crash in Scott County involved the suspected use of alcohol.  One single-fatality, motorcycle crash occurred in each of the following counties: Breathitt, Letcher, Lewis, Meade, Pike and Scott. The victims in Letcher, Lewis, Meade, Pike and Scott counties were not wearing helmets. Through June 2, preliminary statistics* indicate that 236 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2013. This is 75 less than reported for this time period in 2012. As of June 2, Kentucky has had 39 days with zero highway fatalities reported during 2013.

Pike County Man Facing More Charges

A Pike County man who is already facing an attempted murder charge, has more charges placed against him. According to the Appalachian News Express in Pike Co., Jonathan Thornsbury is accused of trying to kill his girlfriend back in March, after being spotted unconscious in his car. He was charged with attempted murder and rape, but a new indictment has him facing additional rape charges and a new sodomy charge. Thornsbury was originally arrested March 7th. No further information has been provided at this time.

Letcher County Man Killed in Motorcycle/ATV Accident

One man is dead following a motorcycle accident in Letcher County over the weekend. According to authorities, Ronnie Lee Wells, 21, was on a motorcycle that collided head on with an ATV. The accident happened just off Dusty Branch Road in Letcher Co. near the Letcher Co. line. Authorities say no one else was injured in the accident. No further information has been provided.

State Officials Celebrating 25th Birthday of College Savings Plan

State officials are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Kentucky Education Savings Plan Trust. The state savings plan has helped thousands of Kentuckians pay for college. The plan allows parents to put money into a variety of investment plans to save for college. Any earnings in the plan are tax free when withdrawals are used for education expenses. The plan's administrator, David Lawhorn, says there are nearly 14,000 accounts. Some Kentucky families have been able to use the savings plan to help their children graduate without any debts. A ceremony marking the quarter-century anniversary of the plan is Wednesday in Frankfort.

Other Corporations Will Likely Follow Patriot to Ax Retirees

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Observers of corporate bankruptcies say the ruling in the Patriot Coal case will open the door to other corporations that want to shed retiree obligations. In a controversial decision, a bankruptcy judge in Missouri ruled that the coal company could slash health and pension benefits as it restructures. According to economist Teresa Ghilarducci, chair of the economics at the New School of Social Research, Patriot has been especially aggressive about using the bankruptcy process to break the retiree parts of employee contracts, and it's not just Patriot going that route. "In fact there are many bankruptcy situations in which it seems that the primary reason the troubled company is going all the way to bankruptcy is in order to shed those obligations," she declared. The decision could allow Patriot to eliminate health care benefits for more than 20,000 retired miners and family members. Patriot Coal claimed it has to slash costs to remain viable. The United Mine Workers union said the company planned to abandon the retirees from the day it was founded in 2007. The Patriot retirees could end up in a public health care trust administered by the mineworkers' union. The pensions of other bankrupt companies have been absorbed by the federal government's Pension Benefits Guarantee Corporation. Both have been under-funded. Budget analyst Sean O'Leary said retirees might end up having to depend on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, all part of a shift of costs from the company to taxpayers. "A shift from what was a private business providing a pension to people on public services" is what's happening, he charged. "And the end result of that creates a great deal of strain on our public services." O'Leary said the background to this story is a falling number of good-paying industrial jobs and a decline in union membership. He said that tilts contract negotiations, and legal fights, in favor of the corporations. "Fewer and fewer employees (are) covered by unions, and not only are there fewer companies offering those benefits, but it's possible for those that have those benefits to have those taken away," he pointed out. t's a "scary thing," said O'Leary, for states like Kentucky and West Virginia, where Patriot operated mines.

Officials in Johnson Co. Map Out Safety Plan for New Dawkins Line Trail

Adventure Tourism is now just days away in Eastern Ky and it's  making some people excited, but others concerned. The first section of the Dawkins Trail Line in Johnson and Magoffin counties is ready to go after a year of development and construction. The Dawkins Trail Line is part of the Kentucky Rails to Trails program, converting abandoned railroad tracks into public trails. This 36 mile trail runs through Johnson County, Magoffin Co. and Breathitt counties, but residents along the trail are concerned officials will not be able to keep their property safe and secure and fear this new trail will cause alot of problems. Motor vehicles will not be allowed on this trail. Officials, along with Emergency personel toured the trail last week discussing saftey issues and other areas of concern. The official open date is set for June 15 with a ribbon cutting.