Local News 6-26-2015 - Updated



Meth Lab Found inside Camper in Martin Co. Camper Destroyed by Fire

Deputies in Martin Co. are investigating the discovery of a meth lab inside a camper. According to Martin County Sheriff, John Kirk he says one of his deputies went to the camper on Smith Road in the Beauty community on Wednesday night after receiving a call about a possible meth lab. When the deputy arrived on scene, four men and a woman, took off. Upon investigation, the meth lab was discovered inside the camper. Adding to the investigation, on Thursday morning around 7 AM, Sheriff Kirk got a report that the camper was on fire. An arson investigator is looking into the cause of the fire. Sheriff Kirk says his department does have suspects in connection with the meth lab and he expects to present the case to an upcoming grand jury.        

Fatal Collision ON I-64 Carter Co

According to news release from the KSP, at approximately 5:15 a.m. on Friday, June 26, 2015, the Kentucky State Police in Ashland responded to a two vehicle collision on Interstate 64 at the 167 mile marker. A vehicle operated by Beth Ann Thompson (49) of Olive Hill, KY was traveling east on I-64 when it appears that she hydroplaned on the water covered roadway.  After her vehicle came to a stop on the roadway, another vehicle struck her disabled vehicle. Ms. Thompson was pronounced deceased on the scene by the Carter Co Coroner. Seatbelts were in use by all occupants, and drug or alcohol use does not appear to be a factor.  The collision is still under investigation by Trooper Forrest Newsome. The Kentucky State Police was assisted on the scene by the Carter County EMS, Grayson Fire Department, and the Kentucky Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. 

Jury Finds Breathitt Co. Man Guilty in Death of Young Girl

A Breathitt Co man has been found guilty in the death of a 13 year-old girl. On Thursday, a jury found Delbert White guilty of reckless homicide. White was convicted of hitting and killing Taylor Henson in July of 2013. The jury recommended White serve two years in prison. He was taken into custody immediately after the trial concluded at the Three Forks Regional Jail.

Contractor Dies at AK Steel Plant in Boyd Co.

Officials are investigating after an electrical contractor died at an AK Steel plant in Boyd Co. Ohio-based AK Steel spokesman Barry L. Racey confirmed the death at the Ashland plant, saying an employee of the Siemens Company died on June 23 while he was performing routine electrical maintenance work. Siemens spokeswoman Christine Baumann identified the worker as 47-year-old Dwayne Walters of Hico, West Virginia. She said the company is working with local officials to determine how the death occurred. Boyd County Coroner Mark Hammond says it appears that Walters came into contact with a wire while performing testing work at a substation. He said an autopsy will determine the cause of death.

Judge Orders Floyd Co. Attorney Not to Destroy Any Medical Records or Documents

Floyd Co. Attorney, Eric C. Conn has been ordered by a judge not to destroy any medical records or documents concerning his former clients. Conn is being sued by hundreds of his former clients after the Social Security Administration temporarily suspended their disability benefits (which was later reversed and checks issued). Conn is also barred from transferring any assets or money outside of the United States, Floyd County Circuit Judge Johnny Ray Harris ordered. The ruling comes one day after Conn invoked his 5th amendment right and refused to testify at a hearing where Conn's lawyers asked Judge Harris to unfreeze Conn's assets and dismiss the case. Judge Harris also ordered Conn to submit a copy of his malpractice insurance police to the court within 10 days. Congressional investigators suspect Conn used fraudulent information to secure disability payments for hundreds of people in Kentucky and West Virginia. Conn has denied any and all wrongdoing and has not been charged.

Jobless Rates Down in 119 Kentucky Counties in May

Unemployment rates fell in 119 Kentucky counties between May 2014 and May 2015, but rose in Russell County, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 3.8 percent. It was followed by Fayette and Oldham counties, 4 percent each; Owen and Shelby counties, 4.1 percent each; Boone and Scott counties, 4.2 percent each; and Anderson, Campbell, Jessamine, and Spencer counties, 4.3 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate – 12.7 percent. It was followed by Harlan County, 11.1 percent; Leslie and Letcher counties, 10.3 percent; Russell County, 9.7 percent; Clay County, 9.5 percent; Knott County, 9.3 percent; Breathitt County, 9.2 percent; and Elliott and Wolfe counties, 9.1 percent each. Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working. Civilian labor force statistics include non-military workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks. The statistics in this news release are not seasonally adjusted because of the small sample size for each county. The data should only be compared to the same month in previous years.

Johnson Co. Relay for Life 2015

The 2015 Johnson Co. Relay for Life is Tonight (Friday, June 26) at Johnson Central High School Gymnasium. The survivor’s dinner will begin @ 5 PM and the opening ceremonies will be @ 7 PM. This event was re-scheduled from last Friday’s original date of June 19 due to the threat of bad weather. If anyone would like Luminary information, please call 606-264-3056. New Country 98.9 FM WSIP will have the opening ceremony “LIVE” on the radio and on our website www.wsipfm.com with LIVE Streaming. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.


Local News 6-24-2015


Lawrence Co. Sheriff’s Office Needs Assistance in Locating Young Lady

According to a news release, the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public’s assistance in locating Amanda Stevens, 25 formerly of Dunlow WV. Ms Stevens was last seen in May of 2014 when she was discharged from Three Rivers Medical Center in Louisa. The Sheriff's Office has exhausted all resources available in attempting to locate Ms. Stevens and is asking anyone who has seen or has information on the whereabouts of Ms. Amanda Stevens, to please contact the Lawrence Co. Sheriff's Office at 606-638-1316 or the Lawrence County 911 Center at 606-638-4851.

Estate of Floyd Co. Woman Files Suit against Floyd Co. Attorney

According to reports from WLEX-TV in Lexington, Ky, the family of a woman who committed suicide after her Social Security/Disability Benefits were removed, has filed suit in Floyd Co Circuit Court. The estate of Melissa Jude, with her husband John Daniel Jude acting as administrator, filed a complaint against Eric C. Conn and his law offices for claims that "legal malpractice" on the part of Conn resulted in Jude's state of mental despair. This is the second such complaint filed against Conn. The widow of Leroy Burchett also filed a lawsuit on behalf of her late husband's estate alleging fraudulent activity on the part of attorney Eric C. Conn resulted in his wrongful death. Over 900 eastern Kentucky residents represented by the controversial Floyd County attorney had their benefits frozen pending a review by the Social Security Administration. The SSA sent out letters notifying recipients represented by Conn's office between 2009 and 2011, announcing a review to determine whether the individual in question was actually disabled.

According to attorney Ned Pillersdorf, who is representing the estates of Burchett and Jude, those letters have resulted in at least three suicides. In the case of Melissa Jude, the complaint reads that when Jude received notice about her suspension of benefits she fell into a deteriorated mental state. The documents state that Jude believed she was "worthless" as she was not able to contribute to her family. Jude died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on June 2. Benefits were restored to the recipients of the letter on June 4. Jude's husband, John, is seeking compensation, punitive damages and attorney fees.

KSP Requests Surveillance Footage of Rowan Co. Roads

According to the Kentucky State Police in Morehead, investigators are searching for surveillance footage from an area in Clearfield, Ky (Rowan Co) but they aren't releasing any other details on the case. KSP says that they are conducting a felony investigation in the Clearfield area of Rowan Co. They are searching for people who may have a security system that may have filmed roadways on June 18 and 19 in the Clearfield area, including Dry Creek. This encompasses the areas between Sharon Drive to KY 519, the length of KY 519 and McBrayer Road. KSP would not elaborate on the details of the case further. If you happen to have any footage, please contact KSP at 1-800-222-5555 or 606-784-4127 for Trooper Keith Howard. Due to the nature of the investigation, KSP is not releasing further information at this time.

Johnson Co. Relay for Life 2015

The 2015 Johnson Co. Relay for Life will be this Friday, June 26 at Johnson Central High School Gymnasium. The survivor’s dinner will begin @ 5 PM and the opening ceremonies will be @ 7 PM. This event was re-scheduled from last Friday’s original date of June 19 due to the threat of bad weather. If anyone would like Luminary information, please call 606-264-3056. New Country 98.9 FM WSIP will have the opening ceremony “LIVE” on the radio and on our website www.wsipfm.com with LIVE Streaming. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.


Local News 6-22-2015



Johnson Co Man Assaulted and Robbed in his Home

According to a report from WYMT, a Johnson Co man said he was assaulted and robbed while inside his home early Sunday morning. The victim, William Williams, 55 told Sheriff Deputies that he was asleep on his couch Sunday morning when he says he woke up to someone breaking into his home and hit me with a crow bar. Williams says the two men told him they we're police officers. Sheriff Deputies say the men we're inside his Williams’ for around 20 minutes getting anything they could find. According to Deputy Sheriff, Terry Tussey he told WYMT that "When I arrived on scene the victim was out on the front porch, covered in blood, blood on his shirt, blood on his face." Williams was taken to a local hospital for his injuries. If anyone has any information about this home evasion, you are ask to contact the Johnson County Sheriff's Office at 606-789-3411. No other information has been released as of news time.

Arrest Made in Pike Co. Wal-Mart Streaking Prank

According to reports, a “prank” by two men in a Pike Co. Walmart has resulted in their arrest. On Friday afternoon Pike County Sheriff Rodney Scott got a call about a man running around naked, pouring milk on himself inside the South Williamson Walmart. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that a video of the “prank” was posted on Youtube that showed the man naked and pouring milk on himself, screaming he’s on fire while running through the store. The man in the video was only wearing shoes, socks, and a Halloween mask. The video, which was removed by Youtube because it shows nudity, ends with the streaker hopping into a getaway car, which speeds away. After identifying the man on video, the Pike Co. Sheriff’s Office arrested Timothy Smith, 24, Saturday afternoon. Also arrested was David Daniels, 19, who is believed to have filmed the “prank”. Sheriff Scott says the video may have generated some laughs, but the crime of indecent exposure has to be taken seriously. Both were taken to the Pike County Detention Center, where they are being held without bond until they appear in court.

Floyd Co Man Killed after being Hit by a Vehicle

A Floyd Co. man has died after he was hit by a car near Martin. The incident happened Thursday night on Highway 80. The victim’s name has not been officially released, nor any other details about the collision. The KSP is continuing to investigate this incident and WSIP news will bring you further updates, when they become available.

KSP Investigating Injury Accident on Mountain Parkway

According to the KSP in Morehead, on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at 10:47a.m. KSP received a call of an injury collision on the Mountain Parkway in Wolfe Co. Trooper Grant Faulkner, Wolfe County EMS and the Wolfe County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene. Courtney J. Standard, 21, of Louisville was operating a 2000, Toyota Avalon, when she failed to negotiate a curve. Mrs. Standard was fatally injured in the collision. Passenger, Nyesha Ancrum, 21, of Louisville, was ejected from the vehicle during the collision. Mrs. Ancrum was transported to Kentucky River Medical Center in Jackson and then to University of Kentucky where she is listed in stable condition. Neither Mrs. Standard nor Mrs. Ancrum was wearing their seatbelt during the collision. The collision remains under investigation by Trooper Grant Faulkner.

Conn Appears in Court for Lawsuit Filed against Him

Floyd County Lawyer Eric C. Conn appeared in court Friday afternoon, to discuss a class action lawsuit that was filed against him last month. Conn did not speak at the hearing, but representatives from both sides argued about the class action lawsuit filed by two of his former clients after the social security administration suspended disability benefits for them and hundreds more. One of the biggest arguments was whether immediate harm was done to the 900 clients who received the letter from SSA. The judge continued the temporary restraining order that restricts Conn from moving his assets and prevents him from destroying potential evidence. The judge is allowing Conn to continue paying his employees working at his law office. Due to an emergency, Friday’s hearing had to postponed until this Wednesday.


Local News 6-19-2015


Marijuana Found in Johnson Co. Arrest Made

According to a news release from the JCSO, on the morning of Thursday, June 18th 2015 at approximately 1200AM Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputies Justin Webb and David Pridemore responded to an anonymous tip received by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. The deputies responded to the home of James M. Daniel, age 34, of 6789 Main Street in Thelma, KY. Upon their arrival, the deputies could smell the strong odor of marijuana. Daniel gave the deputies consent to search his property. As they were searching the property, they located a number of marijuana plants inside of an RV. They also located various drug paraphernalia. Daniel was charged with Cultivating Marijuana Less than 5 plants, Public Intoxication, and Drug Paraphernalia Buy/Possess. He was taken into custody and lodged in the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center. Assisting at the scene was Constable District 2 Bob Hyden. This incident is currently under investigation by Deputy Justin Webb. Sheriff Price urges everyone in Johnson County, if you have knowledge of any illegal activity, please contact the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at (606) 789-3411. 

KSP Investigating Death in Bath Co.

According to the KSP in Morehead, On June 17th, 2015 at 7:09 p.m., Kentucky State Police Post 8 received a report of a deceased male located in a residence on Wyoming Rd, Owingsville, KY.   Troopers responded to the residence of Henry A. Meade, age 54, and located Mr. Meade deceased with apparent multiple stab wounds. The case remains under investigation by Detective David Zimmerman.

44 Ky School Districts Approved for Non-Traditional Learning for 2015/2016

When bad weather hits in the upcoming school year, students in 44 Kentucky school districts will now continue their learning even when they aren't at school. The Kentucky Department of Education has approved waivers allowing the districts to use virtual or other non-traditional means of instruction when school is cancelled because of weather or another emergency. In most cases, students will participate in lessons online. Under the provisions of the waiver, a district may count up to 10 non-traditional instruction days as regular attendance days in its school calendar and not have to make them up. The districts in E.Ky that qualified for the non-traditional instruction waivers are:

Johnson Co., Pike Co., Martin Co, Elliott Co., Knott Co., Lawrence Co. and Leslie Co.

The 44 districts that received non-traditional instruction waivers for the 2015-16 school year had to submit applications that described their plans for learning while school was not in session. The applications were scored on a rubric that evaluated teaching methods, equal access to the lessons for students without Internet access, staff deployment, community engagement and assessment of student learning.

Deadline is July 13 to Seek Disaster Loan for March Weather

Private nonprofit organizations in Kentucky that sustained physical losses from severe weather in March in 57 Kentucky counties have until July 13 to submit disaster loan applications with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Eligible counties in our area are: Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Clay, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Greenup, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell and Rowan. The organizations must provide noncritical services such as food kitchens, homeless shelters, museums, libraries, community centers, schools and colleges.

To apply, visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Call (800) 659-2955. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or download an application at http://www.sba.gov/disaster.

Relay for Life in Johnson Co. Postponed





Local News 6-18-2015 - UPDATED


Fire Damages a Floyd Co Home

A fire in Floyd Co. Wednesday afternoon, severely damages a home. According to reports, firefighters responded to the fire around 3:15 a.m. Wednesday. Flames burnt the roof and upper story off a two-story house on South Highland Avenue in Prestonsburg and caused significant damage to the first floor. Officials in Prestonsburg says the homeowner was out of town at the time of the fire. One firefighter suffered an injury while battling the flames, but it turned out just to be a pulled muscle. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it appears an automobile near the house caught fire first.

Letcher Co Woman Indicted for 2 Vehicle DUI Crash

A Letcher Co woman has been indicted by a Letcher Co Grand Jury on seven counts of wanton endangerment, criminal mischief, DUI and drug possession. According to reports, police say Eva Jenella Brown, 35 of Ermine was DUI when she caused a two vehicle crash back on June 1st. Police say that two children under the age of 12 were passengers in Brown's vehicle when she hit another vehicle endangering the lives of four adults who were travelling in that vehicle. Brown remains in the Letcher Co Jail under a $10,000.00 cash bond with the condition of home incarceration upon posting bond or she may enroll in a drug rehabilitation.

Knott Co Woman Facing Drug Charges

A Knott Co woman was in court on Tuesday, on drug related charge. Donna S. Sexton, 57 of Sassafras, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward B. Atkins for a preliminary hearing on charges of conspiracy and distributing oxycodone. Testimony was given by Hazard Police Detective Russell Dishner, who accused Sexton of coordinating a drug ring. According to Dishner, Sexton would take groups of people to a Florida pain clinic, collect their prescriptions then distribute the drugs after the prescriptions were filled. Atkins found probable cause to refer the case to a grand jury for further consideration. The judge ruled against a government motion to keep Sexton incarcerated pending a potential trial. A probation office report recommended lesser conditions to ensure Sexton’s future appearance in court and to prevent her from trying to influence witnesses.

Kentucky Judge Accused of Threatening Police Suspended

An eastern Kentucky judge accused of a long list of belligerent behavior including name-calling, unethically presiding over cases, and threatening a "bullet in the head" for the next police officer to pull him over has been suspended. In all, Pike County Circuit Judge Steven D. Combs faces 10 counts of misconduct. He was temporarily suspended with pay Tuesday pending a final ruling by the state's Judicial Conduct Commission. Another hearing will be held, and the commission's options could include removing Combs from the bench, suspending or reprimanding him. Attorney Steve Ryan said Wednesday that Combs is disappointed by the suspension. Ryan acknowledges that Combs made some phone calls "he probably shouldn't have," but the attorney also notes that the judge has been re-elected when on the ballot.

Kentucky's Booster Seat Law in Effect Later this Month

On Monday, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear spent time discussing child safety and booster seats before a ceremonial signing of HB315. House Bill 315, which goes into effect June 24, will increase the upper end of the booster seat range by seven inches. Current law requires children under 7 years old and between 40 inches and 50 inches tall to be strapped into booster seats. The new law would increase the height requirement to 57 inches (4-foot-9) and the age requirement to 8 years old. However, children younger than 8 but taller than 57 inches would not have to ride in a booster seat. State highway officials say seat belts do not fit correctly on children shorter than 57 inches and can cause serious injuries in a collision. Beshear highlighted the issue in his annual State of the Commonwealth address. House Bill 315 brings Kentucky’s booster seat law in line with 31 other states, including all seven of our neighboring states. The bill requires law enforcement officers to issue citations with a $30 fine and no court costs. In addition, violators will have the option to purchase a booster seat instead of paying the fine.

Community Hospice Seeks Volunteers

Community Hospice has scheduled a new Volunteer Orientation course. The two-day session will be Tuesday and Wednesday, June 23-24, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. The sessions will be held at the Mountain Manor Nursing Facility, 1025 Euclid Avenue, Paintsville. Although volunteers are needed for a variety of duties, there is a particular need for those interested in providing short in-home caregiver breaks, emotional support and visitation, nursing home visits, companionship and reading. Volunteers determine when and how often they are available to assist – a few hours a week or just occasionally. All volunteers must complete the required training to be certified. Community Hospice currently has more than 200 active volunteers in their nine county service area – Johnson, Martin, Lawrence, Boyd, Greenup, Carter and Elliott counties in Kentucky, along with Lawrence and Scioto counties, Ohio. If you are interested in becoming a Hospice volunteer or to reserve your space, contact LuAnn Vance, Director of Volunteers, at 606-297-1095 or 1-800-9266184.

Johnson Co. Relay for Life Event POSTPONED