Johnson Co Sheriff’s Dept. Searching for Man who Ran from Deputies with Daughter
The Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office is continuing their search for a man who ran from Deputies. On Wednesday afternoon around 3:30 PM, Jonathan D. Morrow came into the Sheriff’s Office with his daughter to get an emergency protective order. However, it was discovered Morrow had an E.P.O. and was wanted in Tennessee. When confronted, Morrow shoved his daughter and tried to run away and Deputy Danny Martin gave chase and tried to tase him. Deputy Martin was finally able to tase Morrow outside the Sheriff’s Office in downtown Paintsville, but Morrow reportedly pulled the barbs out, got into his vehicle, pushed his kid into the vehicle and fled the scene, striking a KSP that was nearby. The Sheriff’s Dept. said the young girl with Morrow was around 14 years of age. Morrow was last seen driving a mint green Ford vehicle, license plate number 570 VLB. He’s around is 5’9 and weighs about 230 pounds. If you have any information on his whereabouts you are asked to call the Johnson County Sheriff's office at 606-789-3411 or 911.
UPDATE: Sheriff Dwayne Price said that Morrow has surrendered all 3 of his kids to family in TN and they are all now safely back home with their grandparents. Morrow is still on the run.
Deadly Accident in Floyd Co. Thursday
According to reports, one person was killed following a crash in Floyd Co Thursday evening. The Floyd County Sheriff's Office identified the victim as Dwayne T. Cornette of Prestonsburg. Cornette was driving a Toyota truck westbound on Route 114, when he crossed the center line, and hit a Dodge Caravan head-on. The other driver was identified as Heather Scutchfield of Warsaw, Indiana. She and three other people were taken to the hospital, with unknown injuries. The Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office and KSP is continuing to investigate this accident.
KSP Open Investigation of Repossessed
The Kentucky State Police have launched an investigation into the Warfield Volunteer Fire Department in Martin Co after 4 fire trucks were repossessed. County officials said a loan company from out of state repossessed the trucks Monday and will not give them back until the department makes substantial payments on loans taken out against the trucks. Representatives from the First Government Lease Company in Northfield, Ill., took the fire trucks, claiming loans taken out on them had not been paid back, said Warfield Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jay D. Hinkle. Department leaders and county officials are trying to figure out who applied for loans on the trucks and why, since the vehicles were already paid off. Kentucky State Police are investigating. In the meantime, Warfield firefighters are trying to figure out how to get the trucks back. The Warfield Volunteer Fire Department is now down to two fire engines and a rescue truck, but Hinkle said the department is still able to provide adequate fire coverage to people in the Warfield area because they are receiving help from departments in nearby Inez and Kermit, W. Va.
No Bond for a Suspect in Former Coal Executives Murder
The Mingo Co. W.Va Sheriff's Office has released new details in the murder of former coal executive Ben Hatfield. Hatfield was found shot to death in the Mountain View Memory Gardens Cemetery in Mingo Co early Monday morning. He had been reported missing after not returning home over the weekend. Mingo Co. Sheriff James Smith says around Hatfield was cleaning his wife and in-laws' graves around 1 p.m. Sunday, when Anthony Arriaga, 20, of Gibsonburg, Ohio, and Brandon Fitzpatrick, 18, of Louisa, pulled up to the cemetery. Sheriff Smith says the men pulled in to the cemetery with intentions of stealing Hatfield's SUV, so they could get money for it, but they didn’t want to leave any witnesses, so Arriaga walked up behind Hatfield and shot twice at Hatfield, hitting him once in the back. Sheriff Smith says Hatfield ran for cover over the riverbank.
Arriaga reportedly panicked and went over the riverbank as well and Fitzpatrick drove off. Investigators say Fitzpatrick thought Arriaga was going to take Hatfield's keys and follow him. However neither men stole anything from Hatfield or his vehicle. Sheriff Smith says Arriaga dropped the gun into the river and took off his clothes because they were wet from going over the riverbank. Arriaga then went to a nearby home and asked for a ride to Wayne. When Arriaga got to Wayne, Sheriff Smith says he walked to Ricky Peterson's home and Fitzpatrick picked Arriaga up there, Sheriff Smith said. Arriaga was arrested on Tuesday morning in Allen Co, Ohio after investigators were able to ping his cell phone. Fitzpatrick was arrested on Wednesday in Eslmere,Ky on drug charges after a traffic stop. Investigators say Arriaga's mother, Angela Marcum, was in the vehicle with Fitzpatrick when he was pulled over. She was arrested on drug charges, but no charges have been filed against her for the murder. Both Arriaga and Fitzpatrick have been charged with conspiracy and murder, in what Sheriff Smith is calling a random act of violence. Ricky Peterson was also arrested on Tuesday afternoon and was charged with accessory after the fact. On Thursday, Arriaga was arraigned in Mingo Co. and he is being held without bond and is expected to be back in court next month. An extradition hearing was scheduled for Fitzpatrick on Thursday. Peterson is scheduled to be in court again next week.
Worker Dies after Falling In Sludge Pit at Irvine Landfill
A worker at a landfill in Irvine died Thursday morning not long after workers pulled him out of a hole he fell into. Judge Executive Wallace Taylor reported 56-year-old Walter Jackson had been a longtime worker at Advance Disposal Blue Ridge Landfill. He was from Madison Co. Taylor says that Jackson fell into a sludge pit and other workers pulled him out. After being pulled out, he went to a break room where he took a shower and then collapsed around 8:30 a.m. An ambulance picked Jackson up and he died on the way there around 9:10 a.m. The coroner told Wallace that the cause of death was a heart attack. The state medical examiner is expected to do blood tests. This is the landfill that was the center of attention after the discovery of illegal radioactive waste being dumped. The victim's clothes have been turned over as part of the investigation.
Results of Re-canvass Show No Change in Results
After an incredibly close race between Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Kentucky Board of Elections met to begin a re-canvass of the votes. The results of the re-canvass showed that there was no change in the results, however,13 votes have changed. Clinton won by 1,911, when on the night of the primary it was reported that she won by 1,924. The canvass showed that there were 212,534 votes for Clinton and 210,623 votes for Sanders. In Elliott County, Clinton lost 16 votes and Sanders lost 6. In Fayette County, Sanders received one more vote. In Boyd County, Sanders received one more vote. In Rowan County, Sanders received one more vote. Clinton had a net loss of 16 and Sanders had a net loss of three. The State Board of Elections will certify the votes on May 31st. Senator Sanders requested the re-canvass after losing to Clinton by less than .5 percent.
Next Magoffin Schools Superintendent to be Named Today
The Magoffin Co School Board is scheduled to meet tomorrow to name the next superintendent. Interviews with the finalists were held before the board of education members earlier this month, after which the names were released of the five in the running for the position: Kim Patrick, Mark Rice, Scott Helton, William Helton and Sanford Holbrook. Current Superintendent Stanley Holbrook announced in January he is retiring after the current school year and the board has been working with the Kentucky School Boards Association since then to select a new superintendent. The board will meet in special session today, May 27 at 4 p.m. to select the new superintendent.
Work on Slide in Floyd Co will Require Brief Traffic Delays
Here is the latest information concerning the hillslide in Floyd Co. on US 23. According to the Ky Dept. of Transportation Dist. 12, workers have created access to the slide source above US 23 at Ivel in Floyd Co. Excavators, a dozer, and trucks are moving material on top of the mountain and this could cause brief periods when traffic will be stopped in the reduced speed limit/double fined work zone on US 23. Darold Slone, Engineering Branch Manager for Highway District 12, said that if there is any danger that rocks, trees, mud, or other material might tumble down the hillside, traffic will be stopped. “That is why we have trucks in the work zone. A spotter on top of the hillside can radio to the trucks stationed in the work zone and they can immediately get out and stop traffic until any danger of material hitting the roadway has passed.
Slone said the best estimate of a timeline is about six to eight weeks. No work will be done during Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, May 28-30. Traffic will still be one lane in each direction with a reduced speed limit and double fines for violators. However, folks who are traveling during the holiday weekend will not have to be concerned about delays unless there is a problem with the traffic flow or one from Mother Nature. The work zone is less than half a mile long. It takes less than a minute to drive through it if traffic is moving efficiently. The inconvenience of brief traffic stops – less than ten minutes is our goal – is offset by the fact that the road will be much safer once the work is finished.
Graduation Tonight for Local Schools
Johnson Central and Paintsville High Schools will both be holding their annual graduation ceremony’s tonight. JCHS will be held at the H.S. gymnasium @ 7:30 PM and Paintsville will hold their ceremony in their gymnasium at 8 PM. Congratulations to each 2016 graduate from all of us here at WSIP.
Johnson Co. Man Found Safe in North Carolina
The Golden Alert issued for a 77-year-old Johnson Co man, who went missing on Wednesday afternoon, has been cancelled. Paintsville/Johnson Co. Emergency Mgmt. issued the Golden Alert for David C. Paine Wednesday afternoon after Paine’s family said they last seen him around 12:30 PM driving a cherry red 2015 Jeep Patriot in an unknown direction. On Thursday morning around 4 AM, Paine was located in North Carolina. No other information has been released.
Sheriff’s Dept. Searching for Man who Ran from Deputies with Daughter
On Wednesday afternoon around 3:30 PM, the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Dept. reports that a man by the name of Jonathan D. Morrow came into their office with his daughter to get an emergency protective order. However, it was discovered Morrow had an E.P.O. and was wanted in Tennessee. When confronted, Morrow shoved his daughter and tried to run away and Deputy Danny Martin gave chase and tried to tase him. Deputy Martin was finally able to tase Morrow outside the Sheriff’s Office in downtown Paintsville, but Morrow reportedly pulled the barbs out, got into his vehicle, pushed his kid into the vehicle and fled the scene, striking a KSP that was nearby. The Sheriff’s Dept. said the young girl with Morrow was around 14 years of age. Morrow was last seen driving a mint green Ford vehicle, license plate number 570 VLB. He’s around is 5’9 and weighs about 230 pounds. If you have any information on his whereabouts you are asked to call the Johnson County Sheriff's office at 606-789-3411 or 911.
KSP Makes Drug Arrests in Pike Co
According to a news release from the Kentucky State Police, troopers made a felony drug arrest in the early evening hours of Tuesday, May 24, 2016. KSP Post 09 Criminal Interdiction Team received information that a quantity of marijuana would be transported to Pike County. Troopers contacted Christopher Higgins, 48 of Stockbridge Michigan, in the parking lot of the Pikeville Food City. After a KSP canine unit alerted on Higgins vehicle, Troopers located and seized approximately 8 pounds of marijuana.
Higgins was arrested and charged with Trafficking in Marijuana over 5 pounds - 1st Offense. He was lodged in the Pike County Detention Center. This case remains under investigation by Trooper Bryson. Drug tips can be reported to investigators at Post 09 by calling (606) 433-7711. Callers can remain anonymous.
Five-Year-Old Dead in Owsley Co Fire
The Kentucky State Police are currently investigating a fire in Owsley Co that the coroner said killed a five-year-old girl. The Owsley Co sheriff's office reports the fire occurred at a home off Kentucky Highway 11, just outside of Booneville. A mother and two children were in the home when the fire started. An arson investigator spent Wednesday investigating the scene.
Authorities Investigating a Stabbing in Rowan Co
The Rowan Co Sheriff's Office has opened an investigation, after a man was stabbed outside a local soup kitchen on Wednesday afternoon. Deputies were called to The Soup Kitchen on Route 32 just before noon. Witnesses told deputies that they victim and another man, identified as Gary Brickles, got into an argument. During that argument, witnesses say Brickles pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim in the chest. The victim was airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center with unknown injuries. Brickles was arrested and charged with assault and tampering with physical evidence.
3rd Person Arrested in Death of a Former W.Va Coal Official in Mingo Co.
A call about a possible kidnapping led police to a man charged in connection with the murder of longtime coal executive Ben Hatfield. According to WSAZ news, the Elsmere (Kentucky) Police Department were dispatched Wednesday morning to a business in the 4300 block of the Dixie Highway for a report about a possible kidnapping. Just before police arrived, the suspect left in a vehicle. Officers would later locate the car and they determined that a kidnapping had not occurred, however when they searched the car they found $5,000 worth of meth and a person wanted in connection with Hatfield's murder.
Arrested was Brandon Fitzpatrick, 18, Louisa. He is facing charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Elsmere Police contacted WVSP. Troopers then went to Elsmere Wednesday afternoon to interview Fitzpatrick. As we reported earlier, on Monday morning, Hatfield's body was found near the Mountain View Memory Gardens in Maher with gunshot wounds, Anthony Arriaga was arrested Monday morning and was charged with murder. West Virginia State Police say he has confessed to the crime. Troopers allege that Arriaga and Fitzpatrick were in the Maher area of Mingo County selling drugs. They said the pair ran out of money and made a plan to rob Hatfield. Hatfield was at the cemetery visiting the graves of his late wife and in-laws.
Ricky Peterson was arrested Monday afternoon and was charged with conspiracy in the case. Investigators say they got a tip that Arriaga visited Peterson after the murder. They say Peterson initially told them he had made no contact with Arriaga and had no knowledge of the murder or the suspect, but according to the criminal complaint, two other people who live in the home told investigators Arriaga was at the home and told Peterson about the murder. Also arrested Wednesday and in the vehicle with Fitzpatrick was Angela Marcum, 43 of Delphos, Ohio. She is facing drug charges and falsely reporting an incident. WVSP troopers say Marcum is the mother of murder suspect Arriaga. She has not been charged in connection with Hatfield’s murder. Arriaga was brought back to West Virginia on Wednesday and is being held at the Southwestern Regional Jail. Peterson is being held in the Western Regional Jail. Fitzpatrick is in the Kenton Co Jail in Kentucky. An extradition hearing is expected to happen Today.
Health Insurance Rate Hike Requests Average 17 Percent in Ky
Health insurance companies in Kentucky want to increase rates by an average of 17 percent next year. The Kentucky Department of Insurance posted rate requests from the state's major insurance carriers on Wednesday. They include plans for individuals and small groups. These are not premium increases. The base rate is one of several factors used to determine a person's premium, including age, sex and where a person lives. Individual premiums will vary. State officials blame some of the increases on the failure of the Kentucky Health Cooperative. Many of the company's high-risk customers were picked up by other companies, leading to higher rates. The rate requests cover plans sold on and off kynect, the state's health insurance exchange. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin plans to dismantle kynect by the end of this year.
Speed Limit Lowered on US 23 in Floyd Co
This reminder once again, according to officials with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the speed limit on US 23 in Floyd Co has been reduced to 45 miles per hour through the area where a rockfall occurred 2 weeks ago and reduced traffic to just two lanes. A news release said drivers who will not slow down and those who are speeding up to pass vehicles before merging into the single lane create a serious safety hazard in the area. The hillside where the rockfall started is still unstable and repair work could possibly take several weeks to complete.
2nd Arrest made in Murder of a Former W.Va. Coal Executive
A second person was arrested Tuesday afternoon, in connection with the murder of a former W.Va. coal executive. According to reports, Ben Hatfield was found shot to death in the Mountain View Memory Gardens Cemetery in Mingo Co., W.Va early Monday morning. Hatfield had been reported missing after not returning to his residence in Kanawha Co. He had been visiting his wife's grave at the cemetery. Mingo Co Sheriff James Smith says investigators were able to ping Hatfield's phone and that led them to the cemetery, where they found his body.
On Tuesday morning, Anthony Arriaga, 20, of Gibsonburg, Ohio, was arrested early in Allen Co, Ohio, which is more than five hours away from Mingo Co. He was charged with first degree murder in Hatfield's death. Arriaga waived extradition and a judge set his bond at $1 million, according to court officials. No word when he will be transported back to West Virginia. Sheriff Smith says an automatic handgun, believed to be the murder weapon in the homicide investigation, was found near the river by a Kentucky State Police K9 unit, not far from where Hatfield's body was located. According to Sheriff Smith, they believe Arriaga killed Hatfield then took his own clothes off and left them near the scene. Arriaga then paid a man $45 to give him a ride to Wayne Co, telling the driver he had fallen into the river. Reports indicate that when Arriaga got to Wayne Co, he allegedly told another person he killed a man and needed to get to Ohio.
On Tuesday afternoon, Ricky Dean Peterson, 20, of Wayne, was arrested and charged with accessory after the fact, obstructing/resisting an officer, and giving false information to a trooper. Investigators say they got a tip that Arriaga visited Peterson after the murder. Peterson initially told them he had made no contact with Arriaga and had no knowledge of the murder or the suspect. However, according to the criminal complaint, two other people who live in the home told investigators Arriaga was at the home and told Peterson about the murder. Investigators say while transporting Peterson to jail, he told them if they took him home, he would give them valuable information about the murder. He's being held in the Western Regional Jail.
Floyd Co. Deputies Search for a Wanted Man
According to a news release from the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office, on May 16 the agency received a report of a stolen 2002 Green 450 Honda 4 wheeler from the John Hall/Bill Hall area of Floyd Co. Through tips from the public, deputies were able to recover the stolen 4 wheeler and return it to its rightful owner. A warrant has been issued for Douglas Martin of the John Hall/Bill Hall area in connection with the theft. If you have any information to supply the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office, please call the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office at 606-886-6711 or you may call the anonymous Tip Line (606) 949-2020.
Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office needs Help in Recent Robbery at Dewey Lake
In a separate news release from the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office, the agency is continuing to investigate the theft of Army Corp equipment from the Dewey Lake and they are needing the public’s help in catching those responsible. Investigators say the theft happened sometime between 8:00 PM on April 29th and 6:00 AM on April 30th near the Dewey Lake Dam area. Reports indicate that 2 male individuals unlawfully entered a fenced area where the Corp of Engineer keeps their boats stored. The 2 men then stole property from the boats including a two-way radio. If anyone has any information on this incident, you’re ask to contact the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office at 606-886-6711 or you may call the anonymous Tip Line (606) 949-2020.
Six People Indicted after Car, Tool Theft in Hazard
Six people were indicted Monday following the theft of a car and more than $40,000 in tools from Master Tech Auto. Randy Dale Campbell was arrested after the theft, but police were not able to recover all the tools. Deanna Gwinn, Charles Griffith, Charles Thomas, Sammy Watts, Angelia Joseph and Randy Campbell were each indicted. Prosecutors allege Campbell stole everything and the other five conspired to help him. All six are charged with participating in an organized crime syndicate, Campbell was also charged with theft and burglary, and Joseph was charged with receiving stolen property.
Ky. AG asks Supreme Court to Hear College Funding Case
Kentucky's Democratic attorney general has asked the Supreme Court to decide whether Gov. Matt Bevin has the authority to cut college and university budgets without the approval of the state legislature. A state judge ruled last week that Bevin does have the authority to order public colleges and universities not to spend all of the money the state legislature gave them. Attorney General Andy Beshear is appealing the decision, arguing it gives the governor's office too much power. The case would normally go to the state Court of Appeals. But Beshear is asking the state Supreme Court to take the case because of its "great and immediate public importance." A spokeswoman for Bevin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Sanders Campaign Requests Kentucky Vote Re-canvass
Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign is requesting a recanvass in Kentucky's presidential primary, where he trails Hillary Clinton by less than one-half of 1 percent of the vote. The Sanders campaign says it will ask the Kentucky secretary of state to have election officials review electronic voting machines and absentee ballots from last week's primary in each of the state's 120 counties. Clinton holds 1,924-vote lead over Sanders out of 454,573 votes cast. The Associated Press had not called the race, despite Clinton's slight lead, in the event that Sanders might ask to recanvass the vote. A recanvass is not a recount but a review of the voting totals. Both Clinton and Sanders received 27 delegates, but one delegate remains to be allocated in a congressional district that includes Frankfort and Lexington.
Road Paving in Planned in Johnson Co.
Due to unforeseen circumstances the contractor for the Johnson Co Road Department, was not able to start the Southside paving project as planned on Tuesday. The contractor will be starting the Southside blacktopping project at 7 AM Wednesday morning. The road department is asking that all vehicles be moved off the road by 7 AM on Wednesday morning. Once again, The Johnson Cou Road Department says thanks for your cooperation!
Johnson Co Sheriff Employee Charged with Stealing County Tax Money
According to reports, a Johnson Co grand jury has indicted a former employee with the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office on theft charges. Joyce Estep is charged with theft by unlawful taking under $10,000, a Class D felony, for stealing $919 worth of county tax money from the property tax collection. According to the indictment, Estep took the money between December 1, 2015, and January 31, 2016. Sheriff Price says Estep would accept the cash payments from the local citizens, mark them as paid in the system, then come back and take them at a later date and time. She was fired the day the discrepancies were discovered, according to reports. Estep was an employee at the Sheriff’s Office for nearly 5 years. Estep was booked into the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center on Friday afternoon, but has since been released. She is scheduled for a pretrial conference June 3. The KSP handled the investigation. No other information has been released at this time.
One Man Dead, One Arrested following a Floyd Co Stabbing
According to information from the KSP in Pikeville, a Floyd Co man is dead and another man arrested following a stabbing Sunday evening. Reports indicate that the incident happened at a home on Denwood Road in Martin, (Floyd Co). The Floyd Co. Coroner’s Office identified the deceased as Timmy Ward. Kentucky State Police arrested Trenton Ward in connection to the incident. Information says following the incident, Trenton Ward went to his aunt's house, changed clothes and threw his old clothes into a creek. Trenton Ward was lodged in the Floyd Co Detention Center, but at this time, has only been charged with tampering with physical evidence. An autopsy was performed on Timmy Ward's body Monday, but the results have not been returned. KSP in Pikeville are continuing to investigate this incident.
Morehead State Univ. Police Officer Injured in Accident
An officer with the Morehead State University Police Department was injured Monday morning in a motorcycle accident. According to the University Sgt., Anthony Daulton was on his way home from work on his personal motorcycle when he lost control on University Blvd. Sgt. Daulton then crossed a creek and struck an embankment. He was taken to the University of Kentucky Medical Center with unknown injuries. His condition is not known at this time. University officials say Sgt. Daulton was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
Arrest made in a Mingo Co W.Va Coal Executive’s Murder
The Mingo Co Sheriff says an arrest has been made in the death of a former coal executive from West Virginia. Ben Hatfield was found shot to death around 6:30 a.m. Monday at Mountain View Memory Gardens Cemetery in Maher, W.Va. Hatfield was the former vice president of Patriot Coal Corp. Sheriff James Smith says Anthony Arriaga was arrested in Ohio about 2 a.m. Tuesday morning. Sheriff Smith says they've also located a vehicle that's connected to the case. Hatfield's body was found. Sheriff Smith says Hatfield was fatally shot as he was visiting the graves of his wife and in-laws. Smith said Hatfield lived in Kanawha County and his girlfriend had reported him missing after he didn't return for the weekend. Smith says they pinged the victim's cell phone, and it led them to the cemetery. Officials are working to get Arriaga extradited back to W.Va. to face the charges against him. No other information is being released at this time.
Man Charged In a Deadly Apartment Fire in Winchester, May Have Bond Reduced
The man that police say is responsible for an apartment fire that killed three people, including his own son, may have his bond reduced. According to the Winchester Sun, a judge is considering lowering the bond of Jackie Hisle. Hisles is accused of starting an explosion and fire at the B & P Apartments. Hisle admitted to smoking while on oxygen, triggering the explosion. His attorney asked the judge to lower the bond, and the prosecutor admitted that the million dollar bond was excessive. The judge will make a decision at a later date. For now, Hisle remains in jail.
2 Kentucky Groups Receives Federal Grants to Help with Poverty Areas
One group will receive a $250,000 federal grant to help low-income communities develop businesses and create jobs in eastern Kentucky. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the grant last week for the London-based Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation. The USDA reports matching funds are required locally to double the impact of the grant. The grant will support the Leslie Co and Perry Co fiscal courts and the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program. The agency also announced a $95,000 matching grant to Community Action Kentucky to help five rural utilities operate a database to map and manage assets. The communities are Cumberland, Evarts, Jenkins, Liberty and Lynch. The USDA reports the grants involve persistent poverty areas.