LOCAL NEWS

Local News 10-1-2014


           

Prestonsburg Police Searching for an Escaped Inmate

Prestonsburg Police are looking for an inmate who escaped from custody around 1 PM Tuesday, while he was being transported from the Floyd County Detention Center to the Pike County Detention Center. Jail officials identified the inmate as 18 year old Jeremiah Vance. Vance was in jail for fleeing or evading charges and was being transported to Pike County for charges of wanton endangerment there. Police believes he is still in the Prestonsburg area. If anyone has any information on this incident, contact the Prestonsburg Police Dept. or dial 911.

Big Sandy Federal Death Penalty Case to be Held in Lexington

An inmate charged with killing a fellow prisoner at the United States Penitentiary Big Sandy will be tried in Lexington. Prosecutors and attorneys for 31-year-old John Travis Millner agreed to the location on Monday. Millner has pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of 35-year-old Vincent Earl Smith. Both were housed at the United States Penitentiary Big Sandy in January 2009. Prosecutors are seeking a death sentence for Millner if he's convicted. Prosecutors say Millner used a homemade ice pick on Smith before strangling him to death at the prison in Inez, Kentucky. Millner is serving a life sentence without parole for shooting a person with a high-powered rifle on New Year's Eve in 2002 in Washington.

1 Hospitalized After Gunfire Reported At Louisville High School

One child was rushed to a Louisville hospital Tuesday afternoon, after a report of gunfire at Fern Creek High School. Louisville police continue to search for the alleged shooter, who they say left the school immediately after firing. It wasn't clear if the injured student and the shooter knew each other or if the shooter was a student at Fern Creek. The child sustained non-life threatening injuries and was taken to the University of Louisville Hospital. The school was locked down for several hours on Tuesday.

Students were led by police from the school to a nearby softball field, where their parents were being asked to pick them up from. Parents are asked to bring an ID to pick their children. According to police, several students reported seeing a firearm at the school. Police are at the scene looking for weapons. Fern Creek H.S.is located at 9100 Fern Creek Road, about 10 miles southeast of downtown Louisville.

President Grants Disaster Declaration Requested by Gov. Beshear

Governor Steve Beshear was notified Tuesday night that President Barack Obama has authorized assistance for Kentucky counties that suffered significant damage as a result of severe storms and flooding this summer. Strong storms from Aug. 18-23 caused heavy rain and flash flooding, which washed out roads and forced people from their homes throughout the eastern part of the state. Communities in Floyd, Knott, Johnson and Pike counties were the hardest hit. The President's action makes federal funding available to local governments in the counties of Floyd, Knott, Johnson, and Pike. Assistance for individuals and households remains under review.

The Governor requested the federal disaster declaration last week, noting that the damage was of such severity and magnitude that effective response was beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments. This is the first disaster declaration request Kentucky has made since a swath of tornadoes caused heavy destruction in eastern Kentucky in March 2012. It is Kentucky's 12th federal disaster declaration since 2008.

400 Kentuckians Use New Online Absentee Ballot System

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says about 400 Kentuckians in the military or living overseas have used a new system to request and receive absentee ballots electronically for the November elections. The system is part of a 2013 law that allows military voters or people living abroad to register to vote, update their voter registration or request and receive absentee ballots online. The system is paid for by a $2.2 million federal grant from the Department of Defense.

Kentucky Ranks Low on List of "Happiest" States

Here's something that could put a frown on your face. Kentucky is the fifth least happy state in America, according to an analysis by WalletHub.com. Researchers took a look at state-specific figures about income, health, divorce rates and other factors to come up with the list. Jill Gonzalez, spokesperson for WalletHub, says their results prove money isn't everything. "We saw that health had more of a factor on happiness than wealth," she says. "So that's one thing that money can't buy. So really, being healthy is what leads to being happy." While Kentucky ranked 33rd in work factors, its physical-health index was ranked 49th and it had the worst depression rate in the country. Kelly Gunning has suffered from "life-long" chronic depression for which she has sought care. Gunning is the director of public advocacy for the Lexington chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. She says depression can be deadly. "We don't have enough awareness; there's too much stigma," says Gunning. "There's stigma even existing in the treatment system; we criminalize mental illness. It's just an illness like any other illness but we don't treat it the same." Neighboring West Virginia was the least happy state in the country. Its folks in Utah, Minnesota, North Dakota, Colorado and Nebraska who are smiling today. Their states were ranked, in that order, as the five happiest.

Local News 9-30-2014


KSP Arrest Pike Co. Man on Murder Charges

According to a news release from the KSP in Pikeville, on Friday September 26, 2014 Kentucky State Police Post 9 Detective Kevin Newsome arrested 47 year old Daniel Little and lodged him in the Pike County Detention Center on one Count of Murder. Reports indicate that Tiffany Mullins, 31, was found dead inside a home in the Robinson Creek area of Pike County. Daniel Little was found critically injured at that house. Kentucky State Police investigators arrested Little after a grand jury indicted him on one count of murder. He is being held in the Pike County Detention Center. No other details were released at this time.

Missing Floyd County Kayaker Found Deceased

According to WYMT, rescue workers in Floyd Co. searched for hours Saturday for a missing kayaker and eventually located the man’s deceased body. The Floyd County Rescue Squad found Milford Boyd, 49, after conducting a long and extensive search on Saturday. Boyd became separated from his group of kayakers on the Levisa Fork in the Betsy Layne community of Floyd Co. Friends say Boyd was an experienced kayaker, especially along the Levisa Fork. Authorities in Floyd Co. have not released an official cause of death at this time and no further information has been released at this time.

Martin Co. Fire Truck Falls into Creek Responding to House Fire

According to the website, the Mountain Wolf, members of the Warfield VFD were responding to a house fire Monday morning, when the fire truck firefighters were riding in, fell into a creek. At around 3 AM Monday, the Warfield VFD was called to the scene of a structure fire Blackburn Cemetery Rd. in the Pigeon Roost community of Martin Co. While in route, the truck was attempting to cross a bridge, when the bridge gave way on one side, causing the fire truck to flip on its side and into the creek. Reports indicate that two firefighters were taken to a nearby hospital, with minor injuries. The home the Warfield VFD was responding to, burned to the ground.

Harlan County Man Faces Charges for Crash

A Harlan County man will enter a plea today to several charges, after he was involved in a single vehicle crash. Last week, police arrested Jackson Stewart, after they say he crashed his vehicle along Kentucky 38 in the High-Splint Community of Harlan Co. and left the scene. Police were able to catch up with Stewart and he failed a field sobriety test. He has been charged with the following:

- DUI
- Leaving the scene of a Crash, Drug and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor and
- Drug charges.

State Troopers say Stewart also had a woman and child in his car, but there is no word on whether or not she was charged with anything. Stewart is expected to enter his plea today in Harlan Co.

1,600 Pounds of Pills Taken to UNITE Drop Boxes

Residents across southern and eastern Kentucky brought 1,656.3 pounds of pills to drop box sites as part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s 9th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. “Operation UNITE collected unwanted or outdated drugs from each of the 42 drop box locations in our service region,” noted Dan Smoot, president of the anti-drug organization. “Combined with the take-back day held in the spring, we have been able to properly dispose of nearly 2 tons of drugs.”

UNITE, the Kentucky State Police and others joined with the DEA for the take-back program. Results from other locations across Kentucky and the nation were not available as of Monday morning. Proper disposal of medications is important to discourage theft or experimentation. More than two-thirds of people abusing prescription pain relievers get them through friends or relatives homes, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. Increasing availability of drugs has also sparked a rise in the number of overdose deaths, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Kentucky currently has the third highest rate of overdose deaths in the nation.

Another reason for properly disposing of medications is to keep them from making their way into the water system and soil. Citizens taking medications to a drop box are asked to remove all identifying labels from the container. Liquid products, illicit substances, and anything with a needle are not accepted. Since October 2012, Operation UNITE has collected more than 4 tons of drugs (8,204.2 pounds) through its Drop Box program. For a listing of Drop Box locations maintained by Operation UNITE through local law enforcement agencies please visit www.operationunite.org.

She's a Helping Hand for Health Insurance

Cancer survivor LeAnna Watson shares her own story of having lived without health insurance as she now helps others enroll in Kentucky's health benefit exchange, known as "kynect." She's what's called a "kynector," one of nearly 1,500 people statewide who are trained helpers. As Watson puts it, she "holds your hand" through the process. "We're talking about people that are scared. They do not understand insurance. Some people look at it as something they're made to do," explains Watson. "Some people look at it as something they really don't have to have. They don't know what questions to ask." The next open enrollment period begins November 15th, but Watson says she remains busy in the nine central Kentucky counties she serves, helping people who are immediately eligible for coverage because of "life circumstances."

More than 500,000 Kentuckians have signed up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, known unofficially as Obamacare. Watson, who lives in Harrodsburg, was one of the first. A survivor of salivary gland cancer, she says until kynect came along, she had been unable to obtain coverage because of her pre-existing conditions. "It's like flying without a parachute if you don't have insurance," she says. "You never know when something's going to happen." Now, Watson says she uses her family's experiences to illustrate to others why the health benefit exchange is important. "People think their taxes are going to go up, they're worried about the cost, and I try to explain to them we need to make Kentuckians healthier." Watson's job as a kynector is through the Bluegrass Community Action Partnership, one of the agencies that supplies helpers to the state. More than 1,800 licensed insurance agents also are registered with kynect.

Local News 9-29-2014

KSP Investigate Home Invasion in Floyd Co.

According to a news release from the KSP in Pikeville, on Friday, September 26 at 5:19 A.M. Kentucky State Police Post 9, Pikeville, received a call of a HOME INVASION / ARMED ROBBERY in the Middle Creek community of Floyd County. KSP Troopers responded to the scene. Information obtained at the scene indicates that an unidentified male went to a residence requesting to use the phone. When the homeowners opened the door they were overpowered by two unidentified males whom brandished a weapon and restrained the elderly homeowners. The unidentified males left the residence with an undisclosed amount of money and a 1992 red Honda 300 ATV. This incident remains under investigation by KSP Detective Jason Dials.

KSP asks that anyone that was in the Middle Creek area between the hours of 4:00 A.M. to 5:00 A.M. that possibly may have information pertaining to this incident contact Kentucky State Police Post 9 at (606) 433-7711 or 1-800-222-5555. KSP wants to advise the public to use caution if a stranger comes to the door. If you don't know the person at your door, don't open it. Keep the door locked and contact law enforcement.

Son of a Johnson County Defense Attorney Arrested

According to WYMT, the son of a Johnson County defense attorney, indicted on prescription drug charges, has been arrested himself by the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Dept. Sheriff's deputies report they arrested 34 year old Matthew Chandler on Friday. Matthew Chandler had been indicted on two counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance of 10 dosage units or more, a class C felony; two counts of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance less than 10 dosage units, a class D felony; two counts of complicity to first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance less than 10 dosage units, a class D felony; and a persistent felony offender charge. The charges against Mary Lou Chandler on one count of first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance less than 10 dosage units and two counts of complicity to first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance less than 10 dosage units. Both charges are class D felonies. Mary Lou Chandler will be arraigned on Oct. 4 at 10 a.m. in Johnson Circuit Court. A charge is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.    

Three former Perry County Truck Company Operators Face Charges

A Perry Co. grand jury has indicted three former Perry County truck company operators on federal charges. Bryan Napier, Elliot and Melinda Campbell face wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit extortion charges. Officials say the three wrote contracts with customers often entitling the companies to be paid only after the shipments had been delivered. However, the Campbell's and Napier are alleged to have held shipments after pick-up, threatening not to deliver them until payment was received.

Marijuana Operation Busted in Boyd Co.

The Boyd Co. Sheriff's Dept. report they have busted a large marijuana growing operation in their county. The bust happened on Saturday, Sept 27 @ 7 PM. The reports indicate deputies received a tip that several potted marijuana plants were seen growing outside of a home in the 1600 block of Green Springer Street in Ashland. Upon investigating the tip, 83 mature marijuana plants were found growing outside the house, as well as a significant amount of processed plants inside. Arrests are pending as the Sheriff’s Dept. continue to investigate.  

Knott County Water Official Pleads Guilty to Theft by Deception Charges

The former manager of the Knott County Water and Sewer District pleaded guilty to a theft by deception charge today. Attorney General Jack Conway announced 67 year old Reva Campbell has agreed to make restitution payments. In exchange Campbell will receive five year’s probation. In October 2013, an investigation began into possible forged financial documents during an audit of the water company. Between 2009 through 2013, Campbell allegedly allowed $85,000 in charges to be made on a credit card. Formal sentencing is set for October 21st.

"Purple Purse Challenge" to Help Survivors of Domestic Violence

FRANKFORT, Ky. - High-profile cases of domestic violence have fueled the public's demand that the crime carry serious consequences. The avalanche of pressure was triggered in part by the case of suspended National Football League player Ray Rice. Michelle Fiore, AmeriCorps Program Director with the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association, says it shines a light on the complicated reasons so many survivors stay in violent relationships. Finances, according to Fiore, tend to be the biggest obstacle.

"They feel if they leave, they'll have nothing," Fiore says. "Economic abuse is present in 98 percent of cases of domestic violence." The KDVA is participating in the Purple Purse Challenge which runs through Oct. 3. Organized by the Allstate Foundation, the national fund-raising campaign helps women who have left abusive relationships as they regain their independence. Fiore explains, purple is the color that represents domestic-violence awareness and the purse represents a woman's financial domain. Fiore says the video of Rice hitting his future wife and dragging her out of a hotel elevator has been shocking to many, but it also has given the problem of domestic violence the increased attention she says it deserves.

"KDVA is one of 140 organizations in the Purple Purse Challenge," says Fiore. "That's kind of cool this has received so much national effort; people trying to raise awareness about economic abuse." All funds raised in the Purple Purse Challenge will be used for emergency assistance to domestic violence survivors. KDVA has 15 shelters across the state.

Local News 9-26-2014


Couple Pleads Guilty in Home Repair Scam in Lawrence Co.

A husband and wife, accused of ripping off families throughout the area in a home repair scam, pleaded guilty to all the charges against them, Wednesday in Lawrence County. According to investigators, beginning in September 2012, Leo Patrick Richard Jr. and his company All Seasons of Kentucky Inc. swept through Lawrence Co. Ky and accepted insurance funds from victims for new roofs before leaving town in September 2013 without doing the work. Carol Richard, his wife, shared in the proceeds of the company. This home repair scam cost 35 victims more than $140,000.

On Wednesday, Patrick Richard pled guilty to 36 charges, including theft from the elderly and his wife Carol pleaded guilty to attempting corrupt activity. Officials say the pair turned down a plea deal in July. The couple have also been accused of similar scams in other parts of the country. Patrick is set to be sentenced Jan. 7, 2015. Carol Richard will be sentenced Oct. 15.

Johnson Co. Sheriff's Office Investigating Vandalized Business

The Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office is continuing with their investigation of reported vandalism that occurred on Wednesday at a Hager Hill business. The owners of Twin Ridge Development say someone broke into their business and used an excavator to damage other equipment at the business earlier in the week while they were out of town. A reward is now being offering for information leading to arrest and conviction of the culprits. Anyone with information is asked to call the Johnson County Sheriff's Office at 606-789-3341.

Tenn. Man Arrested in S.E. Ky in Wife's Slaying

An East Tennessee man was arrested Wednesday in Harlan County hours after his estranged wife was found fatally shot in her driveway. Sevier County, Tennessee, Sheriff Ron Seals said 45-year-old Andrew B. Beverly was taken into custody at about 8 p.m. Wednesday in by the Harlan County, Sheriff’s Office. The body of Beverly's estranged wife had been found earlier in the day outside her home in Kodak after a neighbor called police to report a shooting. The Harlan police chief said his office was contacted by an employee of Harlan's Food City who told them Beverly had once apparently worked there and that he could be headed this way. Beverly is being held at the Harlan County jail on a fugitive warrant. Beverly has been charged with murder in Tennessee.

Officials say Mountain Parkway Plan Will Be Cheaper

State officials say a proposal to widen the Mountain Parkway in eastern Kentucky will cost less than originally planned. Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and state Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock made the announcement Thursday at the intersection of the Mountain Parkway and Kentucky 974. Route improvements and a federal grant announced earlier this month reduced the total estimated cost of the project by more than $64 million and officials hope that drop will accelerate the process.

The expansion will close the only gap in a 400-mile, four-lane, high-speed corridor from Pikeville to Paducah. The project will widen 30 miles of the existing parkway from two lanes to four lanes, and will extend the parkway another 16 miles by widening KY 114 between Salyersville and Prestonsburg. The 75-mile parkway was built more than 50 years ago and now ends in Salyersville. State lawmakers approved a $4.1 billion road construction plan earlier this year that included $123 million to widen the parkway. State officials say the project will offer more economic opportunities for the region, which has some of the highest poverty and unemployment rates in the nation.

Officials say an engineering team began an intensive study of the Morgan and Magoffin County segments of the Mountain Parkway, about 20 miles of the 46-mile project, just weeks after the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly approved funding to begin the multi-year project. This section has the highest accident rates along the parkway, according to state officials. The team identified a range of potential changes to improve the design and lower the overall cost in the area before recommending three key changes:

• Modifying the Route Near Kernie - The team identified $32.5 million in estimated savings by taking a more direct route to widen the parkway near Kernie in Magoffin County. By moving the existing alignment away from two creeks, the project can avoid the costly construction of five bridges and reduce environmental impacts to streams and adjacent family cemeteries. The modified route will go across a ridgeline, eliminating a loop in the existing roadway.

• Balancing the Grade Near KY 30 - About $3.5 million will be saved by raising the grade of the parkway near the parkway intersection with KY 30 in Magoffin County. The design change will elevate the road slightly, using material excavated from shallower cuts in the peaks to raise the lower portions of the roadway. The cost savings comes from reducing the amount of excavation and material handling.

• Avoiding the Relocation of KY 134 between Wheelrim Road and Johnson Creek Road overpasses - About $4 million will be saved by shifting the parkway alignment and raising the grade slightly near the Wheelrim Road and Johnson Creek Road overpasses in Magoffin County. The original design required relocation of a stretch of KY 134 that runs parallel to the parkway in this area. The modified design will reduce the amount of excavation and material handling, which will reduce costs.

Jobless Rates Down In All 120 Counties in August 2014

For the first time on record, unemployment rates fell in all 120 Kentucky counties between August 2013 and August 2014, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Owen, Simpson and Woodford counties recorded the lowest jobless rates in the Commonwealth at 5.1 percent each. They were followed by Oldham and Shelby counties, 5.2 percent each; and Daviess, Fayette, Franklin, Logan, Monroe and Todd counties, 5.3 percent each.

Magoffin County recorded the state's highest unemployment rate - 13.3 percent. It was followed by Jackson County, 12.2 percent; Harlan County, 12.1 percent; Fulton, Leslie and Letcher counties, 11.5 percent each; Knott County, 11 percent; Bell County, 10.6 percent; Clay County, 10.2 percent; and Christian County, 9.9 percent.

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. Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at www.kylmi.ky.gov.

Kentucky Receives $1.17 Million in Drug Settlement

Kentucky will get $1.17 million from a pharmaceutical company to settle allegations the company improperly labeled its medication, which led a public health insurance program to improperly pay for the medicines. Shire Pharmaceuticals agreed to pay $56.5 million to settle a civil lawsuit, according to a news release from Democratic state Attorney General Jack Conway. The lawsuit brought by several states and the federal government alleged the company told consumers several of its ADHD drugs would treat certain symptoms or disorders despite not having clinical data to back up those claims. Of Kentucky's settlement, $828,267 will be returned to the federal government and the remaining $162,345 will go back to the state's Medicaid program. Conway said his office has recovered more than $260 million in Medicaid fraud and abuse cases since 2008.

Local Walkers to Raise Money for Diabetes Research

Everyone is invited to come out to Big Sandy Community and Technical College in Prestonsburg, on Saturday, September 27th in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Big Sandy South Walk to Cure Diabetes. Local corporations, families, schools, and other organizations are encouraged to take part in this third annual walk event. The Kentucky Chapter of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) aims to raise more than $50,000 for research to find a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications. Each of the previous two walks have brought more than 500 participants and raised over $20,000 per event. Entire families from kids to grandparents take part in this fundraising effort, many of whom are a part of the four million Americans affected by or have a connection to type 1 (or juvenile) diabetes.

The Big Sandy South Walk is sponsored this year in part by Walters Toyota, Pig in a Poke, and Moe’s of Ashland, and will feature a kids’ activities tent, with inflatables by East Kentucky Inflatables, music entertainment by Justin Stephens, and also Scot Robinson/Casino, Sanofi A1c Champions, various other diabetes care and supply vendor tables, magical entertainment by Pixie Dusted Parties, and local radio and television station live event coverage. A post-walk lunch will be provided by Moe’s of Ashland and Penn Station of Pikeville. On-site registration begins at 10:30 a.m., and the Walk around the BSCTCS trail will start at 11:30. You may register to participate for the Kentucky walk held in Prestonsburg by going to the following website: http://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR/Walk/Chapter-Kentucky4233?fr_id=3955&pg=entry

JDRF is a leader in setting the agenda for diabetes research worldwide, and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of type 1 diabetes research. Since its origination in 1970, the mission of JDRF has been constant: to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. To register now and participate, sponsor the event, build a Walk team, or for more information please call the JDRF Kentucky Chapter at 866-485-9397 for more info, or locally, Paula Fairchild, JDRF walk chair, 606-369-5929.

Apple Festival Pageants Information

The 52nd Kentucky Apple festival of Johnson Co. will be kicking off this weekend with events scheduled on Saturday. The Miss Junior Apple Blossom Pageant will take place this Saturday, September 27 @ 5pm, followed by the 2014 Miss Apple Blossom Pageant taking place immediately following @ around 7 pm. Both pageants will be held at the Johnson Co. High School Gymnasium.

Also, five more pageants will be held on Sunday and into Monday. On Sunday, September 28, the Apple Baby Contest will take place at 2 PM for the boys and 3:30 PM for the girls. The Apple Baby Contest will take place at Paintsville H.S. gymnasium.

On Monday, September 29 the Mini-Prince and Princess will take place beginning at 5 PM. Prince and Princess will follow at around 6 PM, Little Miss Apple Blossom Pageant will take place at around 7 PM and the Pre-Teen Miss Apple Blossom Pageant will take place at around 7:30 PM. All of these pageants will also take place at Paintsville H.S. gymnasium. Good Luck to ALL contestants.

Local News 9-25-2014


           

Johnson Co. Sheriff's Office Investigating Vandalized Business

The Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office is investigating vandalism that occurred on Wednesday at a Hager Hill business. According to WYMT, the owners of Twin Ridge Development say someone broke into their business and used an excavator to damage other equipment at the business. They believe the vandalism took place while they were out of town. A reward is now being offering for information leading to arrest and conviction of the culprits. Anyone with information is asked to call the Johnson County Sheriff's Office at 606-789-3341.

N.C. Man Arrested for Kidnapping and Sexual Assaulting Teen, a Registered Sex Offender

The North Carolina man, Kentucky State Police arrested on Sunday, is listed as a sex offender in North Carolina, where he was convicted in 2006. The victim in that case was only 14 years old. According to the official news release from the Kentucky State Police, troopers arrested Larry T. Swinson Jr. of Mt. Olive, N.C. at a hotel in Carter Co. Police say Swinson met a fifteen year old female juvenile from Louisa, KY and reportedly engaged in a sexual relationship with the juvenile. Police add that Swinson had planned on taking the female from Kentucky to another state.

Trooper Josh Satterly began the initial investigation and was able to track Swinson and the juvenile to a hotel in Grayson, KY. Troopers responded to the location and located both Swinson and the juvenile. At the time of his arrest Swinson was in possession of several pills (Type unknown). He has been charged with one count of kidnapping in Lawrence County, three counts of kidnapping in Carter County, three counts of rape in Carter County, and two counts of drug possession in Carter County. Swinson is being held in the Carter County Detention Center.

Attempted Break-In leads to Police Chase. Suspect Charged with 28 Offenses

A Floyd Co. led police on a chase through Prestonsburg, after his break-in attempt was foiled. Prestonsburg Police received an attempted break-in charge at 828 South Highland Avenue Monday night and upon their arrival, they observed a green Ford Taurus leaving the address at a high rate of speed. The vehicle proceeded onto South Lake Drive and through downtown Prestonsburg. Police allege the driver disregarded four stoplights and did not turn on his lights and nearly struck several guardrails during the chase. The pursuit continued along U.S. 23 and back to Route 114 when the driver of the car stopped and jumped out, then ran, but would return to the car and driving away again, before finally driving into a ditch.

Prestonsburg Officer Tiffany Bond and Sgt. Adam Dixon, along with Kentucky State Police Vehicle Enforcement Officer Dennis Hutchinson, informed the driver, identified as James M. Sexton, 26, of Martin, that he was under arrest, but Sexton allegedly continued to defy the officers’ commands and struggled with them. After Police finally subdued and handcuffed the man, he allegedly told the officers that he had been smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol prior to the incident. Police would search the car and found a lawnmower and a string trimmer. Sexton also reportedly told police several times that that he had taken the items from the residence because the occupant owed him money and refused to pay him, but that was not the case.

Police also found a bag with a green leafy substance and an empty alcoholic beverage bottle in Sexton’s vehicle, and later found a bag of white, oblong pills on Sexton in the police cruiser. In all, Sexton was charged with the following:

• Second-degree burglary
• Theft by unlawful taking
• Resisting arrest
• Three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment
• First-degree criminal mischief
• Third-degree assault
• Second-degree disorderly conduct
• Two counts of first-degree fleeing or evading police
• Driving under the influence
• Possession of marijuana
• Possession of open alcoholic beverage in motor vehicle
• Illegal possession of legend drug
• Prescription not in original container
• Tampering with physical evidence
• Failure to maintain insurance
• Failure to produce insurance card
• Four counts of disregarding traffic control device
• Failure to illuminate headlights
• Improper passing
• Failure to wear seat belts
• Failure to use turn signals

Sexton appeared in court Tuesday and District Judge Jimmy Marcum ordered him to be held under a $10,000 cash bond. He will be back in court next Tuesday for a preliminary hearing. Sexton is lodged in the Floyd County Detention Center

Vehicle Crashes into a Floyd County Business

Reports out of Floyd Co. says a vehicle crashed into a business in the Martin community of Floyd Co. and a man now faces several charges. Police says 50 year old Edward Lemartz is facing criminal mischief, open container charges and other after he crashed his vehicle into a tobacco store earlier this week. Police said alcohol was found in the vehicle. No one inside the store was injured during the crash and Police are continuing to investigate this incident.     

Effort to Reduce Prescription Pill Abuse Scheduled for the Weekend

Kentucky State Police officials are participating in a statewide program aimed at reducing prescription pill abuse. State police are working with the Drug Enforcement Administration in trying to remove potentially dangerous pills from home medicine cabinets. The "Prescription Pill Take Back" initiative is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Kentuckians can bring unused or outdated prescription medications to assigned locations to properly dispose of them. All the drop-off locations are at state police posts across Kentucky with a couple of exceptions. For KSP Post 8, the drop-off spot is the Carl Perkins Community Center in Morehead.

Survey: Too Many Kids Out of Booster Seats Too Soon

While kids want to be like mom and dad in many ways, experts are telling the grown-ups to put off letting their children ride in a car without the correct safety seat for their age, height and weight. A new study from Safe Kids Worldwide found that the majority of parents are moving their children to seat belts before they are big enough. Kate Carr, Safe Kids president and chief executive, said booster seats can reduce injuries by 45 percent over seat belt use alone. "If there were to be a crash and they weren't in a booster seat but just in a regular seat belt," she said, "they could likely suffer internal abdominal injuries or face or neck injuries caused by the belt tightening during the impact of the crash."

One in five parents surveyed said he or she bends the rules, particularly when car-pooling, and allows children to ride without seat belts or an appropriate child safety seat. One in four reported he or she doesn't buckle children up every time they go for a drive. Kentucky's child seat laws require those under 40 inches tall to be in a child or infant seat. Any child who is younger than 7 years of age and between 40 and 50 inches tall must be in a booster seat. Carr suggested that parents make a habit out of measuring their child as they grow. "Know how tall your child is," she said, "and encourage them from an early age that, 'You'll move out of the booster seat when you hit 4 feet 9 inches tall.' And when they're 4 feet 9 inches tall, make sure they're buckled up every ride, every time - and that includes parents, too." Under Kentucky's three-tier child seat law, any child over 7 years of age or more than 50 inches tall can then be secured in a seat belt. The survey is online at safekids.org.