LOCAL NEWS

Local News 11-28-2014


Former Bank President Found Guilty in Child Porn Trial

It didn’t take long for a Lawrence Co. jury to find a former Lawrence Co. Bank president and CEO guilty on child porn charges. Edgar N. Purdom, 68, was found guilty Wednesday afternoon on all charges including four counts of distribution of matter portraying sexual performance by a minor and one count of possession of matter portraying sex performed by a minor. The jury got the case around 2:15 PM Wednesday and came back with a verdict about 2:50 PM. The state has recommended Purdom to serve three years on each charge, for a total of 15 years and to be served consecutively. Purdom will be formerly sentenced on December 30. Purdom was arrested in January 2014 and was President and CEO of a Louisa bank.

Police Searching for Man Cashing Fraudulent Checks

Police in our area are trying to find the man responsible for cashing fraudulent checks at several stores throughout Eastern Ky. Reports indicate the man cashed fake payroll checks at, at least four stores in the region. The suspect was said to be wearing an AT&T shirt and had an AT&T credential badge clipped to his shirt and the phony checks were in the amount of $367.54. They were made out to a Robert Martin in Prestonsburg - an identity Prestonsburg police said is fake. Police say the routing number on the checks is phony. Police describe the suspect as a white male around 5’11 and 240 pounds and wears a cell phone earpiece. He may be driving a green, four-door car. Police believe the man cashed fraudulent checks at at-least two stores in Floyd County and two in Johnson County and may have hit stores in other parts of the state. If you have any information, call Prestonsburg Police at 606-886-1010 or Paintsville Police at 606-789-2603.

One Arrested in Home Invasion, Police Continue Search for Second Suspect

According to a news release from the KSP, on Friday November 21, 2014, Tanner Spears, 21, of Pikeville, KY was arrested on indictment warrants by Kentucky State Police. Spears was indicted by a Floyd County grand jury on multiple charges of kidnapping, robbery, and theft over $10,000. Spears was indicted in connection with a series of home invasions and robberies in Floyd County. In addition to Spears, Johnathan Austin Weddington, 23, was indicted in Floyd County on the same charges as Spears. Weddington is also a person of interest in several Pike County area robberies and home invasions. The indictments are a result of a lengthy ongoing investigation by Kentucky State Police, Post 09 detectives. Kentucky State Police are asking if anyone has any information as to the whereabouts of Johnathan Austin Weddington, please contact the Kentucky State Police Post 09, Pikeville at (606) 433-7711 or toll free at 1-800-222-5555. Callers can remain anonymous.

Accident Leads to Arrest

According to reports, one man was arrested Wednesday following a single-vehicle accident on Ball Alley Curve on South Lake Drive in Floyd Co. Prestonsburg Police say a car traveling toward downtown Prestonsburg, climbed the embankment and rock wall and flipped over in the ditch. The driver told police that he had fallen asleep, but after further investigation, he was arrested, on suspicion of driving under the influence of medication that impaired his driving. The man’s name has not been released at this time and Det. Aaron Blevins with the Prestonsburg Police is the lead investigator.

State Officials Worried over Rising Deaths from Drug Overdoses and Prescriptions for Opiate Treatment Drugs

Despite measures to discourage prescription drug abuse, Kentucky health officials report overdose deaths continue to rise and opioid treatment drugs are being prescribed “at alarming rates,” Kevin Wheatley reports for cn|2’s “Pure Politics.” A shift to cheaper, readily available heroin is partly to blame, Audrey Haynes, secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, told the legislature’s Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare Wednesday. Haynes told the committee that heroin overdose deaths in Kentucky increased 207 percent from 42 in 2011 to 129 in 2012; Kentucky ranks highest in hospital admissions for heroin abuse among surrounding states and the national average; more women age 18-44 in Kentucky die from drug overdoses than the U.S. average; and the state has shown a 165 percent increase in neonatal abstinence syndrome in newborns from 2008 to 2013.

Another issue, Wheatley writes, is that opiate treatment drugs like buprenorphine, which can be prescribed by physicians, have been seized by police in arrests at higher rates, creating a concern among health officials that it is being used illegally. The medical director of the Department for Medicaid Services, John Langefeld, told Wheately that data show a 241 percent increase in buprenorphine prescriptions for Medicaid recipients from January 2012 to this May and that police seizures of this drug have increased “threefold” since tougher laws on prescription drug abuse took effect in July 2012. Kentucky Health News is an independent news service of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky, with support from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

KSP Accepting Trooper Cadet Applications

FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Kentucky State Police is now taking applications for its 93rd Academy Class scheduled to begin May 24th, 2015. Interested applicants should visit the KSP website. Information available on the website includes an outline of the application process, a list of minimum requirements and disqualifications, a downloadable application form with a list of supporting documents required, a downloadable study guide for the written test, physical standards requirements and a list of the following testing dates, times and locations:

* December 10th, 2014: 9:00 a.m. EST, Eastern Kentucky University, Funderburk Building, Richmond, Ky.

* December 11th, 2014: 9:00 a.m. EST, Eastern Kentucky University, Funderburk Building, Richmond, Ky.

* December 12th, 2014: 9:00 a.m. EST, Eastern Kentucky University, Funderburk Building, Richmond, Ky.

* December 13th, 2014: 9:00 a.m. EST, University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky.
* December 16th, 2014: 10:00 a.m. EST, Indiana Wesleyan University, Florence, Ky.
* December 17th, 2014: 9:00 a.m. EST, University of Pikeville, Pikeville, Ky.
* December 18th, 2014: 9:00 a.m. EST, Campbellsville University, Campbellsville, Ky.
* December 19th, 2014: 9:00 a.m. CST, Murray State University, Murray, Ky.
* January 6th, 2015: 9:00 a.m. EST, Eastern Kentucky University, Funderburk Building, Richmond, Ky.

If more information is needed after visiting the website, applicants can call toll-free to (866) 360-3165 during office hours from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (ET) Monday through Friday or leave a message any other time.

All application materials must be completed and returned to the KSP Recruitment Branch at 919 Versailles Road, Frankfort, KY 40601 no later than December 31st, 2014 by the close of business.

Public Notice (REVISED)

Paintsville Utilities water customers that are located between Witten Lane and Whippoorwill Hill will be WITHOUT water service Today (Friday), Nov 28 beginning @ 8 AM to make a main water line repair. Paintsville Utilities will restore water service as soon as possible. Once service is restored, ALL water customers that have been affected by the water shortage will be on a Boil Water Advisory until further notice. Paintsville Utilities appreciated your patience and cooperation.

Local News 11-26-2014


Man Arrested in Home Invasion; another Man Wanted

According to a news release from the KSP, on Friday November 21, 2014, Tanner Spears, 21, of Pikeville, KY was arrested on indictment warrants by Kentucky State Police. Spears was indicted by a Floyd County grand jury on multiple charges of kidnapping, robbery, and theft over $10,000. Spears was indicted in connection with a series of home invasions and robberies in Floyd County. In addition to Spears, Johnathan Austin Weddington, 23, was indicted in Floyd County on the same charges as Spears. Weddington is also a person of interest in several Pike County area robberies and home invasions. The indictments are a result of a lengthy ongoing investigation by Kentucky State Police, Post 09 detectives. Kentucky State Police are asking if anyone has any information as to the whereabouts of Johnathan Austin Weddington, please contact the Kentucky State Police Post 09, Pikeville at (606) 433-7711 or toll free at 1-800-222-5555. Callers can remain anonymous.

Floyd Co. Woman Accused of Stealing $31K

A Floyd Co. woman could be facing up to 10 years in prison, after being accused of stealing money through an online payment service. According to the Floyd Co. Times, Tiffany Renea Marcum, 33, of Prestonsburg, has been charged with one count of theft by unlawful taking, over $10,000, which is a class C felony, punishable by between five and 10 years in prison. Investigators say Marcum “set up a fake PayPal account and withdrew approximately $31,000.

KY Judge Rejects Coal Firm's Settlement with State

A judge has rejected a settlement between the state of Kentucky and a Putnam County, W.Va. coal mining company over water quality monitoring violations from several years ago. Frasure Creek Mining was accused of falsifying reports on water discharges from its eastern Kentucky mining operations, which are required by law. In December 2010, state officials reached a $310,000 proposed settlement with the company, but environmental groups argued that the fines were not high enough. Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd later allowed the groups to intervene in the case. On Monday, Shepherd rejected the proposed settlement, writing in a ruling that it "fails to impose penalties that would deter this conduct." The same environmental groups filed another court motion earlier this month against Frasure Creek, alleging the company had resumed filing false reports. Frasure Creek Mining is based out of Scott Depot, W.Va.

State Officials try to Head off Another Propane Shortage

FRANKFORT – Another colder-than-average winter could cause propane shortages across Kentucky – for a second season in a row. State energy officials and a propane industry trade group told state lawmakers that they have urged consumers to fill their propane tanks early, sing up for automatic delivery and enroll in payment plans in hopes of avoiding a late-winter run on propane, also known as LP gas. Last season’s shortage, and a possible shortage this season, is an issue of getting the propane to where it is needed and not supply, Guess said. He presented legislators with figures showing the nation’s annual propane production has increased by nearly 600,000 barrels since 2005.

Officials say there were multiple causes for last year’s shortage including producers exporting more of the gas rather than selling it in the domestic market. The United States went from exporting nearly no propane in 2005 to 400,000 barrels so far this year, according to the state energy department. Compounding the problem are issues with the nation’s energy infrastructure, Guess said. A propane terminal for a pipeline that served Kentucky – in addition to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri – sprung a leak last year in its cavernous underground storage system, located just north of Cincinnati, according to the state energy department. The terminal went for storing 40 million gallons of propane in mid-2013 to 210,000 gallons. The leak, and high demand last winter, caused the residential rate of propane to roughly double to just over $4 per gallon last winter, according to the state energy department.

Kentucky Not Alone in Battles over Pipelines

FRANKFORT, Ky. - It was less than a year ago a liquid natural gas (LNG) pipeline project in Kentucky called the Bluegrass Pipeline was stopped by widespread public opposition. Similar battles are now brewing in West Virginia and Virginia, where pipeline companies have told some landowners they can survey on their land without the landowners' permission, citing eminent domain. Legal experts say pipeline companies don't yet have that right. Joe Lovett, an attorney with Appalachian Mountain Advocates, says a company can only claim eminent domain and the right to survey without permission when it proves its project serves a genuine public need. "The power of eminent domain is an extraordinary power, only granted for public purposes," says Lovett. "It's improper for a company just to assert its project is for public use without actually having had that determined."

Before it was halted, the Bluegrass Pipeline was calling for up to 180 miles of new line to transport liquid natural gas from the Northeast to the Gulf Coast. In West Virginia and Virginia, utility giant Dominion Resources has sent letters to landowners warning the company might sue them if denied permission to survey the route of its huge Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Lovett and other lawyers say that is bullying. "My best advice is don't sign anything without a lawyer," says Lovett. "No one should sell their land or go through the eminent domain process unless they're represented, and there are plenty of good lawyers around to help represent them." Before the developers of the proposed Bluegrass Pipeline "pulled the plug" on their project, they similarly claimed they had eminent domain power, if needed, to acquire right-of-way from landowners. Dr. Len Peters, Kentucky's energy and environmental secretary, told lawmakers the developers - Williams Co. and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners - did not have the power to cite eminent domain.

Kentucky State Police Kick Off 'Cram the Cruiser' Food Drive

The Kentucky State Police has kicked off their fifth annual ‘Cram the Cruiser’ food drive. Food collection sites have been established at all 16 posts throughout the state and at the agency’s headquarters location in Frankfort. KSP spokesman Sgt. Michael Webb said the agency collected more than 124,000 pounds of food during the 2013 campaign. The food will be distributed at post level to local shelters, churches or other organizations serving those in need. Suggested donations include canned fruit and vegetables, canned meat, macaroni and cheese, cereal, peanut butter, jelly, canned soups, chili or spaghetti sauce, brownie and cake mixes, coffee, water, powdered milk and juices. The campaign extends through Dec. 16, 2014 and is designed to collect non-perishable food items for needy families. Donations can be dropped off at any KSP post.

Public Notice

Paintsville Utilities water customers that are located between Witten Lane and Whippoorwill Hill will be WITHOUT water service today, beginning @ 8 AM to make a main water line repair. Paintsville Utilities will restore water service as soon as possible. Once service is restored, ALL water customers that have been affected by the water shortage will be on a Boil Water Advisory until further notice. Paintsville Utilities appreciated your patience and cooperation.

Local News 11-25-2014


JCSO Continue Search for Fake EMT’s

The Johnson County Sheriff Dept. are continuing their investigation into the report of a trio of women posing as EMT’s. Deputies believe this is a scheme to steal prescription medications from unsuspecting residents. According to initial reports from earlier in the month, the women allegedly will knock on a door and ask to see medications from the residents. It’s not clear whether the women are trying to take the medications or merely scoping out the area to come back on a later date. The JCSO wants to remind everyone to be cautious and never let anyone into your home unless you know the person or know the reason that person is wanting to come inside your residence, also EMT’s are not allowed to ask for medications unless they are treating a patient and then they would be in an emergency vehicle. If you have any information on this case you are asked to contact the Johnson County Sheriff’s office or call 911.

Six Arrested During Floyd County Drug Raid

According to the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, six people were arrested Friday, as a result of a drug raid at a residence just north of Prestonsburg along Rt. 321. This was a joint investigation with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. Those individuals arrested on drug related charges were Tammy Pennington, 49, Dustin Pennington, 22, and John Pennington, 23. Three other people were also arrested during the raid. Troy Tackett, 37, of Paintsville, was picked up on an outstanding warrant for Illegal Manufacturing of Methamphetamine and being a Persistent Felony Offender. Lavanna Tackett, 30, of Meally, KY, and Alicia N. Hill, 28, of Prestonsburg, KY, were each charged with Hindering Apprehension.          

Lawrence Co. Sheriff’s Office make Several Drug Related Arrest

According to a news release from the Lawrence Co. Sheriff’s Dept. on November 22, 2014 the Louisa Police Department and the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office conducted a traffic stop on a 2001 Ford Expediton driven by Kenneth Smith, 33 of Warfield, KY. A search of the vehicle turned up multiple items used to manufacture methamphetamine along with several boxes of Pseudoephedrine that the occupants had just purchased at Wal-Mart. After further investigations it was learned that the plan was to make meth with the materials. The driver along with Duranda Smith, 29 of Warfield, Kevin Murphy, 19, Warfield, Kenneth Gauze, 28 of Jennings Creek, WV, Jason Short, 35, of Louisa, Steven Hunt, 23, of Louisa, and Jerry Childers, 31 of Louisa were all arrested and charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine with more charges and arrest pending. Chief Deputy Mark Wheeler is in charge of the investigation with Sgt. Ed Cordle and Officer Jordan Miller with the Louisa Police Department assisting. After being decontaminated at TRMC the subjects were transported and lodged in the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center in Paintsville. Anyone with information on subjects making meth are asked to call the Sheriff's Office or the Louisa Police Department and as always they can remain anonymous.

Arrests made in an Area McDonalds Robbery

According to reports, three people have been arrested for their connection in a robbery at a McDonalds Restaurant in Floyd Co. Police say the trio allegedly robbed the McDonalds Restaurant in the city of Martin. Arrested were James Goines, Kyle Gregory Tackett and Jennifer Martin. Investigators say Goines admitted to them he committed the robbery to finance his drug addiction. He now faces robbery and public intoxications charges, while Martin and Tackett face complicity to commit robbery. No further information has been released at this time. All three were lodged in the Floyd Co. Jail.

Trial Underway for Former Bank President Facing Child Porn Charges

Testimony is underway in the child porn trial of a former Louisa bank president and CEO. 68-year-old Edgar N. Purdom is charged with four counts of distribution of matter portraying sexual performance by a minor and one count of possession of matter portraying sex performed by a minor. His trial began Monday morning in Lawrence County Circuit Court. Purdom was arrested by Kentucky State Police in January 2014 following an investigation by the Kentucky Attorney General’s Cybercrimes Unit. His arrest was of a personal nature and was not connected anyway to Mr. Purdom’s banking duties as our president, according to the Bank's Chairman. At the time of his arrest, Purdom was President and CEO of a Louisa, Ky. bank.

Charter Bus Driver Transporting Elliott H.S. Students Arrested for DUI

A charter bus driver who was bringing 41 students and 9 adult chaperones back to Elliott County High School has been arrested for DUI. The group was returning home from a Future Business Leaders of America field trip in Louisiana. The incident happened in Washington County, Ky. Saturday afternoon. An off-duty Anderson County Sheriff's Deputy called Kentucky State Police saying he had followed a charter bus traveling on the Bluegrass Parkway to a store and restaurant on Kentucky 555 and believed the driver was under the influence. Troopers responded and found Holly M. Brown, 46, of Louisville, in the store and arrested her. Brown was driving a bus owned by Miller Transportation. A replacement driver was sent to the scene. Brown was lodged in the Marion County Jail. She has been charged with Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence, Prescription of Controlled Substance Not in Proper Container and Wanton Endangerment.

Heating Assistance Information

Winter might not officially be here according to the calendar, but if this week has been any indication of how cold this winter could be, affording the cost of heating a home could be a problem for some. Registration for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or LIHEAP in Kentucky is underway. Applications for the Subsidy portion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will run through Thursday, Dec. 11. To qualify for the Subsidy component of LIHEAP, applicants must present the following:

• Most recent heating bill or proof that heating expenses are included in rent (for example: lease agreement or rent contract)

• Metered utility bill

• Proof of household income for prior month;

• Birthdates for all household members;

• Social security card or official documentation with social security numbers for each member of household.

Applicants must apply in their county of residence. Applications will be taken at the following BSACAP service offices from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Please be aware of the dates to apply, since the application process is done by alphabetical order of your last name.

Here are the Dates:

Nov. 25 – N

26 – Open Enrollment

27 & 28 – Closed for Thanksgiving

Dec 1 – O & P

2 – Q & R

3 – S

4 – S

5 – T

8 – U,V,W

9 – X,Y,Z

10 – Open Enrollment

Local News 11-24-2014


           

Pikeville Man Arrested, Accused of Rape

Police in Pikeville arrested a Pike Co. man accused of raping someone at a motel in Pikeville. Mark T. Smith, 33, of Kimper, Ky has been charged with rape. Police report that around 5:40 a.m., Sunday, police received a complaint about a possible rape at the Landmark Inn. After officers arrived on scene, they conducted an investigation and evidence led to Smith’s arrest. He was taken and lodged to the Pike County Detention Center, where he still remains. No other information has been released at this time.

Arrest Warrants Issued in Deadly Floyd County Shooting

According to the KSP in Pikeville, warrants have been in connection with a deadly shooting that took place in Floyd Co. on Wednesday, November 5th. During that date, KSP received a report of a then unidentified male lying in a parking lot, near a business just off Rt. 321 in the Prestonsburg community of Floyd Co. Kentucky State Police Troopers and EMS personnel arrived on scene and determined that the male was deceased from an apparent gunshot wound. The deceased was identified as 36 year old Bill Russell Collins of Leburn, KY.

Now investigators say they have warrants for Floyd Junior Sexton, John Tate Maggard and Jennifer Gayle Jernigan.Reports indicate Sexton is facing a murder charge, while Maggard and Jernigan both face a complicity to commit murder charge.Police say that their investigation indicated that Sexton and Maggard wrestled with the shooting victim, Bill Russell Collins, before Sexton shot Collins twice and ultimately killing him.Jernigan supposedly drove the getaway car. KSP asked that if anyone has any information on the whereabouts of these three individuals, to please contact the KSP in Pikeville at 606-433-7711.

Police Arrest Ashland Man Accused of Trying to Sexually Assault Young Boy

An Ashland man has been arrested, accused of kidnapping an 11-year-old boy and trying to sexually assault the child. According to the Ashland Police Dept. they say they have arrested Ermel Copley, 80, of Ashland, who is suspected of luring the boy onto his porch, holding him against his will and making sexual advancements toward him. Police says the boy was able to break free and call for help. Copley was arrested at his home and was taken to the Boyd County Detention Center; charged with Kidnapping and Attempted Sodomy.         

Student Injured following 30-foot fall at Morehead State University

A 20-year-old man had to be rushed to UK Hospital after he fell 30-feet from a window at Morehead State University. According to MSU officials, they say the student fell out of a third floor window of a music hall early Saturday morning. The student was identified as Kody Richmond. Campus officials say Richmond fell out of a third floor window in a stairwell that is connected to the music hall. Officials also say Richmond is not a MSU student, but they say he was with two students when he fell. Another question that officials are trying to answer is why was Richmond in the stairwell hours after Baird Hall closed. Campus police aren't saying how seriously he was hurt, but they did say he conscious when they got to him.         

6 Counties Chosen for Post-Election Audit in Ky.

Attorney General Jack Conway says six Kentucky counties have been chosen in a random drawing to undergo independent inquires for any potential irregularities during this month's election. Conway said the counties are Owsley, Gallatin, Simpson, Bourbon, Metcalfe and Mercer. The post-election audits are required by state law and will be conducted by the attorney general's office. The counties are selected in a public drawing and must be done within 20 days of the election. Counties selected during the post-election audit following this spring's primary election were Meade, Allen, Clark, Warren, Breathitt and Russell. Conway's office says no irregularities were discovered during the last audit.

Stressful Times for Kentucky Caregivers

LAGRANGE, Ky. - As we head into the holiday season, there can be added stress, especially for thousands of Kentuckians caring for a loved one. For the past four years, Charles Williams of LaGrange has cared for his Aunt Cookie, who turns 90 later this month, and Uncle Raymond, who passed away in February. Williams said he handles their finances and routinely makes the 10-hour drive to their home in Virginia. "I do it because I love them," he said. "I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for them." November is National Family Caregivers Month. According to AARP, Kentucky's 735,000 family caregivers provide an estimated 704 million hours of unpaid care and save the state more than $7 billion a year. Williams said his aunt and uncle, who didn't have children of their own, asked him in the mid-1990s to care for them when they got older - paying their bills and making sure they're in a safe environment. Williams said it was tough when he had to move them to an assisted-living facility and, eventually, a nursing home.

"Oh good Lord, oh good Lord. You don't feel good about it, which I guess is a part of the stress - you don't want to do it," he said. "Your rational mind trumps your emotional mind." Kentucky lawmakers have directed their research arm to deliver recommendations by next month on how to enhance support and services for caregivers. State lawmakers can do more to help, said Bob Palombo, a caregiver for his mother and also president of AARP North Carolina. He said holidays can be particularly stressful for caregivers as they juggle work and family obligations, and AARP is doing what it can to reach out to them. "Caregivers don't always ask for help," he said. "They do it because it's a service to their parent or relative, and they don't like to seek help in all cases. And we need to be able to provide the information and the resources for them." AARP this month launched a campaign and website for family caregivers to share their stories and find information. That website is AARP.org/iheartcaregivers. More information is online at multivu.com. Williams' story is at act.aarp.org.