LOCAL NEWS

WSIP News 4-24-2017

 

Traffic Stop Leads to Two Arrest in Prestonsburg

According to a news release from the Prestonsburg Police Dept., on Thursday, April 20, officers conducted a regular traffic stop on a Nissan passenger car in the Prestonsburg Village area that resulted in two arrest on several drug charges. During the traffic stop, officers said they could smell a strong odor coming from the vehicle that appeared to be marijuana. The owner of the vehicle gave verbal consent to the officers on scene to search the vehicle. Officers were able to locate marijuana, a small amount of cash and a large amount of Crystal Meth and other drug paraphernalia. Randall C. Crider, 21 of Prestonsburg and Deana J. Lafferty of Dwale were both arrested and lodged in the Floyd Co. Detention Center.


Argument Wolfe Co. Man Arrested after Allegedly Shooting another Man

A Wolfe Co. man is facing several charges after troopers say he shot another man during a fight. Darrell Terrill, 58, of Campton, is charged with 1st-degree assault and tampering with physical evidence. According to Kentucky State Police, they responded to a home in the 1700 block of Calaboose Rocky Branch Road near Campton on Friday evening for reports of shots fired. They determined that Terrill had shot at John Brashers twice during an argument, hitting Brashers once in the leg. Terrill was taken to the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center. Brashers was taken to the hospital where he was treated for his injuries.


Child Dies Days after Beaten by Couple

Investigators say Menifee County toddler injured in an abuse case died Wednesday. The Fayette Co Coroner's Office says Aria Blanton, 1, died at Kentucky Children's Hospital. She had been airlifted to the hospital on Monday. The Coroner's Office says the death is being investigated as a homicide. Before the child's death, police charged her mother, Laura Blanton, and Blanton's boyfriend, Robert Collins, with abuse. Police say Collins claimed the child was injured in an accident Saturday, and stopped breathing Monday, so he brought her to Blanton at the store where she worked. But investigators say the child's injuries were consistent with abuse. Menifee Co Sheriff Toby Wells says Collins and Blanton will likely be charged with additional charges on Tuesday.


Johnson Co Schools Summer Food Service Program

With summer break coming up, that means some families who count on school meals may find their resources stretched thin. In an attempt to continue providing adequate nutrition to the children of Johnson County, the Johnson County School District is looking to expand the Summer Food Service Program and provide lunch this summer at various locations throughout the county. Under the program, any child aged 18 and under can receive a free meal at a SFSP site. The school board is looking for community input to ensure easier access for all children, and a link to their survey can be found by visiting the WSIP website and clicking on the news page or visit the WSIP Face-Book page. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScfSa44SssnV36Oy5gnWXio7VsJ8Pmu7vP1zOJnD2VOS7muJA/viewform?c=0&w=1

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Latest on Mountain Parkway Expansion

Significant progress is being made along the Mountain Parkway Expansion Project. Construction continues on a new bridge near Salyersville’s Restaurant Row. Excavation work is increasing on the KY-30 interchange and workers have poured barrier walls for the section of the bridge that has been completed on the KY-7 interchange. In Morgan County, clearing and excavation continues as crews prepare to wide an over 8 mile section of the parkway. Speed limits are reduced in some areas; motorists are encouraged to use caution through the work zones.


Kentucky Power Gives Out 5,000 Free Trees to Area Residents

On Saturday. Kentucky Power gave away 5,000 low-growth tree saplings to customers in celebration of Earth Day and Arbor Day. The free saplings were distributed on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies lasted beginning at 9 a.m. in Ashland, Hazard, Pikeville and Whitesburg. Available varieties were Grey Dogwood, Roughleaf Dogwood and Eastern Redbud. The annual event is always popular with customers, said Del Borden, Kentucky Power’s director for customer service and business development based in Ashland. “Low-growth trees are great for use in landscaping around homes,” said Dusty Roll, region forestry supervisor for Kentucky Power. “These kinds of trees typically have a nice shape, are slow growers and will not grow so tall that they interfere with overhead utility lines or structures. Plus, planting trees is an excellent way to improve the environment, add beauty to the landscape and improve air quality.”


Chris Stapleton’s Name Added to Country Music Highway

Kentucky Transportation District 12 crews replaced signs along US-23 at the Johnson County lines on Friday with new ones that included Chris Stapleton’s name! The signs are situated as you enter Johnson County – from the south at the Floyd/Johnson county line, and from the north at the Lawrence/Johnson county line – along U.S. 23.


2017 Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radio-thon a Success!!!

The 2017 Broadway Auto Sales Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radio-thon has come and gone at WSIP and this year turned out to be another success. Our TOTAL raised was.........$56,687, with a few donations still yet to be counted. The 2nd most in the 12 years of doing this radio-thon. THANKS goes out to ALL of OUR LISTENERS!!! Without you, this could not be possible. ALL MONEY donated will go directly to the Children and Families @ St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. We APPRECIATE EVERYONE for their Help and Generosity and we look forward to next year, as we celebrate our 13th Anniversary. Again THANK YOU and CONGRATULATIONS to YOU, OUR LISTENERS for a JOB WELL DONE!!!!

 

WSIP News 4-21-2017

 

Traffic Stop leads to Two Arrest in Prestonsburg

According to a news release from the Prestonsburg Police Dept., on Thursday, April 20, officers conducted a regular traffic stop on a Nissan passenger car in the Prestonsburg Village area that resulted in two arrest on several drug charges. During the traffic stop, officers said they could smell a strong odor coming from the vehicle that appeared to be marijuana. The owner of the vehicle gave verbal consent to the officers on scene to search the vehicle. Officers were able to locate marijuana, a small amount of cash and a large amount of Crystal Meth and other drug paraphernalia. Randall C. Crider, 21 of Prestonsburg and Deana J. Lafferty of Dwale were both arrested and lodged in the Floyd Co. Detention Center.


KSP Looking For Missing Breathitt Co. Woman

KSP in Hazard are continuing their search for a missing Breathitt Co woman. Police say that 58-year-old Debbie L. Lacaria, of Jackson, was reported missing on March 10 by a family member. The relative said that no one had been in contact with her for several weeks. She was last seen by neighbors outside of her residence on Highway 3193 near the end of February 2017. KSP describes her as a white female, 5'5'', around 140 pounds. She has brown eyes and brown shoulder-length hair. If anyone has information on the whereabouts of Debbie Lacaria, they are urged to contact KSP Post 13 at 606-435-6069, or any local law enforcement agency.


State’s Unemployment Rate Remains at 5% in March 2017

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary March unemployment rate remained unchanged from February at 5 percent, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The preliminary March 2017 jobless rate was 0.1 percentage points lower than the 5.1 percent rate recorded for the state in March 2016. Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. It is designed to measure trends rather than to count the actual number of people working. It includes jobs in agriculture and those classified as self-employed. In March 2017, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,064,787, an increase of 19,971 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment was up by 18,952, while the number of unemployed increased by 1,019. Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are seasonally adjusted. Employment statistics undergo sharp fluctuations due to seasonal events, such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings. Seasonal adjustments eliminate these influences and make it easier to observe statistical trends. However, because of the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.


Kentucky Broadband Project Inches Forward With Lease Signing

Kentucky officials have agreed to lease 315 miles of fiber-optic cables from five rural telephone companies as they continue to seek ways to lower the cost of a massive statewide broadband project. Kentucky is trying to build a statewide broadband network powered by more than 3,000 miles of fiber-optic cables. But the project has been plagued by delays and financing troubles. The Kentucky Communications Network Authority, which oversees the project, had not met in more than six months. But Thursday, the authority signed an agreement with Bluegrass Network to tap into its network. That means the state will save money because it won't have to build 315 miles of cable. State officials have not said how they plan to pay for the state's share of the network's cost.


Settlement with LG&E, KU Saves Kentucky Ratepayers $90 Million Annually

The Attorney General has announced that the Office of Rate Intervention has entered into a settlement with LG&E and KU that will save Kentucky ratepayers $90 million annually – $33.2 million of that for residential customers. Late last year, the utility companies proposed to the Public Service Commission a nearly $210 million increase in annual revenues. After studying the rate proposal, Beshear proposed the PSC dramatically reduce the rate request. Last week, Beshear’s office began working with the utilities on an agreement to lessen the annual revenue increase. The parties signed a settlement April 19 to limit the companies’ proposed increase and to provide certain other concessions. Beshear said his office was able to work with the utilities to hold the increase in the electric residential customer charge to 75 cents this year and 75 cents in 2018, for a total long-term increase of only $1.50 a month. The utilities originally asked to more than double the customer charge to $22, which would have been an $11.25 monthly increase. Other aspects of the settlement filed today with the PSC include:

· A more than 50 percent decrease to the residential gas rate increase requested by LG&E.

· The withdrawal of a smart meter project, which would cost customers more than $350 million over the life of the meters. The utilities agreed to create a collaborative to work with interested parties to understand and help address their concerns. Beshear’s office is included in the collaborative.

· An agreement by the utilities to provide shareholder contributions totaling nearly $1.5 million a year to help low-income residential customers defer utility costs.

· The creation of a limited rate pilot for schools in both utilities’ territories to help determine whether they use electricity in such a way to necessitate their own rate schedule.

Beshear’s Office of Rate Intervention serves as a watchdog for consumers in matters relating to health insurance, natural gas, water, sewer, electric and telephone rates. Under Kentucky law, the office is responsible for representing the interests of Kentucky consumers before governmental ratemaking agencies, concentrating on utility cases before PSC.

The PSC will review the reasonableness of the settlement at its May 9 hearing in Frankfort. LGE and KU provide nearly 950,000 ratepayers electricity, and LG&E provides natural gas to 325,000 ratepayers.


Latest on Mountain Parkway Expansion

Significant progress is being made along the Mountain Parkway Expansion Project. Construction continues on a new bridge near Salyersville’s Restaurant Row. Excavation work is increasing on the KY-30 interchange and workers have poured barrier walls for the section of the bridge that has been completed on the KY-7 interchange. In Morgan County, clearing and excavation continues as crews prepare to wide an over 8 mile section of the parkway. Speed limits are reduced in some areas; motorists are encouraged to use caution through the work zones.


BSCTC to Host Earth Day Celebration

Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) will host an Earth Day celebration at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 22 on its Prestonsburg campus. Tammy Ball, LCSW, professor of human services and a member of the college’s community garden, said the event will feature workshops and demonstrations for all ages. The event will feature information and demonstrations on battery recycling, garden demonstrations, sustainability information, tours of the community garden and other activities for the whole family. Ball said she hopes that visitors will see the community garden and want to volunteer or create a garden in their own community.


The 2017 WSIP Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radio-thon Starts Today

The 2017 edition of the WSIP/Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radio-thon continues all Day Today and we encourage you, the listener, to tune in and give us a call and become a Partner in Hope! Just $20 per month for a year, you can help the Children and Families at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This will be our 12th year hosting this event. Last year Thanks to our loyal listeners and their generosity, our 2016 radio-thon raised a total of $61,161, for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. We encourage anyone, if you have a little extra time, to stop by our radio station located on Main Street in downtown Paintsville and volunteer your time to help answer the phones and help make our 2017 event a success!

Today, you will be able to call the Appalachian Wireless toll free # @ 1-800-942-8731 to become a Partner in Hope or to donate whatever you can afford or want to do. On behalf of WSIP and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Thank You and we look forward to another great Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radio-thon on New Country 98.9 FM WSIP.



WSIP News 4-20-2017

 

Moonshine still, Marijuana Found during Search Warrant

Elkhorn City Police reports they busted an alleged bootlegger Wednesday evening. During a search warrant, Chief Bobby Sexton said he found a moonshine still, six buckets, and other mixer buckets, as well as ten gallons of moonshine in a van. In another vehicle, Sexton said they also found marijuana and suboxone. Police arrested Johnny Stewart. Sexton said Stewart was on probation and is a convicted felon.


Murder Investigation Underway in Menifee Co

According to a news release from the KSP in Morehead, on Tuesday April 18th 2017 at 11:52 p.m., Kentucky State Police Post 8 Morehead received information about a deceased female near Old State Road in Menifee County. Trooper Jason Brown and Detective Nathan Shortridge responded to the scene along with the Menifee County Sheriff’s Office. Upon arrival, the body of Mariah Prater, age 18, of Lawrenceburg, Ky., was located in a ditch off the roadway. Shortly after, Austin Prater, age 20, of Frenchburg, was taken into custody by KSP and charged with Murder. Mr. Prater is lodged at the Montgomery County Jail. The incident remains under investigation by Detective Nathan Shortridge.


Two Charged After Child Found Beaten

Another story out of Menifee Co. as officials in that county say that a woman and her boyfriend have been charged with first-degree child abuse after the child was airlifted with severe injuries. Robert Collins and Laura Blanton are in the Montgomery County Jail. Deputies say that Collins brought Blanton's toddler daughter to her place of work with severe injuries. A co-worker of Blanton's called 911. Family members have identified the young child as Aria Blanton. Aria was airlifted to Kentucky Children's Hospital.


KSP Investigating Inmates Death at the Lewis Co Detention Center

In a separate news release from the KSP in Morehead, n Tuesday, April 19th 2017, at 5:56 a.m., Kentucky State Police Post 8 Morehead was notified that inmate Chris Helphenstine, age 40, of Vanceburg, KY, had passed away during a medical transport. Mr. Helphenstine was discovered to be unresponsive at approximately 3:30 a.m. by employees at the jail. CPR was initiated and EMS was contacted. Mr, Helphenstine was pronounced deceased during ambulance transportation to Portsmouth Regional Hospital. No foul play is suspected and an autopsy has been scheduled to determine cause of death. The incident remains under investigation by Trooper Patrick Zalone.

KSP Looking For Missing Breathitt Co. Woman

KSP in Hazard are searching for a missing Breathitt Co woman. Police say that 58-year-old Debbie L. Lacaria, of Jackson, was reported missing on March 10 by a family member. The relative said that no one had been in contact with her for several weeks. She was last seen by neighbors outside of her residence on Highway 3193 near the end of February 2017. KSP describes her as a white female, 5'5'', around 140 pounds. She has brown eyes and brown shoulder-length hair. If anyone has information on the whereabouts of Debbie Lacaria, they are urged to contact KSP Post 13 at 606-435-6069, or any local law enforcement agency.


Settlement with LG&E, KU Saves Kentucky Ratepayers $90 Million Annually

The Attorney General has announced that the Office of Rate Intervention has entered into a settlement with LG&E and KU that will save Kentucky ratepayers $90 million annually – $33.2 million of that for residential customers. Late last year, the utility companies proposed to the Public Service Commission a nearly $210 million increase in annual revenues. After studying the rate proposal, Beshear proposed the PSC dramatically reduce the rate request. Last week, Beshear’s office began working with the utilities on an agreement to lessen the annual revenue increase. The parties signed a settlement April 19 to limit the companies’ proposed increase and to provide certain other concessions. Beshear said his office was able to work with the utilities to hold the increase in the electric residential customer charge to 75 cents this year and 75 cents in 2018, for a total long-term increase of only $1.50 a month. The utilities originally asked to more than double the customer charge to $22, which would have been an $11.25 monthly increase. Other aspects of the settlement filed today with the PSC include:

· A more than 50 percent decrease to the residential gas rate increase requested by LG&E.

· The withdrawal of a smart meter project, which would cost customers more than $350 million over the life of the meters. The utilities agreed to create a collaborative to work with interested parties to understand and help address their concerns. Beshear’s office is included in the collaborative.

· An agreement by the utilities to provide shareholder contributions totaling nearly $1.5 million a year to help low-income residential customers defer utility costs.

· The creation of a limited rate pilot for schools in both utilities’ territories to help determine whether they use electricity in such a way to necessitate their own rate schedule.

Beshear’s Office of Rate Intervention serves as a watchdog for consumers in matters relating to health insurance, natural gas, water, sewer, electric and telephone rates. Under Kentucky law, the office is responsible for representing the interests of Kentucky consumers before governmental ratemaking agencies, concentrating on utility cases before PSC.

The PSC will review the reasonableness of the settlement at its May 9 hearing in Frankfort. LGE and KU provide nearly 950,000 ratepayers electricity, and LG&E provides natural gas to 325,000 ratepayers.


BSCTC to Host Earth Day Celebration

Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) will host an Earth Day celebration at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 22 on its Prestonsburg campus. Tammy Ball, LCSW, professor of human services and a member of the college’s community garden, said the event will feature workshops and demonstrations for all ages. The event will feature information and demonstrations on battery recycling, garden demonstrations, sustainability information, tours of the community garden and other activities for the whole family. Ball said she hopes that visitors will see the community garden and want to volunteer or create a garden in their own community.


The 2017 WSIP Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radio-thon Starts Today

The 2017 edition of the WSIP/Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radio-thon is underway. All Day Today (Thursday, April 20) and continuing on Friday, April 21, 2017, we encourage you, the listener, to tune in and give us a call and become a Partner in Hope! Just $20 per month for a year, you can help the Children and Families at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This will be our 12th year hosting this event. Last year Thanks to our loyal listeners and their generosity, our 2016 radio-thon raised a total of $61,161, for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. We encourage anyone, if you have a little extra time, to stop by our radio station located on Main Street in downtown Paintsville and volunteer your time to help answer the phones and help make our 2017 event a success!

Today and Tomorrow, you will be able to call the Appalachian Wireless toll free # @ 1-800-942-8731 to become a Partner in Hope or to donate whatever you can afford or want to do. On behalf of WSIP and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Thank You and we look forward to another great Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radio-thon on New Country 98.9 FM WSIP April 20 & 21, 2017.



WSIP News 4-19-2017

 

Martin Co Triple Murder Trial Continues

A Martin Co. triple murder trial continued on Tuesday in Johnson Co, as witnesses continued to testify in the triple murder trial of Amanda Bowen. Investigators say Bowen and her boyfriend, Jack Smith, killed three people in 2014. The victims include Tina Goble, 8 year old granddaughter Trinity Maynard and Cainie Johnson, Jr. During opening arguments, Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Anthony Skeans addressed the jury saying Bowen knew Goble had drugs inside her home. While the defense did not deny Bowen's involvement, her attorneys claim she is mentally handicapped. An arson investigator, former Martin County Sheriff Garmon Preece, and two Kentucky State Police troopers all testified in the case on Tuesday morning. The trial is expected to last throughout the week. Smith pleaded guilty last week to the charges against him and he is facing 3 life sentences without the possibility of parole.


Letcher Co. Man Dies In Crash on Easter

A Whitesburg man died in a crash on Easter Sunday. The single vehicle crash happened around 10:45 a.m. on US 119 in the Payne Gap community. KSP says there were no witnesses at the scene. One trooper said that he observed a vehicle in a creek when he arrived at the scene but did not immediately notice anyone around it. After further investigation, the trooper discovered 28-year-old Larry C. Stidham underneath the vehicle. KSP says the investigation shows that Stidham was driving north on US 119 in a Ford Explorer when the vehicle hit a guardrail, fence, and utility pole before overturning. The vehicle continued over an embankment and came to a rest against several trees. Stidham was ejected from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.


Former Coal Mine could become a Solar Farm in Pike Co

According to a news release from Former Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen's The Berkley Energy Group and EDF Renewable Energy (RDE RE) started researching sites to begin construction, "with a focus on twin mountaintop removal sites just outside of Pikeville." The project would use hundreds of acres in reclaimed strip mines, in an effort to help displaced coal miners during the construction phase. BEG Project Development Executive Ryan Johns and Adam Edelen, of Edelen Strategic Ventures, came up with the idea. Edelen added, "Bringing together major platers in both coal and renewable energy to build a solar farm on a mountaintop removal site, creating opportunity for out-of-work coal miners is a once in a lifetime project."


State Government News

* The 2017 Kentucky legislative session is now officially over and Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and CEO David Adkisson is calling the session historic, pointing to passage of a right to work law and repeal of the state’s prevailing wage law in the session’s first five days. Adkisson says those legislative actions were a priority of the state’s leading business group for 30 years and says other actions, like passage of the medical review panels law, the charter schools law and a telecommunications reform measure made this one of the best sessions ever for Kentucky business. He says the decision to put off tax reform and addressing the state’s troubled public pension systems until a special session later this year cleared the way for action on these other measures.


The 2017 WSIP Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radio-thon

The 2017 edition of the WSIP/Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radio-thon is now just 1 day away. Beginning this Thursday, April 20 and Friday, April 21, 2017, we encourage you, the listener, to tune in and give us a call and become a Partner in Hope! Just $20 per month for a year, you can help the Children and Families at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This will be our 12th year hosting this event. Last year Thanks to our loyal listeners and their generosity, our 2016 radio-thon raised a total of $61,161, for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. We encourage anyone, if you have a little extra time, to stop by our radio station located on Main Street in downtown Paintsville and volunteer your time to help answer the phones and help make our 2017 event a success!

On Thursday and Friday you will be able to call the Appalachian Wireless toll free # @ 1-800-942-8731 to become a Partner in Hope or to donate whatever you can afford or want to do. On behalf of WSIP and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Thank You and we look forward to another great Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radio-thon on New Country 98.9 FM WSIP April 20 & 21, 2017.