KSP Investigating Latest Robbery in Floyd Co.
According to a news release from the KSP in Pikeville, on Tuesday February 18 at 10:38 P.M. Post 9, Pikeville received a call of an armed robbery at the MIDEE Mart in the Lackey community of Floyd County. Information obtained at the scene indicates that an unidentified male entered the business, brandished a weapon, and demanded money. The unidentified male fled the scene on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. The male was described as approximately six feet tall, slender build, wearing an orange hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans. There were no injuries reported at the time of the incident. This incident remains under investigation by Kentucky State Police Trooper Shane Hurt. Anyone with information pertaining to this incident is asked to contact Kentucky State Police at (606) 433-7711 or 1-800-222-5555.
KSP have already been investigating a couple other robberies that have occurred this year with no arrest made. A total of four robberies have taken place since January across Floyd and Pike counties. Bella's Gas & Go in the Freeburn community of Pike County was robbed on Monday January 13 at 11:59 P.M. and Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 11:48 P.M, both by two unidentified males.
The Fast Lane store located in the Eastern community of Floyd County, was robbed on Tuesday, January 14 at 10:49 P.M. by two males and the MI-DEE Mart in the Lackey community of Floyd County was robbed on Thursday January 16. If you have any information pertaining to any of these robberies, to please contact Kentucky State Police at 1-800-222-5555 or (606) 433-7711. Callers can remain anonymous.
Police also Continuing Investigations of Other Area Robberies
KSP in Hazard are also continuing to investigate a robbery that took place on Monday evening, February 17, at 11:47p.m. at The Cardinal Country Store, in the Fisty community of Knott County. A male subject entered the store wearing a gray ski mask, black hoodie, and jeans, demanding cigarettes and money before fleeing the scene in and unknown make or model four-door passenger car, last seen traveling eastbound on KY Highway 80. If you have any information pertaining to any of these robberies, to please contact Kentucky State Police at 1-800-222-5555 and can remain anonymous.
Ashland Police Continue Searching for Robbery Suspect
Ashland Police are requesting assistance in locating the person responsible for robbing Clark's Pump and Shop on two different occasions last week. The first incident happened on Thursday evening February 13th and the second robbery happened two nights later on Saturday, February 15th. Investigators describe the suspect as being a white man in his mid-to-late 50's with a scruffy mustache and beard, which may be strawberry-blond or even reddish colored. If you have any information on either of these crimes, you're urged to call Ashland Police Department's Silent Witness Line at 606-329-1771. Police say you can remain anonymous.
Greenup Co. Man Arrested and Charged with Assault
A Greenup Co. man has been arrested in connection with a stabbing that took place Tuesday night just after 11 p.m. in the 16000 block of Route 7 in Greenup County. According to the Greenup County Sheriff office, Timothy Grizzle, 41, was found lying in the middle of the road and bleeding profusely. Reports indicated he was semi unconscious and not able to speak due to multiple stab wounds. He was flown to the hospital with possible life-threatening injuries. Deputies say they arrested Kenton Imel, 29, of Greenup Co., and charged him with 1st degree assault. Imel is being held in the Greenup County Detention Center. There is no word on a motive for the stabbing and we have no update on the condition of Grizzle at this time.
A Nearby W.Va. Pizza Hut Closed Public Health Hazard
A nearby W.Va restaurant has been closed by health officials after security cameras footage shows an employee urinating into the restaurant's kitchen sink. Mingo County, W.Va health officials shut down the Pizza Hut in Kermit, West Virginia after receiving word of the incident, then seeing the video footage for themselves, citing conditions constituting a "substantial hazard to the public health." Pizza Hut corporate officials confirm the man is a district manager, and has been fired. Community members say they are appalled at the unsanitary act, with some people vowing never to eat at the restaurant again. The Pizza Hut Corporation released a statement, which says in part they are "embarrassed" by the man's actions, and that pizza hut has "zero tolerance for violations" of its operating standards. Mingo County Health Department officials say it could be days or even weeks before they consider reopening the Pizza Hut.
Booth Energy Cuts 30 Jobs at Kentucky Mines
Booth Energy say it has cuts job and reduced production at some its surface mines in Kentucky. According to WSAZ TV, the company says on February 7 it cut 30 surface mining positions and support staff due to the continued weakened Central Appalachia coal market. James H. Booth, CEO of Booth Energy said, "This has been a very difficult decision and we are deeply saddened by the loss of jobs that will result from the reduction of our operations." No word which mines were impacted by these recent cuts.
Coal-Prep Chemicals Called Threats to Clean Water
FRANKFORT, Ky. - West Virginia has been at the epicenter of concerns recently over coal-washing that may be leaching large amounts of MCHM and similar chemicals into the state's water. MCHM - 4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol - is a foaming agent used to separate and float particles of coal away from rock and clay at prep plants. Much of it and other chemicals end up in the slurry that is piped into huge waste impoundments.
West Virginia legislator Mike Manypenny, who co-chairs that state's Joint Oversight Commission on Water Resources, said what comes from the plants gets into surface and ground water. "None of these impoundments are lined," he said. "And if this is just open-pit that they're filling with this slurry, it's going to penetrate into the soil eventually, and reach the aquifer." Manypenny said the waste coming from the West Virginia prep plants is not monitored or regulated for the chemicals. MCHM was found in a recent slurry spill. As with West Virginia, protections are "inadequate" in Kentucky as well, said Lane Boldman, outreach coordinator for the Kentucky Environmental Foundation. While safety plans are required, she said, "No one is really watching the store.
"There's really not enough regulators or people monitoring that these action plans are viable, that the storage containers are sound, and that these spills won't happen in the first place." Boldman said the Kentucky Environmental Foundation wants "much stronger" changes made to the Toxic Substances Control Act than what Congress is considering. She called the West Virginia spills a "perfect example" of what can go wrong. A researcher close to the coal industry defended the coal-washing process, claiming the chemicals that are used bind to the solids in the slurry and stay in the impoundments. But others claimed that's a largely untested theory. Joe Stanley, who used to work at a prep plant, said people in the coalfields complain that their wells and spring water have been contaminated by slurry and say science backs them up. "I've looked at the test results," he said. "I have talked to the people who own these wells and these springs, and there are elements that are ending up in these systems."
New Stats for Eastern Kentucky Schools Show Good and Bad Results
New statistics released Wednesday paint a mixed picture of education in Eastern Kentucky. State numbers show students in Appalachia outperform their peers in the rest of the state in some categories, but lag behind in others. Students in Kentucky's Appalachian counties rank below the state average when it comes to college readiness, but high school graduates in the region had a higher grade point average in 2013, according to data released Monday by the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics. Statistics suggest 44.6 percent of Appalachian students are ready for college when they graduate high school, compared to a state average of 49.4 percent. However, students in the region rank higher than the state average in mean grade point average for 2013 graduates, 2.92 to 2.88. If you would like to see a complete list of scores, visit: https://kentuckyp20.ky.gov/reports/CPG_201415_wholeCP.pdf
Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Releases January 2014 Activity Report
The following is the activity report for the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office, during the month of January 2014.
Total Calls: 516
Collisions Worked: 19 - With Injury: 3 - With Commercial Vehicles: 2 - With Property Damage: 16
Bench Warrants Served – 17
Trafficking in Controlled Substance-1
Manufacturing Meth – 1
Unlawful Possession of Meth Precursor -1
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – 2
DUI – 3
Possession/view Matter Portraying Sexual Performance of Minor – 4
Assault 4th Degree – 2
Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon – 1
Possession of Defaced Firearm – 1
Driving on Suspended License – 4
Terroristic Threatening -1
Mentally Ill/Warrantless Arrest – 2
Contempt of Court – 1
Flagrant Non-support – 1
Reckless Driving – 1
Speeding – 9
Failure of Owner to Maintain Required Insurance – 16
Failure of Non-owner to Maintain Required Insurance – 4
Failure to Produce Insurance Card – 22
Failure to Wear Seat Belt -11
License Not in Possession – 3
No/expired Operator's License – 7
No Registration Receipt – 19
No Registration Plates – 16
Failure to Register Vehicle – 5
Failure to Notify Address Change to Dept. of Transportation – 4
One Headlight – 1
Disregarding Stop Sign – 1
Obstructed Vision – 1
Again that was the activity report for the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office, during the month of January 2014.
Knott County Convenient Store Robbed
According to a news release from the KSP, on Monday evening, February 17, at approximately 11:47p.m., Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard received a call advising that The Cardinal Country Store, in the Fisty area of Knott County, had been robbed. KSP troopers, along with deputies with the Knott County Sheriff's Department, responded to the scene.
Officers were advised by employees that a male subject entered the store wearing a gray ski mask, black hoodie, and jeans, and appeared to be in possession of a firearm. The subject demanded cigarettes, as well as cash from the register, from the employees, who complied with the perpetrator's demands. The robber fled the store with an undetermined amount of cash and three cartons of cigarettes. He was observed getting into an unknown make or model four-door passenger car, which was last seen traveling eastbound on KY Highway 80.
Officers conducted a search of the area near the store, but were unable to locate the perpetrator. Store surveillance footage of this robbery was obtained, but the suspect has yet to be identified. This incident remains under investigation by KSP Post 13.
Search Continues for Person Responsible for Ashland Convenience Store Robberies
Ashland Police are continuing their search for a man they say is responsible for robbing Clark's Pump and Shop on two different occasions last week. The first incident happened on Thursday evening February 13th and the second robbery happened two nights later on Saturday, February 15th.
Police say each robbery happened at the end of the business day and the suspect was armed each time with a large butcher knife, but they add that the suspect was only able to get away with cash during the first robbery. Investigators describe the suspect as being a white man in his mid-to-late 50's with a scruffy mustache and beard, which may be strawberry-blond or even reddish colored.
If you have any information on either of these crimes, you're urged to call Ashland Police Department's Silent Witness Line at 606-329-1771. Police say you can remain anonymous.
Boyd Co. Couple Arrested on Meth-Making Charges
According to the Ashland Police Department, a man and a woman were arrested Monday and charged with meth-making and child endangerment. Arrested was Jeffrey S. Rowe, 22, and Tianna S. Whitt, 18, both of Ashland. Along with the meth charges, Rowe was also charged with endangerment to a child in the fourth degree and trafficking in marijuana. Police say a 19-month-old child was in the home along Circle Prospect at the time meth was being made. Officers seized methamphetamine, marijuana and about $400 cash. The property had been declared a health hazard and condemned by city of Ashland building inspectors. Both suspects are lodged in the Boyd County Detention Center.
Former Knott County Judge Executive Appeals Conviction
Former Knott County Judge Executive Randy Thompson is appealing his conviction. Court documents we obtained indicate Thompson wants the 2008 conviction to be vacated and to be granted a new trial. Thompson claims he received ineffective assistance of counsel. In December 2012, Thompson reported to federal prison to serve a sentence of 40 months for his vote buying conviction.
Agriculture Commissioner Launches Appalachia Proud to Help Boost Eastern Kentucky
On Monday, State Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, alongside with other State and National leaders from Kentucky, launched a new Kentucky Proud brand designed to revitalize the Eastern Kentucky economy through agriculture in an event today at the Knott County Sportsplex.
Appalachia Proud: Mountains of Potential is a trademarked brand that designates Kentucky Proud products made by producers in 37 Eastern Kentuckian counties. The program includes a set of specific, measurable recommendations for using agriculture to spur economic development and educational achievement in the region. At the event, Commissioner Comer issued a report containing the recommendations and a summary of agricultural activity in each of the 37 counties.
The goal, according to Commissioner Comer, “is to shine a bright light on the existing success stories of Appalachia and to build on them for the next generation of Eastern Kentuckians.” For more information about Appalachia Proud: Mountains of Potential, and to download a copy of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s report on agriculture in eastern Kentucky, go to www.kyproud.com/AppalachiaProud.
Dedication Held at Lawrence County, Ky. Judicial Center
The new judicial center in Lawrence County, Kentucky has had its doors open for a couple of months, but Monday, county and state officials, along with community members, joined to dedicate the new facility. The groundbreaking for the new center in Louisa was held in June 2011. After two and a half years of construction, the facility opened its doors in December 2013. The two story building cost $18 million. It is located on Riverbend Drive. The center houses both the circuit and district courtrooms, as well as judges' offices, the Circuit Clerk's office, holding cells and conference rooms. The new building is also designed to have separate entrances and corridors for prisoners, enhancing safety for the public.
Michigan Woman Charged with Drug Trafficking in Boyd County
Reports from the Boyd County Sheriff's Dept. say they confiscated more than 1,650 oxycodone pills with a street value of more than $60,000 during a routine traffic stop on I-64 near mile marker 187. Deputies say Lesha La- Sean Lewis 22, of Detroit, Michigan was traveling towards Huntington, W.Va via Boyd County Sunday, when officers stopped her. Her vehicle was searched and the drugs where located. Lewis was taken to the Boyd County Jail, charged with trafficking in the first degree. Deputies say Lewis was taking the supply of narcotics to a drug dealer in Huntington. The investigation is continuing at this time.
Floyd Co. Couple Charged with Theft from a Martin Pawn Shop
According to the Floyd Co. Times, a Floyd Co. couple arrested last month and charged with receiving stolen property, after allegedly pawning a stolen 2-carat ring, is now facing theft charges by the pawn shop owner. Carter J. Ritchie, 50, of Martin, and Sheila C. Lee, 65, of Allen, each face a single count of theft by deception, following the complaint filed by Martin Gun and Pawn president Christopher Blevins. The paper reported that in the arrest warrant, Blevins alleges that Ritchie and Lee appeared in his shop Jan. 17 to pawn the ring for $150, then came back the next day to sell it to the pawn shop for an additional $2,500. Court documents indicates the ring allegedly belongs to Emma Billips and is worth around $20,000. Ritchie and Lee were both released without posting any additional bond and they are scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges Wednesday, Feb. 19.
Police Continue Search for Suspects in Recent Robberies
The KSP in Pikeville are continuing their investigating into recent robberies across our portion of Eastern Ky, primarily in Pike and Floyd Counties. A total of four robberies have taken place over the last month. Bella's Gas & Go in the Freeburn community of Pike County has been robbed on two separate occasions. The first on Monday January 13 at 11:59 P.M. by two unidentified males. The second robbery occurred on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 11:48 P.M, also by two unidentified males.
The Fast Lane store located in the Eastern community of Floyd County, was robbed on Tuesday, January 14 at 10:49 P.M. by two males and the MI-DEE Mart in the Lackey community of Floyd County was also robbed on Thursday January 16 by one male intruder. No injuries were reported in any of these incidents. KSP in Pikeville ask that if anyone has any information pertaining to any of these robberies, to please contact Kentucky State Police at 1-800-222-5555 or (606) 433-7711. Callers can remain anonymous.
Ky. Ag Commissioner Reveals 5 Pilot Hemp Projects in the State
Kentucky's agriculture commissioner says the reintroduction of hemp production will start with at least five pilot projects across the state where the crop flourished until being banned for its ties to marijuana. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said Monday he doesn't know how many hemp acres will be planted this year. The new federal farm bill allows state agriculture departments to designate hemp-cultivation pilot projects for research in states that already allow the growing of hemp. Farmers will work with university researchers to study the crop. Central Kentucky farmer Michael Lewis says the size of his hemp crop depends on the availability of seeds. Hemp production was banned by the federal government decades ago. Hemp and marijuana are the same species. Hemp has a negligible content of the psychoactive compound that gives marijuana users a high.
Ky. House Passes Bill to Help Kentucky Preschoolers
The Kentucky House passed a bill aimed at making more preschoolers ready for Kindergarten. The measure would provide additional training for preschool and child-care providers. It also would broaden a rating system to gauge the effectiveness of early childhood programs across the state. The proposal would implement a more than $44 million federal grant that Kentucky won last year to improve early learning programs. The bill now goes to the Senate.
Kentucky’s Exports Breaks Record Again in 2013
Last year's exports have set a record in Kentucky, reaching $25.3 billion in sales of Kentucky-made products and services. Gov. Steve Beshear's office says the total is 14 percent more than 2012 when exports totaled $22.1 billion. Beshear's office says the average export growth rate nationwide was about 2 percent, and Kentucky had the second highest increase in the country. It is the third consecutive year that Kentucky's exports have broken records, and Beshear says demand for Kentucky products is growing rapidly. Aerospace products led Kentucky's export growth with $5.6 billion, followed by motor vehicles and parts with $5.5 billion and synthetic rubber and resin with $1.4 billion. Glass was the export that accounted for the highest percentage increase at nearly 71 percent from the previous year.
LIHEAP Receives Extra Cash
A program helping people pay their heating bills has received extra cash. The low income home energy assistance program has an extra $2.4 million to help people. The high price of propane combined with the harsh winter caused them to run out of money faster than usual. If you need help, you should contact your local community action agency.
Pikeville Man Sentenced on Federal Child Porn Charges
A Pikeville man has been sentenced in federal court to 30 years in federal prison for producing videos of himself engaged in sexually explicit conduct with a small child. In April 2013, a U.S. District Court Grand Jury in Pikeville indicted 63-year-old David Campbell on three counts of producing child porn and two counts of distributing child porn. In October 2013, Campbell pleaded guilty to one count producing child porn as part of a plea agreement.
According to court documents, from March 2012 until March 26, 2013, Campbell produced sexually explicit videos of himself with the victim and then distributed them to others over the internet. Under federal law, Campbell will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.
Greenup Co. Man Busted for Meth
According to the Greenup County Sheriff office, deputies arrested a Greenup Co. man, charging him with manufacturing meth. Sheriff Keith Cooper says Paul David Sergent, 36, of Wutland has been charged with manufacturing meth and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Cooper says not only did deputies find the ingredients for a working meth lab in the back room, but they also found syringes, spoons and tubing for unlawful use. Sergent is being held in the Greenup County Detention Center.
Lee Co. Officials Continue Search for Two Lee Co. Teenagers
Officials in Lee Co. are continuing their search for two teenage girls that have been reported missing for one week. Brittany and Desiree Jewell were last seen the night of February 2nd, at their home in the St. Helens community. Lee Co. Sheriff Wendell Childers says the girls left with very little clothing, taking just a few pictures and other keepsakes. Childers added that Brittany left behind medication she uses for her breathing problems. Police are hoping someone will come forward with information about where the girls went. The Jewells say an argument the night before may have led the two 16-year-olds to run away. Anyone with information about the girls' location is asked to call the Lee County Sheriff's Office at 606-464-4140.
Trial for Man Accused of Killing Mingo Co., W.Va. Sheriff, Postponed
A W.Va judge has indefinitely postponed the trial of a man accused of assassinating Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum in April 2013. According to Cabell County Circuit Judge Paul T. Farrell, he has ordered Tennis Maynard to undergo a mental health evaluation. Defense Attorney Rich Weston says the delay involves Maynard's medical records. Sheriff Crum was fatally shot while eating lunch in a downtown Williamson parking lot. Maynard's trial was set to begin March 4th.
Ky. General Fund Revenues Down in January
Tax collections fell slightly in Kentucky last month, contributing to sluggish overall revenue growth in the first seven months of the fiscal year. State Budget Director Jane Driskell said Monday that General Fund revenues totaled $831.2 million in January, down 0.9 percent from the same month in 2013. Driskell says receipts have grown 0.9 percent for the first seven months of the fiscal year. She says tax collections will have to grow by 3.9 percent in the last five months of the fiscal year to meet the full-year revenue estimate. Sales and use tax receipts were up 0.6 percent last month. Individual income tax collections declined 9.4 percent from a year ago, and corporate income tax receipts fell 28.9 percent. Coal severance tax receipts dropped by 14.3 percent last month.
Bill to Expand Booster Seat Use clears House Panel
A bill to increase the number of Kentucky children required to use vehicle booster seats has cleared its first hurdle in the General Assembly. The measure won approval from the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday. State law now requires child safety seats for any youngsters under age 9 or under 50 inches in height. The bill would broaden the height range to include youngsters up to 59 inches. The bill's sponsor, Democratic Rep. Keith Hall of Phelps, says 32 other states have similar laws, including all of Kentucky's neighbors. The measure cleared the committee on an 18-5 vote.
Sinkhole at Corvette Museum Swallows Eight Cars
A sinkhole developed under the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, swallowing eight cars Wednesday morning. The sinkhole opened up around 6:30 a.m., setting off an alarm. Nobody was inside at the time. Eight cars were swallowed by the hole, including six Corvettes.
The fire department estimated the hole is about 40 feet across and 25 to 30 feet deep. Pictures of the sinkhole show a collapsed section of floor with multiple cars visible inside the hole. A few feet away, other Corvettes sit undamaged and undisturbed. Museum officials said the sinkhole destroyed the following cars:
· 1993 ZR-1 Spyder on loan from General Motors
· 2009 ZR1 "Blue Devil" on loan from General Motors
The other six vehicles were Corvettes owned by the National Corvette Museum:
· 1962 Black Corvette
· 1984 PPG Pace Car
· 1992 White 1 Millionth Corvette
· 1993 Ruby Red 40th Anniversary Corvette
· 2001 Mallett Hammer Z06 Corvette
· 2009 White 1.5 Millionth Corvette
The hole is in a part of the domed section of the museum that was completed in 1994. That area will remain closed, but the rest of the museum will be open Wednesday, officials said. Structural engineers were called out to the scene to assess the damage, the stability of surrounding areas, and find out exactly what happened. It appears this incident is the first of its kind at the property. The museum is set to host the 2014 Corvette Caravan in September, a celebration marking the 20th anniversary of the museum. Officials said they look forward to re-opening the Skydome exhibit area very soon.
Minutes from the Johnson County Fiscal Court Meeting 2-10-2014
The Johnson Co. Fiscal Ct. met in regular session Monday, February 11 @ 4:30 pm in the meeting room of the Johnson Co. Courthouse in downtown Paintsville. Several items were listed on the agenda to discuss on the evening. The meeting began in normal fashion with the Pledge of Allegiance, the approval of the minutes from the previous meeting on January 13, 2014, the approval to pay the monthly bills and the approval to transfer $40,000 from the general fund to the jail fund and $7,612.98 from Natural resources to 4910 Road and Bridge Department.
Next the court heard the second reading of the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Dept. FY 2014 budget on a line item to line item basis, which was approved. The court also heard from Tim Spencer with the District 12 State Hwy Department, Rural Secondary Program. Mr. Spencer was present to report to the court about the amount of money Johnson Co. would receive from the State. A total of $1,314,414 for general funding to Johnson Co. Broken down, $556.000 will go for maintaining the counties current road system and $626,927 would go to four (4) road projects.
Next the court approved the Clerk’s Quarterly report and County Clerk Sallie Holbrook presented the court with a check in the amount of $135,286.30, which is the 2013 end of the year excess fees. The court also approved the transfer of $7000 for reimbursement to the clerk’s budget. Also approved was an amendment to the Sheriff’s Dept. for the addition of $1499.89 for unbudgeted receipts from a UNITE mini-grant.
Judge Daniel then gave an update on the Senior Citizens Center new fifteen (15) passenger van that will be used for the center’s transportation needs and Judge Daniel told the court that the county had also given each Fire Department in the county their yearly $3000 contribution to help purchase equipment or other needs of the department. The meeting ended with Judge Daniel and the court offering their congratulations to Blake Gambill, a member of the Johnson Co. Middle School Wrestling team, who recently won the Middle School State Championship in the 140lb weight division. Blake was also presented the counties highest honor, as a “Good Ole Boy” certificate. With nothing further to discuss, the meeting adjourned.
Johnson Co. Fire Crews Busy for a Second Day with 2 Structure Fires
Tuesday started off busy once again for members of various Johnson Co. fire departments. At around 8:50 AM Tuesday morning, Paintsville/Johnson Co. 911 received a call of a possible structure fire located off Rt. 460 on Lower Twin Branch. The caller told dispatchers that they could see smoke coming from the roof area of her neighbor’s trailer. Members of Rockhouse Fire and Rescue were called to the scene and as they arrived, they found smoke coming from both sides of the trailer near the center of the roof. Firefighters battled the fire for nearly an hour and a half before they were able to contain the fire. Reports indicate that the trailer suffered smoke and water damage and of course damage to the roof, but the structure was not a complete loss and no injuries were reported. Offering mutual aid at the scene were members of W.R. Castle Fire and Rescue. There has not been an official cause of the fire released at this time.
Another structure fire was reported on Tuesday morning, this time just off Rt 40 East, up Dicey Fork Rd. along Boat Gunnel Branch. Members of the Thelma Fire Department were called to this scene and upon arrival discovered heavy smoke coming from a residence. Fire crews fought with the blaze for nearly an hour and half before the fire was contained. According to reports, the structure suffered moderate fire damage, as well as smoke and water damage. No injuries were reported with this fire and the cause was thought to be electrical in nature. No further information has been made available at this time. Offering mutual aid at this scene were members of the Paintsville Fire Dept. and West Van Lear Fire Dept.
Fire Destroys a Martin Co. Home
According to the website, the Mountain Wolf, the Warfield VFD were called to the scene of a structure fire at around 11 PM Monday evening at 4720 N. Wolf Creek Rd. When firefighters arrived at the home, the structure was already fully engulfed. Although this home was a total loss, firefighters continued to battle the fire to keep it from spreading to other homes nearby. It’s not known how this fire started, but reports indicate it might have started in the center of the mobile home, on the back side.
Officials Investigating Train Derailment in Greenup County
Emergency crews in Greenup Co. were busy late Monday evening in the South Shore area along U.S. 23, as a train derailed off the tracks. Officials say the incident occurred around 8:45 p.m. when five railroad cars went off the tracks, but did not overturn. Four of the cars reportedly were carrying ethanol and another car was empty.
The CSX southbound train never tipped over and never leaked ethanol, that’s according to HazMat crews who were called to the scene. The cause of the derailment is unknown at this time, but temperature extremes could have possibly played a role. No injuries were reported and transportation officials are continuing to investigate this incident.
Bill Keeps Landlords from Liability in Dog Attacks
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Landlords who live on their own property would not be financially liable for a tenant's dog if it attacks another person under a bill passed by the Kentucky Senate. Republican Sen. Chris Girdler of Somerset called the bill an effort to reinforce personal responsibility and protect small-business owners. Senate Democrats express concerns that public health services like Medicaid would have to pay for medical costs in the event of a dog bite. They offered an amendment requiring insurance coverage by either the landlord or tenant in the event of an attack. The bill passed 29-8 Monday without the amendment. It now moves to the House for consideration.
Ky. House Passes Coal-Counties Scholarship Bill
FRANKFORT, Kentucky (AP) - The Kentucky House has voted to expand a scholarship program for students in the state's coal regions. House members voted 92-0 Monday to send the bill to the Senate. The measure is aimed at increasing the number of people achieving four-year college degrees in the eastern and western Kentucky coalfields. The scholarships would be awarded to students who, for the most part, attend four-year college campuses in coal counties, in hopes they stay there after getting their degrees.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo says coalfield counties in eastern Kentucky lag behind other parts of the state in the percentage of its residents with four-year college degrees. The measure seeks to make permanent a pilot project. The scholarships are funded with coal severance tax money.
Johnson Co. Man Killed in Afghanistan While Serving in Military
A 21-year-old Johnson Co. native, Joshua Gray was killed recently, while serving in the military in Afghanistan. “Josh” was a 2011 graduate of Johnson Central. There has been no information released at this time on how he was killed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his surviving family and friends.