Perry County Woman Arrested after Cutting another Woman's Neck
Reports out of Perry Co say a woman was arrested over the weekend after puncturing another woman's throat in an altercation. Police say the incident happened around 2:30 am Saturday morning along a surface mining road in the George's Branch community of Perry Co. The victim is identified as Sonya Caudill, age 25 of Viper, KY. She was taken to the Hazard ARH Emergency Room with a puncture wound to her neck after being involved in an altercation with Betty Jo Fields, age 25 also of Viper. Police found Fields walking along South Kentucky Highway 15 in the Happy Community of Perry County when they made the arrest. The motive for the attack is not know at this time and Fields has been charged with Assault First Degree.
KSP Investigating Farming Accident in Rowan Co.
According to a news release from the KSP in Morehead, on July 4th, 2014 at 1438 hours Kentucky State Police Morehead received a call from Rowan County Coroner John Northcutt in reference to a farming accident. Lonnie Curtis Davis, 47 of Morehead, Kentucky was operating a farm tractor on private property at 4255 Bullfork Road in Morehead when the tractor flipped and pinned him underneath. Family was notified on scene by Rowan County Coroner John Northcutt. Trooper Keith Howard, Trooper Michael Armstrong, Detective David Zimmerman, and Sergeant Brian Evans, responded to the scene. Incident remains under investigation by Detective David Zimmerman.
Ashland Man Charged with Manslaughter in Ashland Motel Death
An Ashland man is wanted by police for in connection with the death of a man whose body was found last month in a motel room in the on Winchester Avenue in Ashland. Joe Bentley, 52, is wanted on first-degree manslaughter charges for the death of Russell Chandler, who is also 52. Chandler's body was found June 21 in a room at the Bluegrass Inn in Ashland. Police say Bentley is on the run and described as 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. If you have any information about where Bentley may be, you're asked to call your local 911 center or Kentucky State Police Post 14.
One Dead, Two Injured Following a Crash in Breathitt Co
Officials in Breathitt Co. say one man was killed and two others injured following a Breathitt County crash over the Fourth of July Holiday. Police say 47 year old Felix Randolph White died at the Pikeville Medical Center as a result of his injuries. White was the passenger in a vehicle driven by Jordan White age 20. Reports indicate Jordan White lost control of his car, hit a tree, then flipped and landed on the roof. The accident happened on Miller Branch Barwick Road near the Alto Community in Breathitt Co. around 3:30 p.m. Thursday. Felix White and Jordan White were both flown to Pikeville Medical Center, were Felix White died. Another passenger, 19 year old Ashley Harold was taken to Hazard ARH. The extent of Jordan White’s or Harold’s injuries have not been released. Police are continuing to investigate the cause of this accident.
Ashland Man Arraigned in Shaken Baby Case
The 20-year-old man arrested for what police say is a case of Shaken Baby Syndrome was in court last week. Joseph W. Blankenship, of Ashland, has been charged with Criminal Abuse of a child less than 12 years of age. Blankenship was arraigned on the charge during a hearing in Boyd District Court. Blankenship entered a not guilty plea and had his bond was set at $10,000. Ashland Police says Blankenship admitted to shaking his girlfriend's 2-month-old son while babysitting. Police said he told them the baby was crying and wouldn't stop. Investigators said the mother was at work when it happened. The baby remains in critical condition. Blankenship remains in the Boyd County Detention Center.
New State Laws go into Effect Soon
New state laws, approved during the Kentucky General Assembly's 2014 regular session, will go into effect on July 15. That means victims of domestic violence who want concealed carry permits for protection will find them easier to obtain. Adult care employers will soon be able to check a new adult abuse registry to see if prospective employees are listed. And some Kentucky nurses will have broader prescription writing authority.
The state constitution specifies that new laws take effect 90 days after the adjournment of the legislature, except for general appropriation measures and those containing emergency or delayed effective date provisions. (For example, a bill to prevent electronic cigarettes from being sold to children contained an emergency clause that allowed the measure to take effect as soon as it was signed into law on April 10.) The General Assembly’s 2014 session adjourned on April 15, making July 15 the day that most laws will take effect.
Laws taking effect that day include measures the following topics:
* Acupuncture. Senate Bill 29 will require acupuncturists to be licensed.
* Adult protection. SB 98 will create an adult abuse registry to help employers in the adult care profession determine if a prospective employee has a previous history of substantiated adult abuse, neglect or exploitation.
* All-Terrain vehicles. House Bill 260 will allow an ATV operator 16 years of age or older to cross a public roadway if the speed limit is 45 miles per hour or less without protective headgear in order to get from one ATV trail to another.
* Boaters. SB 66, known as the “Boater Freedom Act,” will require boating enforcement officers to have a reasonable suspicion of violation of the state’s boating laws before boarding and inspecting a boat on Kentucky waterways.
* Bullying. SB 20 will designate October as Anti-Bullying Month and a purple and yellow ribbon as the symbol for anti-bullying awareness. The bill was the idea of students at Madison Middle School in Richmond.
* Child abuse. HB 157 will require more training for doctors on recognizing and preventing abusive head trauma among children.
* Concealed weapons. HB 128 will allow anyone who has been granted an emergency protective or domestic violence order to receive a provisional concealed carry permit in one business day. The petitioners would undergo the same background checks and application requirements as other applicants but would have up to 45 days to complete the necessary training for a full concealed carry license.
* Consumer protection. HB 232 requires businesses and other entities to notify consumers if a security breach might have resulted in the unauthorized acquisition of consumers’ personal or financial information.
* Diabetes. HB 98 will allow school staff trained by health professionals to assist diabetic students with insulin administration.
* Driver safety. HB 90 will require parents or guardians to make a court appearance when a driver under 18 is cited for a traffic violation.
* Ethics. HB 28 will tighten legislative ethics rules to prevent a lobbyist from buying food or drink for an individual legislator. It will also prevent interest groups from paying for lawmakers’ out-of-state travel and prohibits legislators and legislative candidates from accepting campaign contributions during General Assembly sessions from political action committees or organizations that employee lobbyists.
* Health care. SB 7 will broaden the prescribing authority of Advanced Practice Registered Nurses.
* Human trafficking. SB 184 will allow a person’s record to be cleared of a non-violent offense if a judge determines the offense resulted from being a victim of human trafficking.
* Invasive plants. SB 170 will update and expand the state’s list of invasive and noxious plants, such as kudzu and poison hemlock, targeted for eradication from roadsides and public right-of-ways.
* Jobs retention. HB 396 expands eligibility for Kentucky Jobs Retention Act benefits to include manufacturers of appliances. The legislation is expected to help GE invest up to $325 million in its Appliance Park operations in Louisville.
* Newborn health. SB 47 will require periodic reporting of health statistics relating to drug-addicted or dependent newborns.
* Road plan. HB 237 outlines the state’s $5.2 billion plan for road and bridge projects throughout the state for the next two fiscal years.
* State parks. HB 475 will allow residents near state park lodges and golf courses in counties where alcohol sales currently aren’t allowed to vote on whether by-the-drink alcohol sales should be allowed at the facilities.
* Tax zappers. HB 69 would make it a Class D felony to possess a “tax zapper,” a device that could be used on a computerized cash register to help a retailer hide sales subject to tax from tax collectors.
* Veterans. HB 337 will make it easier for veterans with applicable military experience to become licensed as an HVAC professional.
* Voyeurism. SB 225 will update the state’s voyeurism laws to outlaw a practice called “up-skirting” in which a cell phone is used to take pictures underneath a woman’s skirt without her consent.
* Wineries. SB 213 will allow Sunday alcohol sales at small farm wineries if authorized by a fiscal court vote or a local option election.Floyd Co.
Officials to Unveil Bus Crash Memorial
In February 1958, the worst bus accident in United States history took place in Floyd Co. Bus number 27 was headed towards Prestonsburg with 48 elementary and high school students on board, 26 of those students and their driver, died after their school bus plunged into the cold, muddy water of the Big Sandy River. More than 50 years after that tragic day, Floyd County Emergency and Rescue Squad are getting set to unveil a new memorial statue in the victims honor. 27 bricks will hang on the wall at the new swift-water rescue training center. The Floyd County Emergency and Rescue Squad formed right after the crash and was the first of its kind in Kentucky. The unveiling ceremony for the new memorial statue will be held during the building dedication for the new Alexander-Goble-Willis Rescue Training Center on August 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Everyone involved said they are trying to turn possibly the worst day in Floyd County's history into something positive.
State Animal Control Board Offering Funding For Animal Shelter Construction or Improvement
Fire Destroys Trucking Business in Floyd County
Fire crews from several fire departments in Floyd Co. were on scene Wednesday afternoon and evening, fighting a fire that eventually destroyed a trucking business. Officials say that nearly 70 firefighters from 13 departments responded to the blaze at Worldwide Equipment, located off of Ky. 1428, that’s according to Prestonsburg Fire Chief Bobby Carpenter. "The humidity, the heat, accessibility, and water supply was a major issue in this fire," Carpenter would add. The fire was reported about 4 p.m. Wednesday and officials think the fire may have started on the second floor attic of the building, which became unstable as fire spread through the ceiling. Chief Carpenter said the ceiling started to cave in early during the fire, forcing crews to evacuate and take a defensive stance. He said it was too dangerous for firefighters to stay inside. Prestonsburg city officials say there hasn't been such a large commercial fire such as this, since the mid-80s when a commercial lumber company burned. Fire crews stayed at the scene for several hours Wednesday and into early Thursday and will be back at the scene today, investigating what might have caused such a devastating fire.
New Allegations in Vote Buying Case in a Floyd Co. City
According to the Floyd Co Times, there has been new allegations of vote-buying in the city of Martin in Floyd Co, following a federal indictment. The indictment was handed down last week by a federal grand jury against Ray D. Hagans, charging him with one count each of false testimony and accepting payment for voting. Hagans allegedly lied while under oath, testifying in the vote-buying trial of former Martin Mayor Ruth Thomasine Robinson and four others.
Hagans allegedly lied when he made the statement, “Mr. Howell and Mr. Castle did come over to my house one time and offered me money to vote for [then-candidate and current Martin Mayor] Sam [Howell].” Hagans had previously made a written statement to authorities that Howell gave him $40 to vote him in the Martin mayor’s race and told him that he could keep his job with the city. He further alleged that Anthony Castle paid him another $50 to vote and campaign for Howell.
Floyd Co. Times says the indictment says Hagans knew those statements were false, “in that he had not taken money from Sam Howell or Anthony Castle to vote,” but the second count of the indictment alleges that, in weeks leading up to the Martin mayor’s election, Hagans did accept payment to vote, and further states that the payment was made by “S.H. and A.C.” Hagans has been ordered to appear July 21 in U.S. District Court.
Lawrence Co. Man Pleads Not Guilty to Variety of Charges
A Lawrence County, man, who pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and kidnapping, is expected to face the death penalty once prosecutors file notice with the court. Aaron Uhlmann, 41, of Webbville is facing charges of murder and kidnapping of his wife Jennifer Priddy, 54. Uhlmann was arrested by Lawrence Co. deputies in Carter County on December 20, 2013 after investigators in Lawrence County say he called 911 telling them he had beaten his wife.
Jennifer Priddy, 54, died at an area Hospital on March 11. Investigators say she was tied up and beaten by Uhlmann to the point where she suffered head injuries. Uhlmann remains in the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center, awaiting trial.
Floyd Co. Woman Sentenced to 2 Years for Disability Fraud
U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar has sentenced the first of three Floyd Co. residents, convicted of Social Security disability fraud. Ginger Michelle Halbert Stumbo received the most lenient sentence possible, based on her cooperation with authorities and lack of a criminal record. Stumbo pleaded guilty Feb. 21 to conspiracy, federal program fraud and aggravated identity theft. In return for her guilty plea, prosecutors dismissed six counts of Social Security fraud, as well as a conspiracy charge in an unrelated vote-buying case.
Judge Thapar sentenced Stumbo to a statutory mandated 24 months on the identity theft charge and a total of one day for the conspiracy and fraud charges, after noting her cooperation with authorities. In addition, Thapar also ordered that Stumbo be held jointly and severally liable, along with the other defendents (former Martin Mayor Ruth Thomasine Robinson and Rita Whicker), for repaying $176,949.71 in restitution. Robinson and Whicker took their cases to trial and were convicted on all counts.
According to the indictment against the women, Robinson and Whicker conspired with Stumbo to hire her as a city employee, while writing her paychecks in her son’s name, so Stumbo could continue drawing disability benefits.
Ashland Man Arraigned in Shaken Baby Case
The 20-year-old man arrested for what police say is a case of Shaken Baby Syndrome was in court Wednesday morning. Joseph W. Blankenship, of Ashland, has been charged with Criminal Abuse of a child less than 12 years of age. Blankenship was arraigned on the charge during a hearing in Boyd District Court. Blankenship entered a not guilty plea and had his bond was set at $10,000. Ashland Police says Blankenship admitted to shaking his girlfriend's 2-month-old son while babysitting. Police said he told them the baby was crying and wouldn't stop. Investigators said the mother was at work when it happened. The baby remains in critical condition. Blankenship remains in the Boyd County Detention Center.
Road Projects Delayed Because of Federal Shortfall
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says the state has postponed $185 million worth of construction projects because of a looming shortfall in the federal Highway Trust Fund. The delayed projects include the widening of Interstate 65 and various highway repaving projects. Beshear blamed Congress for the shortfall and said he hopes they can pass a bill fixing the problem so the projects can begin this fall. Kentucky receives about $650 million each year from the federal Highway Trust Fund. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx appeared at a news conference with Beshear on Wednesday at the Capitol and said unless Congress acts, states can expect cuts of 28 percent on average. Foxx said Congress could make up the shortfall by taxing overseas profits of American corporations. But Republican lawmakers oppose that idea because it would raise taxes.
State Animal Control Board Offering Funding For Animal Shelter Construction or Improvement
The Kentucky Animal Control Advisory Board (ACAB) is seeking applications for grants for animal shelter construction and improvement projects. Applicants will compete for $60,000 in grant funds. Twenty percent of the total project cost must be contributed locally. Contributions may include cash, land, and/or labor. Only county or urban-county governments may apply. An application may be submitted by one county or by multiple counties under one application. The proposed project must be on land owned by the applicant government and must be completed within one year of receipt of grant funds.
KSP Increasing Patrols During Fourth Of July Holiday
Kentuckians will see increased patrols beginning Wednesday, July 2, as troopers prepare for a busy July fourth holiday travel weekend. As part of the ‘Blue Lights Across the Bluegrass' safe driving campaign, troopers will be maximizing their efforts to save lives by arresting impaired drivers, ticketing speeders and enforcing the seat belt law.*
With this increased enforcement effort, KSP troopers will be conducting saturation patrols and safety checkpoints across the state. You'll see more troopers on the road and enforcement will be stringent. Impaired drivers will be arrested and motorists exceeding posted speed limits or not using seat belts will be ticketed. Citizens can help save lives by reporting impaired, erratic or speeding drivers to the KSP toll-free hotline at 1-800-222-5555. Callers will remain anonymous and should provide a description of the vehicle, location, direction of travel and license number if possible.
4th of July Fireworks Displays/Activities
Paintsville – Thursday, July 4:
Free Swimming at Paintsville Pool begging @ 6 PM until Fireworks show @ 10 PM. Fun inflatables, music and food will also be available on Escom Chandler City Park, which is near the city pool.
Magoffin Judge Exec. “Doc” Hardin Appeals Recount Judgment
Magoffin County Judge Executive and candidate in the democratic judge executive primary race, Dr. Charles Hardin, has filed a notice of appeal, after Judge Kim Childers filed documents that H.B. Arnett won the May 2014 Democratic Primary for Magoffin Co. Judge Executive over Hardin. According to the Salyersville Independent, Judge Kim Childers filed a document on Thursday, June 19, stating that on Election night and in the recanvass, the election results as reported by the Magoffin County Board of Elections indicated 2,019 votes for Charles "Doc" Hardin and 2,022 votes for Haden "H.B." Arnett.
Within the findings of facts and conclusions , Childers reiterated what happened during the recount, held in court on June 13, stating the results from the voting machines of the various precincts, as well as the absentee voting machine, were all consistent with the original and recanvass totals for the judge executive primary race. Judge Childers says the court cannot direct the Magoffin County Board of Elections to issue a certificate of nomination due to the difference in the absentee vote count between the initial count on election night and the statutory recount conducted by the Court.
On Monday, June 23, attorneys James Deckard and Eldred Adams, representing Hardin, filed a notice of appeal to the Kentucky Court of Appeals from the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and judgment. Without the recount results certified, currently Arnett is the democrat nominee for judge executive, as certified by the Magoffin County Board of Elections. The election materials are in the custody of Kentucky State Police.
Floyd County Man Found Guilty of Murder and Criminal Abuse
Floyd Co. jurors reached a verdict last week in the trial of Jason Dickerson, convicting him in the death of Watson Adkins. Prosecutors say Dickerson and his wife Gladys are responsible for the 2011 death of their two-year-old nephew Watson. Jason Dickerson was found guilty of murder and four counts of criminal abuse. Prosecutors maintained throughout the case Dickerson's nephew Watson Adkins died from internal injuries caused by repeated beatings. The jury recommended a life sentence for the murder of Watson Adkins, as well as a total of 40 years for four counts of criminal abuse. Jason Dickerson will be formally sentenced July 31st. Gladys Dickerson will go on trial at a later date.
Investigation Underway into Stolen Farm Equipment in Knott County
According to the KSP, thousands of dollars in farm equipment is missing from a farm in Knott County. Reports indicate thieves stole 3 walk-behind Gravely Model L tractors from Charlie Maggard's garden on Hollybush Road in Knott Co. Police say someone cut the heavy chains that tied the tractors together and took off with them. The owner of the stolen equipment is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the stolen items. KSP asked that if anyone has any information about the theft, contact Kentucky State Police.
Letcher Co. Deputies make BIG Drug Bust
Police in Letcher Co. say they have made the biggest drug bust in that county, $50,000 worth to be exact. Letcher County Sheriff Danny Webb said they had received several reports of drug activity at a residence and upon arrival on Sunday at that home, discovered drugs and synthetic drugs. Deputies arrested Russell Peaks and Lawrence Sexton in connection with the bust. Peaks has been charged with being a fugitive from another state, according to an arrest citation and Sexton is facing one count each of possession of controlled substance in the 2nd degree, possession of synthetic drugs, and buying or possessing drug paraphernalia, according to another arrest citation. The Letcher Co. Sheriff’s Dept. is continuing to investigate this case and say more arrest are possible.
Hot Summer Temperatures Put Pets in Peril
FRANKFORT, Ky. - Dogs left in hot cars are an all too common summertime sight. Animal experts say it's extremely dangerous for animals, and could land their owners in hot water. Courtney Thomas, president and CEO of Great Plains Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said animals left in cars can suffer heatstroke within minutes. Temperatures can soar inside a vehicle, even with the windows cracked. "The side effects of that can ultimately result in the death of the pet," said Thomas. "Other neurological and sometimes permanent situations can arise as well." Signs of heatstroke in animals include panting and seizures. Thomas said it's critical to get an overheated animal to a veterinarian as quickly as possible, and to cool them down on the way. She recommended cold, but not icy, water and compresses. Under Kentucky law, it's illegal to leave a child under the age of eight unattended in a motor vehicle. But there are no such laws pertaining to pets. But, the state driver's manual warns that a pet's life can be threatened by leaving it unattended in a hot car. Thomas agrees. "You may park your car in what you believe to be the shade," said Thomas. "By the time you get out of the store, your dog or cat may be sitting in direct sunlight. You wouldn't leave a child in the car, and pet owners really shouldn't do it with their pets." Thomas added it's important to ensure animals have access to water in the summer, as their body temperatures naturally run high. That makes them particularly susceptible to heat-related issues.
Police Issue Alert on Home Improvement Scams
State Police have issued an alert about home improvement scams. Police say they've been receiving many complaints about these scams, many of them involving unsolicited contractors who show up at your home, claiming it needs repairs. Police say you should never agree to have work done on the spot. They also suggest getting at least two written estimates from different contractors. They say you should never pay with cash and don't make a final payment until the job is finished.
BSCTC Launches Fall Enrollment Blitz
Big Sandy Community and Technical College has launched a Fall Enrollment Blitz for prospective students, featuring the website (www.go4less.bigsandy.org). On the site, students can complete an inquiry form and be entered to win an ipad air. BSCTC offers 27 programs and more than 200 credentials. The college's Go2Transfer program allows for easy transfer of credits to four year universities, while its Go2Work program allows students to earn industry-leading credentials in high-wage, high demand fields in two years or less. BSCTC will hold registration for the fall semester on August 11-12 from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm each day on all of its campuses. For more information visit www.bigsandy.kctcs.edu.