LOCAL NEWS

Local News 7-18-2014

Drug Round-Up in Johnson Co. Nets Several Arrest

The Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office conducted another drug round-up Thursday morning, as efforts continue to get drug users and dealers out of Johnson County. According to the Sheriff’s Office, a total of 10 people were indicted by a grand jury that were wanted in this round-up and as of news time, 8 of those 10 were arrested Thursday. Sheriff Dwayne Price says there are some new names in this roundup as well as some repeat offenders, but he says these roundups are important to keep sending the message that drugs will not be tolerated in Johnson Co. and you will continue to see these drug round-ups. The following is a list of those people arrested on Thursday.

- Brandon Bolden
- Brandie Gibson
- Mary Shaina Kestner
- John F. King, Jr.
- Michael Walters
- Melissa A. Tackett
- James Fredrick Blanton
- Charlene Flannery Hensley

Police Continue Search for Robbery Suspect Who Robbed a Prestonsburg Business

Police in Prestonsburg again is asking the public for their help in locating a suspect wanted in connection with continuing a robbery that took place at the Skeans Marathon @ Bull Creek in Floyd Co. Police Chief Mike Omerod said the robbery took place Sunday morning at around 3:30 a.m. A male entered the business and demanded money from the female cashier, who complied with the intruder demand with an undisclosed amount of cash. The female cashier t old police that the man said he had a weapon, but Chief Omerod didn’t think he showed it. After receiving the cash, the robber fled the scene on foot towards Town Branch Road in Prestonsburg. The man was described as average height, last seen wearing black pants, a black mask, and a black sweatshirt with a white skeletal design.

If anyone has any information pertaining to this robbery, Chief Omerod said to please contact the Prestonsburg Police Department at 606-886-1010. The owners of Skeans Marathon is offering a reward in the amount of $5000.00 for information leading to the arrest, conviction and subsequent incarceration of this individual. No one was injured during this robbery.

Sentencing Delayed for a Former Eastern Ky. Mayor, Daughter

The sentencing hearing for a former Eastern Ky mayor and her daughter, has been delayed until later this year. Earlier this year, Ruth Thomasine Robinson, 69 and her daughter, Christine Whicker, 42, were both found guilty on several counts of Social Security fraud, which is a Federal offense. The new sentencing date has been set for October 7 in U.S. District Court in Pikeville, according to court officials. Robinson will also be sentenced on that day for an unrelated federal vote-buying conviction. According to WSAZ, the delay is over how much in restitution the mother and daughter will be required to repay.

Robinson and Whicker were convicted on eight separate counts, including conspiracy, federal program fraud, theft of social security disability benefits and aggravated identity theft. From 2006 until January 2013, Halbert was purportedly working on a volunteer basis, but was secretly being paid with federal funds. Reports indicate that the funds used to pay Halbert were intended for the Martin Community Center and the Martin Housing Authority. To conceal the scheme, the defendants allegedly arranged for the checks to be made payable to Halbert’s son.

All charges against another suspect, Ethel Clouse were dismissed in a motion by the U.S. Attorney and a fourth co-defendant, Ginger Halbert pleaded guilty to conspiracy, federal program fraud and aggravated identity theft and was sentenced to two years and one day last month. Whicker was the former director of the Martin Community Center. Halbert was a volunteer city employee. The four were indicted in October 2013.

Perry Co. Man Arrested/Charged with Indecent Exposure

According to a Floyd Co Times report, a Perry County man was arrested earlier this week in Prestonsburg, following claims by two women that he exposed himself at a local business. Larry Orosz, 52, of Combs in Perry Co. was arrested and charged with second-degree disorderly conduct, fourth-degree assault, second-degree indecent exposure and alcohol intoxication. The assault charge was recently amended to a menacing charge.

According to the Prestonsburg Police citation, one woman alleged that Orosz pinned her between two cars in the Wal-Mart parking lot and “exposed his private part to her,” while a second woman alleged that when she walked past his vehicle, he got out and exposed himself to her as well. The paper said Officer George Tussey said Orosz explained to him that the exposure was accidental, because he had a hole in his pants and the underwear he was wearing underneath were too small. Upon search of Orosz’s vehicle, police say they discovered an undisclosed number of women’s panties. Orosz was arrested and lodged in the Floyd County Detention Center under a $5,000 partially-secured bond. He is next scheduled to appear in court Aug. 26.

Governor Signs Order to Plug $91 Million Budget Shortfall

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has signed an order to plug a $91 million hole in Kentucky's $9.5 billion state budget. State officials announced the shortfall last week following sluggish collections on state income taxes. Beshear's order Wednesday cuts just $3 million in state spending. Beshear made up the rest by transferring money from other sources, including $21.2 million from the state's reserves. State officials said they had few options to make up the deficit because the shortfall came at the end of the fiscal year when most of the money had already been spent. Beshear's order also dealt with a $22.1 million shortfall in the state's road fund, with just $300,000 in cuts to construction projects. This was the 14th budget reduction Beshear has implemented since taking office in 2007.    

Operation School Shoe (O.S.S) this Saturday

Operation School Shoe will be held this tomorrow (Saturday), July 19th from 10:00 am -3:00 pm at the Paintsville Recreation Center. Operation School Shoe provides back to school shoes to Johnson County/Paintsville students who are in need. The student must be a student in Johnson County or Paintsville Independent schools and must be present & fit for their shoe by O.S.S volunteers. O.S.S is sponsored by Local churches, businesses, and private donations. For further information please call (270)-505-5487

 

Local News 7-17-2014

Identity Released of Woman Killed in a Magoffin Co. Crash

The identity of a woman killed in a Monday morning accident on the Mtn. Parkway in Magoffin Co. has been released. Kentucky State Police identified the woman as Christy Mullins, 34, of Pikeville. Police say Mullins was a passenger in a car that hit head-on with a semi around 11 A.M Monday. She was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Magoffin Co. Coroner’s Office. Troopers say the driver of the vehicle Mullins was driving in, lost control in a steep right curve and crossed into the eastbound lane, hitting the semi head-on. The driver of the car, Merion Phillips, from West Liberty, is listed in critical condition at Pikeville Medical Center. The driver of the semi was treated at the scene. The KSP is continuing to investigate this incident.

Police Continue Search for Robbery Suspect Who Robbed a Prestonsburg Business

Prestonsburg Police are continuing to investigate a robbery that took place at the Skeans Marathon @ Bull Creek in Floyd Co. According to Police Chief Mike Omerod, at 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning a male entered the business and demanded money from the cashier. The man indicated that he had a weapon, but never showed the cashier. The female cashier complied with the intruder as per store policy and gave an unknown amount of money to the man, who then fled the store on foot towards Town Branch Road in Prestonsburg. No one was injured during the robbery. The man was described as average height, last seen wearing black pants, a black mask, and a black sweatshirt with a white skeletal design.

Chief Omerod said his department is investigating this robbery and ask that if anyone has any information pertaining to this robbery, to please contact the Prestonsburg Police Department at 606-886-1010. The owners of Skeans Marathon is offering a reward in the amount of $5000.00 for information leading to the arrest, conviction and subsequent incarceration of this individual.

Johnson Co. Man’s Motion for Bond Reduction Denied

A Johnson Co. man charged with murder in the death of a Sitka woman, has been denied his request to reduce his $300,000 cash bond. Circuit Judge Kimberly Childers, said Gary Ward, 37, of Meally, will remain behind bars, awaiting his trial of allegedly murdering Christina Barnett, 34, and abusing her corpse. Ward has also been charged with tampering with physical evidence. Ward was by the KSP back in October 2013.

Christina Barnett was last seen on Sept 18, 2013 when she told family members she was traveling to the London, Ky area with a man, but she never returned. On September 25, family and friends were searching along Rt. 80 in Knott County, when they found a decomposed body over a hill that would later be positively identified as Christina Barnett. Ward remains lodged in the Kentucky River Regional Jail in Hazard.

HRMC Management/Employee Union Reps Back at the Bargaining Table

On Friday, Union workers at Highlands Regional Medical Center, ‘overwhelmingly’ rejected the latest proposed contract offered by HRMC management. Service Employees International Union 1199 director Joyce Gibson said the decision not to call a strike last week, was made to keep the two sides talking, in an effort to avoid a work stoppage that neither side wants. Union negotiators are expected to return back to the bargaining table today (Thursday, July 17) with HRMC management, to try and hammer out a final offer. If workers again reject a contract the following day, Gibson said the union would likely issue a 10-day strike notice at that time. This notice is required by law, even though the current contract ends July 19. She said workers would simply work without a contract during the notice.

The primary source of contention is over employee health insurance, in particular coverage for spouses. Under the current contract, the hospital provides coverage to employees and their spouses. However, when negotiations began on a new contract over a month ago, the hospital sought to end coverage for spouses. According to the Floyd Co. Times, HRMC President and CEO Harold “Bud” Warman justified the cuts by saying in a statement released last week that Highlands is trying to deal with recent changes in the health care system that have put a squeeze on small community hospitals. Again the two sides will be back in discussions today in Paintsville.

Pikeville Airport Moves Closer to Getting Planes in the Air

A consultant says Appalachian Air has cleared another hurdle and can start working toward flying in and out of Pikeville. According to Luke Schmidt, who is an advisor for the new airport, said the Pikeville-Pike County Airport won't need a certification from the federal government before allowing the airline to start flying, however the Transportation Security Administration still must approve the airport's plan and security measures. Schmidt says until that approval comes through, there's no way to know when Appalachian Air can start flying, but he hopes for TSA approval within the next month.

State Auditor holds public hearings on fiscal health of rural hospitals

State Auditor, Adam Edelen, was in Prestonsburg Tuesday discussing small rural hospital networks. He says he believes folks in rural areas should have the same access to healthcare as those in more urban areas. However, with recent changes to healthcare laws and regulations ... some say it is tougher than ever to survive. Auditor Edelen says small hospitals are critical to their communities. "Rural hospitals aren't only primary drivers of healthcare in our communities, they tend to be some of our largest employers and tend to be our leading corporate citizens. So, you can't overstate the importance of rural hospitals to the communities they serve," explains Edelen. However, he says rural hospitals are in crisis which is why he is holding ten public hearings listening to challenges providers are facing. Edelen says it is his job to evaluate how efficiently public dollars are spent.

Labor Department Grant to Assist Unemployed

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky is getting more than $6 million from the federal government to help people who have been out of work for a long time. Gov. Steve Beshear's office says the Job-Driven National Emergency Grant from the U.S. Labor Department will be used to create and expand job-driven training programs for laid-off workers. The state intends to use the funds to provide services such as on-the-job training, customized training and apprenticeships. Funding will also be used for coaching, counseling and direct job placement to help connect laid-off workers with jobs. The state also plans to use the grant to further develop and strengthen partnerships between workforce and industry organizations and align services with other federal, state and local programs.

Operation School Shoe (O.S.S) this Saturday

Operation School Shoe will be held this Saturday, July 19th from 10:00-3:00 at the Paintsville Recreation Center. Operation School Shoe provides back to school shoes to Johnson County/Paintsville students who are in need. The student must be a student in Johnson County or Paintsville Independent schools and must be present & fit for their shoe by O.S.S volunteers. O.S.S is sponsored by Local churches, businesses, and private donations. For further information please call (270)-505-5487

 

Local News 7-16-2014

Accident on Parkway in Morgan Co. Sends Two to Hospital

According to a news release from the KSP in Morehead, on Monday, July 14, 2014 at 4:35 p.m. Kentucky State Police in Morehead received a call of an injury accident at the 63 mile marker on the Bert T. Combs Parkway. Trooper Charles Bolin, Trooper Bret Kirkland, Morgan County EMS and the Morgan County Rescue Squad responded to the scene. After an investigation of the scene was completed it was determined, Brenda Boyd, age 61, of Pikeville, KY was traveling east in a 2014, Toyota Camry, on the Bert T. Combs Parkway. Mrs. Boyd attempted to overtake a vehicle when she lost control, crossing the center line colliding with Mr. Dudley Stafford, age 59, of Mt. Sterling, KY. Mr. Stafford was traveling west in a 2008, Chrysler Van. Mr. Stafford and Mrs. Boyd were transported to the Morgan County ARH Hospital. Mrs. Boyd was then air lifted by Air E-Vac, to the University of Kentucky Hospital where she is listed in stable condition. The collision remains under investigation by Trooper Charles Bolin.

Police Continue Search for Robbery Suspect Who Robbed Business in Prestonsburg

Prestonsburg Police Chief Mike Omerod said his department is currently investigating a robbery at the Skeans Marathon @ Bull Creek in Floyd Co. According to Chief Omerod, at approximately 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning a male individual entered the store and demanded money from the cashier. The man indicated that he had a weapon, but never showed the cashier. The female cashier complied with the intruder as per store policy and gave an unknown amount of money to the man, who then fled the store on foot towards Town Branch Road in Prestonsburg. No one was injured during the robbery. The man was described as average height, last seen wearing black pants, a black mask, and a black sweatshirt with a white skeletal design.

Chief Omerod said his department is investigating this robbery and ask that if anyone has any information pertaining to this robbery, to please contact the Prestonsburg Police Department at 606-886-1010. The owners of Skeans Marathon is offering a reward in the amount of $5000.00 for information leading to the arrest, conviction and subsequent incarceration of this individual.

Bank Robbery Trial Underway in Pikeville

Testimony is underway in the trial of two men, charged with robbing a Pike County bank one year ago. Anthony Gillespie, 26, of Grethel, and Claude Isaac, 35, of Hi Hat, have been charged with robbing the U.S. Bank in Virgie (Pike Co) Nov.13, 2013. Both men face charges of 1st degree robbery, theft by unlawful taking, and being persistent felon offenders. KSP troopers say one of the men entered the bank, showed a weapon during and actually robbed the bank, while the other man waited outside on an in ATV. The trial started Monday in Pike County Circuit Court.

Prestonsburg Business Sues IRS

It has announced that a Prestonsburg business is suing the IRS in order to get back tax money. The lawsuit was filed last week by Prestonsburg business, Worldwide Equipment, Inc. Worldwide claims the government incorrectly classified a Mack Coal truck the company sells. Court documents indicates that the government took the truck as a highway vehicle, so federal excise taxes can come from it, but the company says the truck is exempt because it is only used for incidental highway use. The lawsuit says Worldwide is hoping to get back $2.5 million from the IRS.

Kentucky Ranks No. 4 in Painkiller Prescriptions

Powerful painkillers are a contributing factor in the rising rate of overdose deaths in the U.S., especially here in Kentucky, where officials have recommended more measures be taken to monitor painkiller prescriptions. Now the government is pointing out the states whose doctors write the most prescriptions, and Kentucky ranks fourth.

The reports are part of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s campaign to prevent deaths from prescription opioids such as Vicodin and OxyContin. Drug overdose deaths reached 41,000 in 2011, and 41 percent of them had to do with prescription painkillers. In 2012, Southern states led the list. Kentucky ranked behind Alabama, which had 143 prescriptions for every 100 people; Tennessee, and West Virginia. Southern doctors also prescribed the most antibiotics and stimulants for children. Although chronic disease rates are often higher in the South, research has shown that doesn’t explain the disparity.

To help fix the problem, officials suggest more prescription drug monitoring programs at the state level and laws to stop “pill mills,” which are offices and clinics that prescribe too many addictive medicines. In Florida, pill mills became a big issue in the last 10 years, but from 2010-2011, the state set up stricter pain clinic regulations, and police did some raids. By 2012, prescriptions for oxycodone alone fell 24 percent, and the death rate for prescription drug overdoses dropped 23 percent.

Operation School Shoe (O.S.S) this Saturday

Operation School Shoe will be held this Saturday, July 19th from 10:00-4:00 at the Paintsville Recreation Center. Operation School Shoe provides back to school shoes to Johnson County/Paintsville students who are in need. The student must be a student in Johnson County or Paintsville Independent schools and must be present & fit for their shoe by O.S.S volunteers. O.S.S is sponsored by Local churches, businesses, and private donations. For further information please call (270)-505-5487

 

Local News 7-15-2014

One Dead, Another Injured in Accident on Mtn. Parkway

Emergency personnel in Magoffin Co. were busy Monday morning, working an accident that caused the Mtn. Parkway to be closed for nearly 4 ½ hours. The KSP, as well as the Magoffin Co. Sheriff’s Department and Magoffin Co. Rescue Squad were on scene of the fatal accident that officials say happened around 11 AM Monday Morning. The accident occurred near exit 72 on the Parkway involving a car and a truck. Along with the fatality, another person was injured, but information on the severity of the person injured or the identity of the deceased has not been released at this time.

Community Involvement Prevents a Johnson Co. Church Burglary

According to a news release from the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office, on the night of Saturday, July 12th at approximately 10 PM, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous call regarding suspicious activity at the East Side Freewill Baptist Church in the Thelma community of Johnson County. The caller stated that two (2) men were acting questionably, walking around the church and possibly attempting to break in. Deputy Byron Fairchild responded. Upon Deputy Fairchild’s arrival, he found Constable District 2 Bob Hyden and several members of the community were at the scene to offer assistance. Constable Hyden advised the suspects had fled the scene on foot, but had left their vehicle, a Chevy Trailblazer, behind. The perpetrators had cut the church’s air conditioning unit hoses loose from the church in an attempt to steal it.

The perpetrators had fled the scene and could not be located at the time of the incident, but a search of the Trailblazer left behind allowed Fairchild to identify two (2) suspects. They are facing charges of Criminal Mischief 1st Degree, and Attempted Theft By Unlawful Taking over $500 (felony). They will also be asked to make restitution to the church. The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Church Pastor Harry Frisby, Constable Bob Hyden, and the residents of Thelma for helping to halt the actions of these subjects. Sheriff Price stated, “Community involvement is vital in stopping crime in our county. We can’t do it alone.” The names of the suspects are currently being withheld pending Grand Jury Indictment. If you have any additional information on this incident, please contact Deputy Byron Fairchild or the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at 789-3411.

Anonymous Tip leads to Drugs, Arrest

According to a separate news release from the JCSO, on Sunday, July 13th, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office received an anonymous tip from a caller concerned about children that were possibly being exposed to drugs at a residence located at 3921 KY RT 40 West in Staffordsville. Sheriff’s Deputy Byron Fairchild responded. Upon the deputy’s arrival, he smelled an odor that appeared to be Marijuana coming from inside of the residence. He was granted consent from the homeowners to enter the residence and do a preliminary search. Once inside the residence Deputy Fairchild discovered an indoor marijuana grow inside of a closet, where four (4) marijuana plants were growing. Also located inside of the residence was dried marijuana, as well as assorted drug paraphernalia. Fairchild also discovered two (2) juveniles asleep in the residence.     

All subjects inside the house: Shalious Hall, Elizabeth G. Lemaster, and Kyle B. Lemaster admitted to smoking marijuana, and being under the influence of marijuana with the children inside the house. The Department of Social Services was contacted and took custody of the children. All three (3) subjects were charged with: Cultivation of Marijuana less than 5 Plants, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and 2 Counts of endangering the Welfare of a Minor. The three were arrested and lodged in the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center. Assisting at the scene was Deputy David Pridemore and the Kentucky State Police. This case is currently under investigation by Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy Byron Fairchild. Sheriff Price urges everyone in Johnson County, if you have knowledge of any illegal activity, please contact the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at (606) 789-3411.

Attempted Robbery at Skeans Marathon in Prestonsburg

Prestonsburg Police Chief Mike Omerod said his department is currently investigating a robbery at the Skeans Marathon @ Bull Creek in Floyd Co. According to Chief Omerod, at approximately 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning a male individual entered the store and demanded money from the cashier. The man indicated that he had a weapon, but never showed the cashier. The female cashier complied with the intruder as per store policy and gave an unknown amount of money to the man, who then fled the store on foot towards Town Branch Road in Prestonsburg. No one was injured during the robbery. The man was described as average height, last seen wearing black pants, a black mask, and a black sweatshirt with a white skeletal design.

Chief Omerod said his department is investigating this robbery and ask that if anyone has any information pertaining to this robbery, to please contact the Prestonsburg Police Department at 606-886-1010. The owners of Skeans Marathon is offering a reward in the amount of $5000.00 for information leading to the arrest, conviction and subsequent incarceration of this individual.

One Person Injured in a Motorcycle Crash

The Kentucky State Police in Morehead, received a call from Morehead City Police Dispatch requesting assistance with a single vehicle injury collision on KY 801 on Sunday, July 13th at 4:55pm. According to reports, it was determined that a man, identified as Jeffrey Warren, 53, of Morehead, was operating a 2002 Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Mr. Warren was traveling northbound on KY 801 when he entered into a curve and failed to negotiate the turn. Mr. Warren struck the northbound guardrail face and slid across both lanes of traffic coming to a final rest on the shoulder of the southbound lane. Mr. Warren was airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center where he is listed in stable condition. Mr. Warren was not wearing a helmet, the collision remains under investigation by Trooper Bryantt Furman.

Johnson Co Fiscal Ct. Minutes 7-14-2014

The Johnson Co. Fiscal Ct. met in regular session Monday, July 14 @ 4:30 pm in the meeting room of the Johnson Co. Courthouse in downtown Paintsville. The meeting began in normal fashion with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, the approval of the minutes from the previous regular meeting of July 9 and a special called meetings from June 26 and July 1, 2014. The court also approved to pay the monthly bills, as well as approving to transfer $40,000 from the general fund to the jail fund.

The following are items approved on the night. The court approved an amendment from the Sheriff’s Office for unbudgeted items in the amount of $11,469.80 (KLEFPF $4,621.18 - Sale of Cruiser $1,077.77 – Mt. Comp Grant $500 – Returning a Fugitive $1,778.85 – Lake Grant $3,492). These unbudgeted items will be put into the following accounts. Office Supplies & Equipment $1,289.77 – Deputies Gross Salaries $8,113.18 – Travel Expenses $1,778.85 – Dues $53 – Postage $235, the court approved these increases.

The court also had reports on the following items, a request from Eric Ratliff with Paintsville Utilities to enter into phase 3 of the water line extension with the county. Several areas of the county have been completed and having work currently done and several areas have been approved and are awaiting approval from the State for money out of Coal Severance for completion. Judge Daniel said he would speak with the State about getting that money. The court also heard from a representative with KEKO about cheaper rates for county employee‘s health insurance. Rates are rising and the county is doing what it can by shopping around for cheaper rates that allow similar coverage. The court also discussed possible property acquisition and gave Judge Daniel permission to continue negotiations. Also Judge Daniel told the court that he was trying to see if the money the county has in reserve for industrial development funds can be transferred into the general county fund. With no further items to discuss, the court dismissed.

 

Local News 7-14-2014

HRMC Employees Vote No on Proposed Contract; No Strike as of Now

Union workers at Highlands Regional Medical Center, have ‘overwhelmingly’ rejected the latest proposed contract offered by management. Service Employees International Union 1199 director Joyce Gibson said the decision not to call a strike at this time was made to keep the two sides talking, in an effort to avoid a work stoppage that neither side wants. Union negotiators are expected to return back to the bargaining table Thursday, July 17 with HRMC management, to try and hammer out a final offer. If workers again reject a contract the following day, Gibson said the union would likely issue a 10-day strike notice at that time. This notice is required by law, even though the current contract ends July 19. She said workers would simply work without a contract during the notice.

The primary source of contention is over employee health insurance, in particular coverage for spouses. Under the current contract, the hospital provides coverage to employees and their spouses. However, when negotiations began on a new contract over a month ago, the hospital sought to end coverage for spouses. According to the Floyd Co. Times, HRMC President and CEO Harold “Bud” Warman justified the cuts by saying in a statement released last week that Highlands is trying to deal with recent changes in the health care system that have put a squeeze on small community hospitals. Again the two sides will be back in discussions on Thursday in Paintsville.

Deputies find Marijuana Growing in a Hidden Field in Floyd Co.

The Floyd County Sheriff’s Department received an anonymous tip last week about possible marijuana growing in a field. The tip said the deputies could find the plants growing in a field along Cow Creek Road in Prestonsburg. Upon arrival, investigators said they could imediately smell the plants and eventually found 59 marijuana plants with a street value around $120,000. Sheriff Deputy Landon Hall said it looked like a professional set up because of the layout of the plants, as well as the location.

Deputies went on to say that the plants were near a stream, so that the plants would have a constant source of water. The Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Department is continuing to search for those responsible.

Identity Released of Man Killed in a Knott County Crash

The Kentucky State Police has released the identity of a man killed in a Thursday afternoon crash in Knott Co. The man was identified as, 76 year-old Johnny Childers. Childers died when the SUV he was operating, collided with a Pepsi truck. Police said the fatal crash happened near Carr Creek Lake in Knott County around three at the junction of Highway 15 and Kentucky 160. Highway 15 was shut down for several hours, while emergency crews worked at the scene. KSP in Hazard are continuing to investigate the accident.

Sentencing Delayed for a Former Paintsville Doctor

U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar has postponed the sentencing for a former Paintsville Dr., who pled guilty to a drug charge back in March. Dr. Rano BoFill attorney’s requested the sentencing delay, which was originally scheduled for today, July 14, but is now rescheduled for August 13, 2014. A telephone conference will be held on Friday, July 18 to determine if BoFill will be detained prior to the new sentencing date. BoFill pleaded guilty to conspiracy to unlawfully dispense Oxycodone in a federal case against a former Paintsville Pain Mgmt. business.

Michigan Man Arrested for Heroin Possession in Boyd Co.

A Michigan man was arrested over the weekend in Boyd Co. after Police say he hd heroin in a container of peanut butter. According to the Boyd County Sheriff's Dept., they had been conducting a drug investigation and located Deon Cohen leaving an Ashland Bus Station in a taxi cab when they pulled the cab over to speak with Cohen, who from Detroit, Michigan. When deputies searched the taxi and Cohen, they found a large amount of heroin mixed inside a peanut butter jar. Cohen told deputies he was heading to Portsmouth, Ohio. He was arrested and charged with possession and trafficking heroin and was lodged in the Boyd County Detention Center. No further information has been released at this time.

Kentucky Ends 2014 with $90 Million Shortfall

Kentucky's state government finished the 2014 fiscal year about $90 million short. State officials predicted they would collect $9.6 billion in taxes and fees in the fiscal year that ended June 30. But they collected $9.5 billion instead. The reason was what State Budget Director Jane Driskell called a significant slowdown in income tax collections. State income tax collections grew less than 1 percent from the 2013 fiscal year. Kentucky's road fund was also short about $22.2 million. The state made more money from the gas tax because the tax automatically increased as the wholesale price increased. But it was not enough to offset the fact that people are buying less fuel. Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear has not said how he plans to make up for the shortfalls.

New Study shows Kentucky as one of the Most Politically Corrupt States

A new study suggests Kentucky is one of the ten most politically corrupt states in the country and taxpayers are suffering from it. Research published through the Public Administration Review suggests political corruption occurs in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, South Dakota and Alaska at a higher rate than the other states. Federal conviction rates of public officials from 1976 to 2008 were used to determine the level of political corruption in each state.

The study concludes the 10 most corrupt states could have saved $1,308 per person annually if corruption was reduced to an average level, relative to other states. A public official being caught breaking the law has a far-reaching economic impact, said Richard Crowe, a former economics professor at Hazard Community and Technical College. The states with the least amount of political corruption are Oregon, Washington and Minnesota, according to the research. The full study is available by visiting: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/puar.12212/pdf