LOCAL NEWS

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

 

Local News 7-11-2014


One Person Injured after Accident on Rt. 201

According to reports, members of the Flat Gap VFD and W.R. Castle Fire and Rescue, responded to a single vehicle accident Wednesday evening around 8 PM. The accident was located on Ky. Rt. 201 at the Ky. Rt. 1092 intersection and involved a 1990’s model Blue Mustang. The driver was identified as Shannon Combs of Whitehouse. Johnson Co. Deputy David Pridemore said the cause of the accident is still under investigation, but it looks as if Combs lost control of the vehicle, causing her car to first go into a ditch and then onto an embankment were it came to a final rest.

Deputy Pridemore said the female was trapped inside the vehicle and complained of leg pain. Firefighters had to utilize hydraulic rescue tools to remove Combs from the vehicle for EMS personnel to begin treatment. She was transported by Paintsville Fire-EMS ambulance to Highland Elementary where she was then flown to Cabell-Huntington Hospital. No other information has been released at this time and the Deputy David Pridemore with the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Dept. is continuing to investigate this accident.

Fatal Crash in Knott County

Kentucky State Police say one person was killed Thursday, following a two car crash that happened in Knott Co. Police say the crash happened at the junction of Highway 15 and Kentucky 160 near Carr Creek Lake in Knott Co. around 3 PM. Highway 15 had to shut down for nearly 3 hours, as troopers investigated the accident and emergency crews cleaned up the scene. The name of the deceased or others injured has not released at this time. We hope to bring you further information, later in the day.            

KSP Searching for a Perry Co. Teen, Request Public’s Help

According to the Kentucky State Police, they are actively searching for a missing Perry County teenager. According to reports, 17 year-old Kayla Elliot was last seen on Sunday, July 6 around 3 p.m. along Heather Lane in the Scuddy Community of Perry Co. Troopers say they do not believe she is in any immediate danger. Elliot is described as, 5’6 (five feet six) inches tall, and weighs approximately 180 pounds. She has brown eyes and long brown hair, and was last seen wearing a green shirt and green shorts. If anyone has information that would assist in locating Kayla Elliott, you’re ask to please contact KSP Post 13 in Hazard at 606-435-6069.

Tentative Agreement Reached between Hospital and Union

It looks as if Highlands Regional Medical Center in Floyd Co. and the Union representing 207 employees of the Hospital, have avoided a potential strike, at least for now. Negotiations between HRMC and Service Employees International Union, which represents licensed practical nurses, certified nursing aides, service and maintenance workers, and other support staff, had been in contract talks for the past week and the two sides met into the late hours of Wednesday to try and come to a compromise before the deadline.

There had been several items discussed during these talks, with the main points involving health insurance and a possible freeze in wages. The hospital currently provides health insurance to their employees and their spouses, but to help save money, HRMC was proposing to eliminate spousal coverage, while at the same time doubling premiums, deductibles and total out-of-pocket costs. Both sides were able to hash out a tentative agreement that would prevent a strike by employees that could have possibly stated on Thursday. Now those employees are casting their votes to see whether or not to except the “new deal.” If the employees do not agree on the new items, the two sides will once again go into meetings and try to come up with something else that satisfies each side. HRMC officials says these new contract proposals are essential to the future of HRMC as an independent and locally owned and controlled community health care institution.

Magoffin Co. Couple to Plead Guilty in Corruption Case Involving Morgan Co. Judge-Executive                                                                                                

According to the Lexington Herald, the Magoffin Co. couple charged in connection with a federal corruption case, involving Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley, is expected to plead guilty today. Attorneys for Kenneth Lee Gambill and his wife, Ruth L. Gambill, filed motions earlier this week, saying they have reached a deal with prosecutors, admitting they conspired with Conley in committing fraud, mail fraud and bribery.

According to the federal indictment, the Gambill’s operated a Salyersville construction company,that received contracts in Morgan County to build bridges and install culverts and to clean up debris after a March 2, 2012 tornado that devastated the city of West Liberty. Conley was charged of rigging bids to steer contracts to Gambill’s company and in some cases, judge Conley is said to have opened documents in private and lowered bids from the Gambill’s construction company, to make sure they had the lowest bid. The indictment also says that Conley made sure the company got more pay for tornado cleanup than justified. The conspiracy allegedly lasted from 2009 to August 2013 and the Gambill’s reportedly received $1.1 million in proceeds and Conley would receive kickbacks in return, according to the grand jury charge. Conley has pleaded not guilty. A scheduled change-of-plea hearing for Kenneth and Ruth Gambill is set for July 22. The conspiracy charge carries a maximum prison term of 20 years and the government also seeks a $1 million judgment from the three people charged. Conley is scheduled for trial Aug. 25.

State Auditor Sets Public Hearings on Rural Hospitals

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen has set 10 hearings across the state to discuss the fiscal health of rural hospitals. Edelen's office says 45 percent of Kentucky residents receive health care at small, community hospitals and that the facilities help drive local economies. The hearings start next week in Prestonsburg and continue through Aug. 12 in Campbellsville. They kick off a study by Edelen's office to look at challenges facing small hospitals. The auditor's office is seeking financial records of dozens of rural hospitals and plans to issue a report this fall. Edelen's office says hospital administrators and staff, local elected officials, other health care providers and the public are invited. For more information, visit http://auditor.ky.gov.

Cost Lowered to take GED Test in Kentucky

The cost of taking the GED test in Kentucky is being reduced for a limited time. Effective immediately, eligible Kentucky adults can take each module of the GED test at the reduced cost of $10. The state Council on Post-secondary Education says the offer is being made possible in Kentucky through $20 limited-time vouchers using federal Workforce Investment Act funds. Through the offer, the full GED test is available at the reduced cost of $40, a savings of $80. Officials say the vouchers will be distributed while supplies last.

           

Local News 7-10-2014

 

Sheriff’s Office Searching for I.D. Thieves

According to the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Dept. they are currently searching for two individuals wanted in connection with using a credit card at multiple locations without the consent of the rightful owner. According to Chief Deputy Kevin Pelphrey, the Sheriff’s office received a complaint about a “stolen” credit card from John Stapleton of Nippa. Pelphrey said that Stapleton advised him that he lost the card while working in the Mayo Plaza. The card was not cancelled and Stpaleton said whoever had the card was making purchases at several local businesses, as well as locations in the Huntington, W.Va. area. Chief Deputy Pelphrey says they do have video footage of the suspects at one of the businesses, but they are continuing to gather information. The suspects are described as a black female, approximately 5’6 to 5’8 tall with a heavyset build and the other suspect is described as a black male approximately 5’7 to 5’9 tall with a medium build. Video footage shows them in a 1990 to 1994 Blue Lincoln Town Car. The Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office is asking the public that if they have any information regarding these individuals, to please contact the JCSO at 606-789-3411. Callers can remain anonymous.

Paintsville Police Dept. Investigating Meth Lab on Mill Street.

Paintsville Police officers discovered multiple meth labs in the Mill Branch area of Paintsville late last week, while searching for individuals wanted on bench warrants. As officers were searching for the wanted individuals, they witnessed someone tossing items into the front yard of a residence. Upon investigation, Capt. Bill Holbrook found these items to be used in a “one step” meth lab. Upon investigation Capt. Holbrook and Asst. Chief Mike Rowe visited the residence were Holbrook witnessed the meth lab and found multiple bottles around the home. Search Warrants were obtained to further search the home and officers discovered multiple methamphetamine precursors and active active one-step meth labs. The KSP DESI unit was contacted to clean up the methamphetamine. Officers were not able to locate the individuals living at the location upon first discovery, but would be able to track down those responsible on Sunday, July 6. Arrested and charged with possession of meth precursors and manufacturing meth was 31 year-old Christopher Micheal Tackett and 31 year-old Jennifer Spence. They were lodged in the Big Sandy regional Detention center. Paintsville Police Dept. are continuing to investigate this incident.

Tentative Agreement Reached between Hospital and Union

It looks as if Highlands Regional Medical Center in Floyd Co. and the Union representing 207 employees of the Hospital, have avoided a potential strike, at least for now. Negotiations between HRMC and Service Employees International Union, which represents licensed practical nurses, certified nursing aides, service and maintenance workers, and other support staff, had been in contract talks for the past week and the two sides met into the late hours of Wednesday to try and come to a compromise before the deadline.

There had been several items discussed during these talks, with the main points involving health insurance and a possible freeze in wages. The hospital currently provides health insurance to their employees and their spouses, but to help save money, HRMC was proposing to eliminate spousal coverage, while at the same time doubling premiums, deductibles and total out-of-pocket costs. Both sides were able to hash out a tentative agreement that would prevent a strike by employees that could have possibly stated on Thursday. Now those employees are casting their votes to see whether or not to except the “new deal.” If the employees do not agree on the new items, the two sides will once again go into meetings and try to come up with something else that satisfies each side. HRMC officials says these new contract proposals are essential to the future of HRMC as an independent and locally owned and controlled community health care institution.

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 July 14, but is now rescheduled for August 13, 2014. A telephone conference will be held on 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.

           

Doctors Indicted for Illegally Prescribing Pain Medicine

Dr’s. James Dustin Chaney and Andrew Krasuski were indicted last month on charges they illegally prescribing controlled substances. The two are accused of working out of a plain clinic, Clarion Health and Wellness, in Hazard. Both have a trial date set for August 12th. According to a Lexington Herald Leader report, the state medical licensure board issued an emergency suspension order for Chaney's license on June 30th.

State Auditor Sets Public Hearings on Rural Hospitals

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen has set 10 hearings across the state to discuss the fiscal health of rural hospitals. Edelen's office says 45 percent of Kentucky residents receive health care at small, community hospitals and that the facilities help drive local economies. The hearings start next week in Prestonsburg and continue through Aug. 12 in Campbellsville. They kick off a study by Edelen's office to look at challenges facing small hospitals. The auditor's office is seeking financial records of dozens of rural hospitals and plans to issue a report this fall. Edelen's office says hospital administrators and staff, local elected officials, other health care providers and the public are invited. For more information, visit http://auditor.ky.gov.

Water + Rest + Shade = Survival in Extreme Heat

Every year, thousands of workers become sick from exposure to heat, and some even die. Heat illnesses and deaths are preventable. The body normally cools itself by sweating. During hot weather, especially with high humidity, sweating isn't enough. Body temperature can rise to dangerous levels if precautions are not taken such as drinking water frequently and resting in the shade or air conditioning. Heat illnesses range from heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention and can result in death. Heat is a silent killer, unlike such hazards as damaging winds or flooding, many people often don't realize they are in trouble until they need medical assistance.

Here’s some tips to help with working outside in the heat and humidity.

* Drink water every 15 minutes, even if you are not thirsty.
* Rest in the shade to cool down.
* Wear a hat and light-colored clothing.
* Learn the signs of heat illness and what to do in an emergency.
* Keep an eye on fellow workers.

Industries most affected by heat-related illness are: construction; trade, transportation and utilities; agriculture; building, grounds maintenance; landscaping services; and support activities for oil and gas operations. Remember "Water, Rest, Shade."