LOCAL NEWS

Local News 6-17-2015

 

Indictments Handed Down in Lawrence Co. against 7 People on Several Charges

According to the Levisa Lazer website, seven people from the Martha area of Lawrence Co. have been indicted by the Lawrence County Grand Jury on several alleged charges including manufacturing meth, possession and child endangerment. Those indicted are:

* Gary Skaggs, 48, Martha, KY was indicted on a charge of Manufacturing Meth/Complicity.

According to the indictment, on or about April 10, 2015, Gary Skaggs acted alone or in conspiracy with Christopher Hall, Samuel Collins Jr., Jason Kelly, Elmer Hall, Joshua Burris and Michelle Room by knowingly and unlawfully manufacturing meth or intent to manufacture meth, being in possession of two or more chemicals /items for manufacturing meth.

* Elmer Hall, 60, Martha, KY, was indicted on a charge of Manufacturing Meth/Complicity.

According to the indictment, on or about April 10, 2015, Elmer Hall acted alone or in conspiracy with Christopher Hall, Samuel Collins Jr., Jason Kelly, Gary Skaggs, Joshua Burris and Michelle Room by knowingly and unlawfully manufacturing meth or intent to manufacture meth, being in possession of two or more chemicals /items for manufacturing meth.

* Jason E. Kelly, 41, Martha, KY, was indicted on a charge of Manufacturing Meth/Complicity.

According to the indictment, on or about April 10, 2015, Jason E. Kelly acted alone or in conspiracy with Christopher Hall, Samuel Collins Jr., Gary Skaggs, Joshua Burris and Michelle Room by knowingly and unlawfully manufacturing meth or intent to manufacture meth, being in possession of two or more chemicals /items for manufacturing meth.

* Samuel Collins Jr., 23, Martha, KY, was indicted on a charge of Manufacturing Meth/Complicity.

According to the indictment, on or about April 10, 2015, Samuel Collins Jr. acted alone or in conspiracy with Christopher Hall, Jason Kelly, Gary Skaggs, Joshua Burris and Michelle Room by knowingly and unlawfully manufacturing meth or intent to manufacture meth, being in possession of two or more chemicals /items for manufacturing meth. Defendant was also indicted on 3 counts of Controlled Substance Endangerment to a Child 4th Degree Complicity by circumstances placing a child in danger, serious physical injury or death while manufacturing meth, Possession Controlled Substance 1st Degree, with Christopher Hall, Joshua Burris and Michelle Roop.

* Joshua W. Burris, 31, Martha, KY, was indicted on a charge of Manufacturing Meth/Complicity.

According to the indictment, on or about April 10, 2015, Defendant acted alone or in conspiracy with Christopher Hall, Samuel Collins Jr., Gary Skaggs, Elmer's Hall, Jason Kelly and Michelle Roop by knowingly and unlawfully manufacturing meth or intent to manufacture meth, being in possession of two or more chemicals /items for manufacturing meth. Defendant was also indicted on 3 counts of Controlled Substance Endangerment to a Child 4th Degree Complicity by circumstances placing a child in danger, serious physical injury or death while manufacturing meth, Possession Controlled Substance 1st Degree, with Christopher Hall, Samuel Collins Jr., and Michelle Roop.

* Michelle Roop, 43, Martha, KY, was indicted on charge Meth/Complicity.

According to the indictment, on or about April 10, 2015, Defendant acted alone or in conspiracy with Christopher Hall, Samuel Collins Jr., Gary Skaggs, Elmer's Hall, Jason Kelly, by knowingly and unlawfully manufacturing meth or intent to manufacture meth, being in possession of two or more chemicals /items for manufacturing meth. Defendant was also indicted on 3 counts of Controlled Substance Endangerment to a Child 4th Degree Complicity by circumstances placing a child in danger, serious physical injury or death while manufacturing meth, Possession Controlled Substance 1st Degree, with Christopher Hall, Samuel Collins Jr., and Joshua Burris.

* Christopher E. Hall, 29, Martha, KY, was indicted on charge of Manufacturing Meth/Complicity.

According to the indictment, on or about April 10, 2015, Defendant acted alone or in conspiracy with Samuel Collins Jr., Gary Skaggs, Elmer's Hall, Jason Kelly and Michelle Roop by knowingly and unlawfully manufacturing meth or intent to manufacture meth, being in possession of two or more chemicals /items for manufacturing meth. Defendant was also indicted on 3 counts of Controlled Substance Endangerment to a Child 4th Degree Complicity by circumstances placing a child in danger, serious physical injury or death while manufacturing meth, Possession Controlled Substance 1st Degree, with Joshua Burris, Samuel Collins Jr., and Michelle Roop. Hall was also indicted on charge of Possession/Use of Drug Paraphernalia.

Louisa Police Arrest Two in Drug Raid

According to a Louisa Police Dept. report, on June 6, 2015 at 7:29 PM, the Louisa Police Department responded to the complaint of a suspicious vehicle at the Louisa Best Western on US 23. Caller advised that a Chevy Camaro black in color was setting in the parking lot and that several other vehicles had approached the females in the vehicle for a brief period of time then leave. The complaint was investigated by Sgt. Steven Wilburn and Officer Hunter James who determined that Lisa King 43, of Louisa and Allison N. Tuttle, 34, also of Louisa were engaging in trafficking of a controlled substance. Mrs. King was arrested and charged with Trafficking in Controlled Substance 1st Offense, Failure to Wear Seatbelt and No registration Receipt. Mrs. Tuttle was charged with Trafficking in Controlled Substance 1st Offense, Possession of Controlled Substance 3rd degree and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. During the arrest officers recovered $964.00 in cash along a small amount of pills & drug paraphernalia that were seized. Both suspects were lodged into the Big Sandy Regional Jail, case will be presented to the Lawrence County Grand Jury.

Police Continue Search for a Missing Knott Co. Woman

According to the Kentucky State Police in Hazard, troopers are continuing their search for a Knott Co. woman, who has been reported missing for more than a month. Investigators say their only clue is a note the woman left for her 10 year-old son saying she would be back in a couple of days, but has never returned. The woman is identified as Natasha Fugate Jones. Jones' family said she was last seen the morning of May 7th, but no one has heard from her or knows where she is. Family members also say Jones has done something like this before, but has never gone missing this long without keeping in touch. Jones is described to be 5'7 weighing about 110 lbs with blonde hair, hazel eyes and has a tattoo on her back of the outline of a butterfly. The family said they are increasing the reward money from $1,000 to $2000 reward for tips that lead to Natasha Fugate Jones. Anyone with information can call the Kentucky State Police post in Hazard at (606)-435-6069.

Gov. Beshear Reveals State's $10M Plan to Fight Heroin Use

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has revealed how a pledged $10 million dollars will be used to tackle the state's heroin epidemic. Multiple media outlets report that the destinations for the next fiscal year's funds were announced on Monday. Starting July 1, the money will be divided in eight primary ways, including $2.6 million going to community centers for substance abuse treatment, $1 million to care for babies born addicted to opiates and $1.5 million aimed at treatment programs for county and state inmates. Democratic state Rep. Sannie Overly, who is from Paris, offered the amendment that provided the funding. Overly says the money will make a big difference toward addressing the problem. Heroin use in Kentucky has skyrocketed recently, with overdoses increasing 207 percent between 2011 and 2012, according to state data.

Kentucky's Booster Seat Law in Effect Later this Month

On Monday, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear spent time discussing child safety and booster seats before a ceremonial signing of HB315. House Bill 315, which goes into effect June 24, will increase the upper end of the booster seat range by seven inches. Current law requires children under 7 years old and between 40 inches and 50 inches tall to be strapped into booster seats. The new law would increase the height requirement to 57 inches (4-foot-9) and the age requirement to 8 years old. However, children younger than 8 but taller than 57 inches would not have to ride in a booster seat.

State highway officials say seat belts do not fit correctly on children shorter than 57 inches and can cause serious injuries in a collision. Beshear highlighted the issue in his annual State of the Commonwealth address. House Bill 315 brings Kentucky’s booster seat law in line with 31 other states, including all seven of our neighboring states. The bill requires law enforcement officers to issue citations with a $30 fine and no court costs. In addition, violators will have the option to purchase a booster seat instead of paying the fine.

Community Hospice Seeks Volunteers

Community Hospice has scheduled a new Volunteer Orientation course. The two-day session will be Tuesday and Wednesday, June 23-24, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. The sessions will be held at the Mountain Manor Nursing Facility, 1025 Euclid Avenue, Paintsville. Although volunteers are needed for a variety of duties, there is a particular need for those interested in providing short in-home caregiver breaks, emotional support and visitation, nursing home visits, companionship and reading. Volunteers determine when and how often they are available to assist – a few hours a week or just occasionally. All volunteers must complete the required training to be certified. Community Hospice currently has more than 200 active volunteers in their nine county service area – Johnson, Martin, Lawrence, Boyd, Greenup, Carter and Elliott counties in Kentucky, along with Lawrence and Scioto counties, Ohio. If you are interested in becoming a Hospice volunteer or to reserve your space, contact LuAnn Vance, Director of Volunteers, at 606-297-1095 or 1-800-9266184.

Local News 6-16-2015

 

Retrial Date/Location set for a Martin Co. Man.

A new trial date has been set for a Martin Co. man charged with the death of a little girl in a crash in 2011 in Martin Co. Back in 2010, Brandon Sluss was convicted of murder, assault in the first degree, two counts of assault in the fourth degree, tampering with evidence, and driving under the influence of intoxicants and he was sentenced to life in prison with the eligibility for parole in 20 years. In December 2014, The Kentucky Supreme Court overturned that conviction and ordered that Sluss receive a new trial. Prosecutors say that in June 2010, Sluss was driving under the influence when he crashed head-on with a car on Black Log Rd along Rt 40 in Inez that killed 10-year-old Destiny Brewer. Brewer's grandmother was taking her granddaughters home from the pool when the crash happened. The grandmother and another young family member were also injured, but they survived. According to reports, during a recent hearing in Martin County Circuit Court, a new trial date of September 14 was set and will take place in Johnson Co.

Lewis Co Man Drowns Swimming at Carter Caves State Park

Officials in Carter Co. have identified the body of a Lewis Co. man, who drowned while swimming in the Smokey Valley Lake at Carter Cavers State Park. According to Carter Co Coroner, William Waddell, the man’s name was Marty Richmond 48, of Emerson in Lewis Co. Richmond’s body was found at 8:55 Sunday night. Officials say he was swimming with friends in an area 20-25 feet from the bank when he went under about 6:45 p.m. Dive teams from several Carter Co fire departments assisted in finding and recovering Richmond’s body. This was the second drowning this month in Carter Co. KSP is continuing to investigate this incident.

Letcher Co Teacher Arrested for Soliciting Photos from 13 Year Old Female Student

According to WYMT, a Letcher County teacher has been arrested for allegedly asking a 13 year old female student to send him inappropriate pictures of herself. Chester Adams, 39 a teacher at Fleming-Neon Middle School was arrested Saturday by the Letcher Co Sheriff's Department. The arrest citation says Adams began talking to a female student on Facebook and asked her for pictures before showering or while she was using a tanning bed. Deputies say that when Adams discovered the school principal and board of education had learned about the message he asked the 13 year old to delete the messages. Officials with the Letcher County Board of Education said Adams completed his contract as a teacher for the 2014-2015 school year and will not be considered for contract renewal until these charges are resolved. Adams was taken to the Letcher Co Jail, charged with unlawful use of electronic device to engage a minor in sexual or prohibited acts, tampering with a witness and tampering with physical evidence. A bond of $25,000 cash at 10% with home incarceration was set.

Kentucky's Booster Seat Law in Effect Later this Month

On Monday, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear spent time discussing child safety and booster seats before a ceremonial signing of HB315. House Bill 315, which goes into effect June 24, will increase the upper end of the booster seat range by seven inches. Current law requires children under 7 years old and between 40 inches and 50 inches tall to be strapped into booster seats. The new law would increase the height requirement to 57 inches (4-foot-9) and the age requirement to 8 years old. However, children younger than 8 but taller than 57 inches would not have to ride in a booster seat.

State highway officials say seat belts do not fit correctly on children shorter than 57 inches and can cause serious injuries in a collision. Beshear highlighted the issue in his annual State of the Commonwealth address. House Bill 315 brings Kentucky’s booster seat law in line with 31 other states, including all seven of our neighboring states. The bill requires law enforcement officers to issue citations with a $30 fine and no court costs. In addition, violators will have the option to purchase a booster seat instead of paying the fine.

Deadline to Apply for Disaster Assistance is June 30

People who suffered losses during severe storms in April in 10 Kentucky counties have two more weeks to register for assistance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and complete a Small Business Administration disaster loan application. FEMA has approved $3.3 million in individual assistance and the SBA has approved $2.4 million in home and business loans for the Kentucky recovery effort. Counties included are Bath, Bourbon, Carter, Elliott, Franklin, Jefferson, Lawrence, Madison, Rowan and Scott. Aid could include temporary rental assistance and money for essential home repairs. There is also help available for costs associated with health care, moving and personal property. To apply with FEMA, visit http://www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call (800) 621-3362. For SBA, visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela, call (800) 659-2955 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The deadline is June 30.

Demolition of Mountain Parkway Overpass to Begin Today

Drivers traveling on the Mountain Parkway might experience short delays beginning today (Tuesday, June 16) as contractors will be taking down an existing overpass in Magoffin County. Work on the Gifford Road overpass – about 5 miles west of Salyersville – is scheduled to start Today (Tuesday, June 16) and last about three days. There will be brief disruptions in traffic as the work is performed. The span on the southern side of the bridge will be demolished first, with crews expected to turn their attention to the northern span on Wednesday. The four bridge beams over the parkway will be taken out one at a time, with the work expected to start Thursday morning and be completed by midday.

Contractors will halt traffic for no more than 20 minutes at a time as they tear down the existing bridge. The structure will be replaced by a realigned bridge that will serve a new interchange at Gifford Road. During the stoppages, construction workers will monitor traffic and work to allow safety vehicles to pass through the work area as quickly as possible. Crews working for Lexington’s Bizzack Construction started clearing and site work near Gifford Road earlier this year and recently began building steel and concrete structures. The project will be completed within two years. The actual starting date and duration of the work may be adjusted if inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances occur.

 

Local News 6-15-2015

 

Floyd Co. Teenager Killed by Train

According to the Floyd Co. Coroner, a Floyd Co. teenager was hit and killed by a train Friday afternoon in the Hueysville community. The teenage boy was identified as Willie Lee Salisbury, 14. He was pronounced dead just before 6 p.m. Friday at St. Joseph - Martin Hospital. According to Kentucky State Police, Salisbury had been walking on the tracks. They believe he had headphones in his ears and his head down looking at his phone. The train engineer says the boy was facing the train, but the boy didn't appear to see the train or acknowledge the train whistle. KSP says the engineer slowed down the train but couldn't stop in time. The boy was trapped underneath the train until first responders could free him. Salisbury would be pronounced deceased at the Hospital. KSP is continuing to investigate this tragic incident.       

Martin Co. Man Severely Injured following a Martin Co Crash

A Martin Co. man was critically injured following a crash Thursday night in Martin County. Police say it happened on Route 40 in Inez. Firefighters had to cut the driver out of the car, identified as 28-year-old Erick Charles. He was flown to Saint Mary's in Huntington, where at last report, was listed in critical condition. A witness told authorities, she seen the car go off the road and flip possibly six times.

Pike Co. Police Investigating Jewelry Store Robbery

Officials in Pike Co are on the lookout for a thief on a motorcycle. Reports indicate the robbery happened at Heffner’s Jewelry in Coal Run, Thursday morning. Police say a woman wearing a pink motorcycle helmet entered the store and then used what appeared to be a hammer to smash a display case. The suspect then grabbed several pieces of jewelry, fled the store, and jumped on a waiting motorcycle. The store owner chased the suspect on foot toward the back alley trying to get a license plate number off the motorcycle. At that point, police say the owner came in contact with the suspect and fired one shot towards the person. They say the shot missed and lodged in the flood wall in the alley. The suspect then drove off on the motorcycle. Police say that based on the trajectory of the shot, no one was in danger of being hit except the suspect. Investigators said they're piecing together video and have some good leads and DNA was recovered inside the store. There's no word on the value of the stolen jewelry.

Appeals Court Throws out 2014 Magoffin Co Judge Executive Election Results

Kentucky's second-highest court declared on Friday they don't know who won the 2014 Magoffin Co. Judge Executive race and as a result, threw the results out and declared the office vacant. The 2-1 decision upholds an earlier circuit court ruling that highlights eastern Kentucky's 100-year history of vote buying in local elections. If the decision stands, it would likely trigger a special election in November. Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear could appoint someone in the meantime. Charles Hardin, the incumbent, defeated John Montgomery by 28 votes because of his strong showing with absentee ballots. But Montgomery sued, offering evidence of vote buying and bribes. The appeals court said the evidence was strong those violations occurred, but they were not enough to alter the election. Instead, the court chided local election officials for not properly collecting and counting absentee ballots.

Two Ashland Men Sentenced in Motorcycle Chop Shop Probe

Two Ashland men have been sentenced to federal prison for their role in a motorcycle chop shop and theft ring. In March 2013, a federal court jury convicted Richard Meade, 67, and Mark Justice, 55, of conspiracy to engage in money laundering by illegally transferring the ownership of stolen motorcycles, possession of motorcycles with altered vehicle identification (VIN) numbers, and illegally transferring ownership titles of stolen motorcycles. A third defendant, George Ferguson, 66, of Ashland, was acquitted on a conspiracy charge during the trial. During a hearing in U.S. District Court Friday morning, Meade was sentenced to two years in prison. Justice was sentenced to 18 months. At a later date, the court will determine a restitution amount to compensate the original owners and insurance companies.

Meade, Justice, Ferguson and four other people were indicted in 2011 for their roles in an alleged motorcycle chop shop and theft ring that federal prosecutors say made nearly $2.5 million. The indictment said the the conspiracy took place between January 2000 and February 2008, with most of the criminal activity taking place in Boyd and Bell Counties. Prosecutors said Meade and Justice sold approximately 30 motorcycles out of car lots in Ashland. They sold the motorcycles for between $13,000 and $15,000 apiece The FBI and Kentucky State Police identified nearly 200 victims in this case including the original motorcycle owners and insurance companies.