Local News 10-31-2014


Woman Charged with Stealing $25,000 from Under Man's Bed

An Ohio woman is facing charges in Floyd Co. after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from a man who kept his money underneath his bed. According to reports, an arrested warrant was filed in Floyd County against Gena Cavins, 41, of Columbus, who is charged with theft of more than $10,000. Investigators say that over several weeks, starting in August 2013, Cavins is accused of stealing $25,000 from a man who lived in Floyd County, who had the money in envelopes underneath his bed. Cavins was arrested last week in Georgetown, Kentucky and she is expected to in court in Floyd County next week.    

Pike County Officials Searching for Wanted Individual

State troopers in Pike County need you help finding a wanted man. They are looking for Jonathan Dwayne Robinette. Troopers say Robinette is wanted on burglary and theft charges. Officials say the alleged crimes happened in both Floyd and Pike counties. KSP ask that if you know the whereabouts of Robinette, you are encouraged to call KSP at 606-433-7711.

Man Shot after Argument turns Violent in Perry Co.

According to a news release from the KSP in Hazard, a Perry County man was transported to the University of Kentucky Medical Center after being shot in the leg by an acquaintance late Tuesday evening. Troopers with Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard were dispatched to the Slemp community of Perry County, at approximately 10:41 p.m., in response to an assault complaint. The initial investigation determined that Kermit Shepherd came to the residence of Emily Dixon, and an argument ensued. The dispute escalated to a point of high aggression between the two, causing Emily Dixon to retrieve a shotgun and demand that Kermit Shepherd leave the residence. Shepherd refused to leave and allegedly continued to advance toward Emily Dixon. She fired the weapon once striking him in the lower leg, which resulted in his need for medical attention. Emily Dixon was transported to a medical facility as well, but her status is unknown at this time. An active investigation into the Assault 1st Degree incident is being conducted by Detective Chris Collins with KSP Post 13.

Tip Lead to Arrest in Floyd Co.

Three men have been arrested after Kentucky State Police busted a one-step meth lab in East Point last week. Troopers with the KSP received a tip of possible drug activity at a George Branch residence in the East Point area of Floyd Co. When troopers arrived on scene, they heard shouting, and noticed someone running up the hillside away from the house. Officer Darvin Marsillett pursued the suspects up the mountain, and he and Trooper Dustin Thompson returned to the scene with Frank Music, 45, of Cadiz, and Matthew Meeks in custody. According to reports, Police say approximately 10 people were living in the house, none of whom claimed to know what was going on. Officers were given consent to search the premises and they found “two hypodermic needles hidden in a diaper wipe box,” and outside, they recovered a milk crate full of methamphetamine precursors, including cold packs, batteries, coffee filters, salt, and a funnel. The Floyd Co. Times reports that during interviews with the suspects, officers say that Meeks told police that Frank Music and another person there, Christopher Sallie, 21, of Barbourville, “had been cooking meth the previous night” and believed they were making preparations for another cook. Meek, Music, and Sallie were all arrested and lodged at the Floyd County Detention Center. Meek was not charged in relation to the meth, but Sallie and Music each face one charge of manufacturing methamphetamine. Music is also charged with second-degree fleeing and evading, as well as prior meth-related warrants.

Tornado-Damaged School in the Process of being Demolished

Sad news out of Magoffin Co. as the old Herald Whitaker Middle School is in the process of being demolished. Of course the reason for the demolition is a direct result of the March 2nd, 2012 tornado that hit in Magoffin Co. and damaged the school. Last week, crews began demolishing the building to make way for a new construction plans. District Superintendent Stanley Holbrook told WYMT news, this is part of the last phase of reconstruction. "Now that everything is paid for, now we're going to use what money is left over to tear the school building down, because we wanted every available dollar spent on kids, and not on tearing the school building down," Holbrook said. Holbrook said a new high school is being built, and the middle school will take over the old high school building once things are completed. The new high school is expected to be completed by the summer of 2016. School officials say rebuilding from the tornado cost the district about $50 million.

Guiding You to the Ballot Box

On Tuesday, November 4th, Kentucky voters will go to the polls to make their picks in local, state and federal races in the 2014 midterm elections. With next week's vote in mind, AARP Kentucky has put together a voter's guide on financial security. Scott Wegenast, AARP Kentucky associate state director for engagement and outreach, says the guide can help a voter cut through the glut of campaign ads so he or she can appropriately "size up" those running for Congress. "We collected comments and remarks from the candidates in their own words and published them in their entirety," he says. "There was no spin, no hype." Wegenast notes AARP does not endorse candidates nor contribute to political parties or political action committees.

AARP Kentucky state president Jim Kimbrough says their research indicates the concerns of voters 50 and over cuts across party lines, and their primary worry is their financial future. Kimbrough says thousands of Kentucky AARP members voiced their "frustrations" with candidates during a televised town hall last week. “The candidates weren't talking about issues that are really important to people who are retired or who are close to retirement," he says. "That is, they weren't talking about how Social Security needs to be strengthened, Medicare needs to be strengthened." Kimbrough says you don't have to be retired or a baby boomer to put the voter's guide to use, because the issues swirling around financial security impact all generations. But, take note - at 64 percent, nearly two-thirds of Kentucky's registered voters are age 50 or over. "The political science guys will tell you persons age 50 and over are disproportionately active in midterm elections," he says. "It's odd that candidates aren't paying more attention to the people who are actually going to be voting." AARP posts its voter guides for all 50 states at www.aarp.org/yourvote.

Kentuckians Encouraged to Report Suspected Election Fraud

Kentucky voters who suspect election fraud have an outlet to report any sort of suspected wrongdoing. Attorney General Jack Conway said they can help his office combat vote fraud by utilizing his Election Fraud Hotline. Kentuckians who witness election irregularities or possible election law violations are encouraged to call the Election Fraud Hotline at 800-328-VOTE (800-328-8683). The Attorney General’s Election Fraud Hotline is open throughout the year during normal business hours and from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m Tuesday, Nov. 4 (Election Day). The hotline received 205 calls from more than 60 counties during the 2014 Primary Election and 183 calls from nearly 60 counties during the 2012 General Election.

Investigators from the Attorney General’s Office will also be patrolling precincts and polling places across the Commonwealth during Tuesday’s primary. General Conway’s office has also worked closely with the Secretary of State’s Office, United States Attorney’s offices in Eastern and Western Kentucky and other members of the Kentucky Election Integrity Task Force to protect voters and the integrity of the election. By law, the Office of the Attorney General has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute election law violations. The office is also required by statute to conduct post-election audits in six randomly drawn counties within 20 days of the election.

Local News 10-30-2014

Sex Related Charges Filed against a Johnson Co. Man

A Johnson Co. man was arrested Friday, October 24 by the KSP, charged with Rape 3rd Degree, Sodomy 3rd Degree and Incest – Forcible Compulsion/Incapable of Consent U/18. According to reports, troopers arrested Johnny E. Blair, 37 of Denver after the Johnson Co. Dept. of Social Services received a complaint of sexual abuse involving a juvenile victim. Trooper Joshua Neace met with the victim who told him that she had been raped by Blair on Monday, October 20, 2014. Trooper Neace went to Blair’s residence on Lower Twin Branch in Johnson Co. and Neace said Blair admitted to him that sexual intercourse did occur that night. Blair was taken to the Bid Sandy Detention Center and at news time, he still remains. No other information has been provided and the KSP continues to investigate this alleged incident.

Another Arrest made in a Morgan Co. Murder Case

According to a news release from the KSP in Morehead, on Friday, October 17, 2014 KSP in Morehead arrested two individuals in connection with the Murder of Randy Williams. Christopher S. Peyton, 20 of West Liberty was arrested and charged with murder. Kimberly D. Peyton, 55 of West Liberty was arrested and charged with Complicity to Commit Murder. Additionally on Tuesday, October 28, 2014 Kentucky State Police Morehead Detective Donnie McGraw served Indictment Warrants on Christopher Peyton and Kimberly Peyton. Additionally the Morgan County Grand Jury handed down Indictments on Michael S. Ferguson, 22 of West Liberty. Mr. Ferguson has been indicted on charges of Facilitation to Murder and Tampering with Physical Evidence. The indictments were issued by the Morgan County Grand Jury in reference to the murder investigation of Randy Williams on October 16, 2014. All subjects are currently being housed at the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center in Paintsville, KY. The case remains under investigation by Detective Donnie McGraw.

KSP Searching for Two Missing Persons in Greenup Co.

According to a news release from the KSP in Ashland is seeking the public’s assistance in locating two missing persons from Greenup County. Kimbree Spillman, age 15, and Peyton Adkins, age 15 both of South Shore, KY are currently entered as missing persons. At this time their locations are unknown, but are possibly travelling to the Cincinnati, OH area. It is also thought the two juveniles are together. Kimbree Spillman is approximately 5’ 4” and weighs 115lbs. She has Blonde hair and green eyes. A current clothing description is unknown at this time. Peyton Adkins is approximately 5’ 00” and weighs 110lbs. She has brown hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing black and white printed leggings with a gray/silver shirt. The Kentucky State Police is asking the public for any information related to this case or the location of Spillman and Adkins. Callers may remain anonymous and can call the Kentucky State Police at 1-800-222-5555 or 1-606-928-6421. Trooper Tim Duvall is the lead investigator in the case.


Still Looking for Answers in Prestonsburg Man's Murder

Detectives with the KSP is asking the public for their help in solving a year old murder case out of Floyd Co. On October 2, 2013, Police found the body of 52-year- old Timothy Austin dead inside his apartment on Hibiscus Court in Prestonsburg. Initially officials did not release any information surrounding Austin's death, including how he was killed, but they now say that he was shot multiple times. Detectives say they have received a lot of information regarding the case, however they do believe there is more information out there and they are encouraging folks with information to come forward. Anyone with information should call Kentucky State Police Post 9 at (606) 433-7711. You can remain anonymous.

Deputies Searching for Man Responsible for Hit-and-Run with School Bus in Perry Co.

Police in Perry Co. are searching for a man wanted in a hit and run involving a school bus. Investigators say the incident happened on Wednesday morning in Perry Co. Investigators say the man they are looking for is Gary Daniels. Authorities say they have tracked Daniels to the Oneida area of Clay County. Deputies from both Perry and Clay County are searching for him along Highway 1482. Daniels is known around that area and has a long criminal history. No one was injured in the crash.

SunCoke Files Application for Power Plant in Greenup Co.

The Kentucky State Board of Electric Generation and Transmission Siting has received an application for an electric generating plant and associated electric transmission line in Greenup County. SunkCoke Energy South Shore LLC, of Lisle, Illinois, filed the application on October 24. The company is proposing constructing a 90-megawatt plant in conjunction with a coke plant to be built on about 250 acres along the Ohio River two miles northeast of South Shore.

According to Greenup County Judge Executive Bobby Carpenter the plant would bring 100-120 permanent jobs, along with 800 construction jobs during the two years it takes to build the facilities. The site is currently in agricultural use, but is near other industrial facilities. SunCoke produces coke for use in steelmaking. Coke production involves heating coal to drive off volatile compounds, leaving behind a material that is pure carbon. The proposed plant would capture and burn compounds to produce steam, which would drive a turbine to generate electricity. The plant could generate up to 90 MW of electricity, but would typically produce 40 to 80 MW, according to SunCoke’s application.

Connection to the grid would be via a 138-kilovolt transmission line to an American Electric Power Co. substation in New Boston, Ohio, a distance of about a mile. The electricity would be sold on the open, wholesale market. The siting board has 120 days after the application is completed to decide on approval. If anyone wants to file for an intervention, formal evidentiary hearing, or local public hearing, they have until November 24 to do so.


Local News 10-29-2014


Another School Locked down in Martin Co.

Martin Co. Schools were forced into locking down another school Tuesday, as school officials at Warfield Elementary found a bullet at their school. This makes the 3rd time a school has been locked down in Martin Co. since mid-September and a school bus also had to be secured, due to a bullet being found. This latest lockdown occurred around 9:45 am Tuesday, as officials at Warfield Elementary said they found a bullet in locker in a kindergarten classroom. According to Martin Co. Schools Superintendent Steve Meadows, he says the lockdown was lifted about 30 minutes after it was issued. Meadows also added that this latest incident is related to a bullet found on the school bus on Tuesday, October 21. The student allegedly involved in both incidents has not been resolved as of news time.

Perry County Business Robbed at Knife Point

According to a news release from the KSP in Hazard, the One Mart, a convenience store located in the Avawam community of Perry County, fell victim to an armed robbery late Sunday evening. Troopers with Kentucky State Police Post 13 in Hazard responded to the store, after receiving a call that the business had been robbed at knife point. At the scene, an employee advised officers that a male subject had entered the store wearing a black jacket, black pants, and a black mask. The man wielded a knife and demanded cash from the register. The clerk complied with the perpetrator and gave him the money. The subject then exited the store, fleeing on foot on Big Creek Road. The robber was not located, and remains at large at this time. Anyone with information that might assist with this investigation and the apprehension of the person responsible for this crime is urged to contact KSP Post 13 at 606-435-6069. This incident remains under investigation by Detective Billy Pollard.

Police Investigating a Bath County Shooting

Police in Bath Co. are investigating a shooting that left a man dead. The only information Police are releasing at this time indicates that 77-year-old Joshua Crouch was found dead in his home located on Mud Lick Road. According to the Bath Co. Coroner’s office, they say it looks as if Crouch was carrying a gun when he tripped and fatally shot himself. The KSP, along with the Bath Co. Sheriff’s Dept. are continuing to investigate this incident.

Former Girls Basketball Coach Arrested in Harlan

According to reports, a former Girls basketball coach in Harlan County has been arrested by the KSP on sex-related crimes. Anthony Nolan, 41, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with two counts of promoting a minor (under 16) in sex performance and two charges of promoting a sexual performance by a minor (under 18). Nolan is currently being held in the Harlan County Detention Center and no other details have been released at this time.    

Grant Allows Olive Hill Police to get Duty Weapons, Stun Guns

The city of Olive Hill has received a $13,500 grant to purchase duty weapons and stun guns. The money came from the Kentucky State Police and the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security. The two agencies use income from sales of confiscated weapons to federally licensed firearms dealers to generate money for the initiative. Homeland Security then provides available funds for the acquisition of body armor, duty weapons, ammunition and electronic or muscular disruption technical devices.

BSACAP to Begin Energy Assistance Program Monday, Nov. 3

The Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (aka - BSACAP) will be taking applications for the Subsidy portion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) from Monday, Nov. 3, until Thursday, Dec. 11. Applications will be taken in alphabetical order, with specific days assigned on the calendar. To avoid delays and long lines, BSACAP encourages everyone to apply on the date that corresponds with their last name. To qualify for the Subsidy component of LIHEAP, applicants must present the following:

• Most recent heating bill or proof that heating expenses are included in rent (for example: lease agreement or rent contract);

• Metered utility bill;

• Proof of household income for prior month;

• Birthdates for all household members;

• Social security card or official documentation with social security numbers for each member of household.

Applicants must apply in their county of residence. Applications will be taken at the following BSACAP service offices from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.:

Floyd County
60 Court Street
Allen, Ky

Johnson County
230 Court Street
Paintsville, Ky

Magoffin County
131 Church Street
Salyersville, Ky

Martin County
387 E. Main Street
Inez, Ky.

Pike County
478 Town Mountain Road
Pikeville, Ky

Days to submit applications according to your last names are as follows:


A – Nov. 3; B – Nov. 4-5; C – Nov. 6-7; D and E – Nov. 10; F – Nov. 12; G – Nov. 13; H – Nov. 14 and 17; I and J – Nov. 18; K – Nov. 19; L – Nov. 20; M – Nov. 21 and 24; N – Nov. 25.


O and P – Dec. 1; Q and R – Dec. 2; S – Dec. 3-4; T – Dec. 5; U, V and W – Dec. 8; X, Y and Z – Dec. 9; OPEN – Dec. 10 and 11.

The benefit amount received will be based on the household level of poverty and the type of fuel used for heating. Benefits will be issued for approved applicants, contingent upon funding, and will be made payable to the household’s primary or secondary heating fuel vendor. LIHEAP, a national energy assistance initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is funded in Kentucky by the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services and Community Action Kentucky.

Local Group Planning Dual Tribute to Veterans

The Appalachian Hospice Care Veterans Committee is planning events in the days following Veterans Day. The events will be open to all veterans from Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin and Pike counties. The first event is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 13, as the group will host a fish fry and barbecue at the National Guard Armory, in Prestonsburg from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Then, on Saturday, Nov. 15, the group is sponsoring a showing of the celebrated movie, “The Honor Flight,” at the Sipp Theater, in Paintsville. The documentary follows the efforts of a Midwestern community to send four living World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., so that they could view firsthand the monuments and memorials erected in honor of the achievements of “The Greatest Generation.” Both events are free for veterans, who can also each bring one guest for free. For more information, please contact Stephanie Healy or Charly Sholty, at Applachian Hospice Care, 606-789-3841. More information can also be found online at veteranthanksahc.org.

Local News 10-28-2014


Former Johnson County Resident Indicted, Charged with Felony Records Tampering

A former Johnson Co. resident and former employee with the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office has recently been indicted, charged with felony tampering with public records while he was an employee in April of 2011. Mitchell "Mitch" Castle, 30, who currently lives in Lawrence Co. was indicted October 17, 2014. According to the website, the Levisa Lazer, the indictment stated Castle allegedly knowingly and unlawfully concealed, removed or otherwise impaired the availability of any public record while lacking the authority to do so, and failed to produce the proper and required document/record or transaction receipt for the Johnson County Sheriff's Office that would allow the office to properly record the monetary transaction. The alleged incident occurred while Castle was employed by the Sheriff's office as community and city liason, the indictment says.

Castle reportedly turned himself in, shortly after the indictment was announced at the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center and he was immediately released on a $5,000 cash bond. Castle is currently a candidate for Louisa City Council in the Nov. 4 election and according to Lawrence Co. Clerk Chris Jobe, Castle is still eligible to run for the city council seat, but if he were to be convicted of these charges, he would not be able to serve. It’s important to know that an indictment is simply a charge by a grand jury and not proof of guilt or innocence.         

Update: Pike Co. Fire Destroys Convenience Store and Motel

As reported on Monday, firefighters from several Pike County fire departments worked to extinguish a Sunday fire at the "Phelps One Stop and Motel" in Phelps community of Pike Co. Officials say no one was injured in the fire, but it caused significant damage to the property. Officials say the fire was reported at around 9AM Sunday morning and believe the fire started following an incident involving a gas stove located inside the store's kitchen. The exact cause however, has yet to be confirmed. No one was reported injured and the Motel tenants and guests were away at the time of the fire. The intersection of Kentucky 194 and Highway 632 was closed for several hours Sunday because of the fire, which firefighters say they battled until sometime Sunday evening. Officials say they have no reason at this time to suspect foul play was involved.

Hazard Doctor's License Suspended following Indictment

A Hazard doctor and his staff at the Ace Clinique of Medicine in Hazard have been named in a federal indictment. Doctor James "Ace" Chaney, his wife Lesa and Physicians Assistant Gregory Hoskins worked together from June 2006 to September 2013 to distribute and unlawfully dispense drugs. On October 21st, the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure suspended Chaney’s license. All three individuals face up to 50 years in prison and each has already pleaded not guilty. If convicted, they each will have to forfeit money, property, numerous cars and an airplane. A trial date is set in London for December 9th.

KSP: Interstate Copper Thieves Costing State Millions

The drive for some Kentuckians and those driving through the state on the interstate may have been black-out in some areas because, state police say, thieves are stealing the copper from the lights that should be illuminating the road. Kentucky State Police say thieves have pillaged entrance and exit ramp lights on Kentucky interstates at least 37 times. State highway engineers estimate the crimes have cost about $2 million in damages over the last four years. Officials say tax money needed for work such as snow removal, pot holes and guard rails has been wasted fixing lights across Kentucky. State police are offering a $2,500 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of copper wire thieves to fight back and keep tax payers' money back on the road, where it needs to be. If you have any information you can contact KSP by calling their hotline at (800) 222-5555.

Progress on Child Care Support in KY

It was hailed as a major victory for children in Kentucky when, earlier this year, the Legislature restored funding for child care assistance. But, advocates say additional improvements are needed, including expanded eligibility and making sure providers are reimbursed adequately. In August, parents who had had their state support cut were able to re-enroll their children after lawmakers moved the eligibility cut-off back up to 140 percent. But, Ruth Ann Hornback, who owns three child care centers in Louisville, says increasing the limit to 200 percent of poverty would help more working parents. "Two hundred percent is still not that much money," she stresses. "Not enough for you to, to be able to afford, you know, 150 a week for day care, you know, 600 a month. "But, it is enough for people to better themselves and not be at risk of losing their child care."

According to the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) the cost of full-time care ranges from $3,700 to $16,400 a year, depending on where a family lives. A new report from the NWLC finds that families in most states are better off this year, compared with last, because of improvements in child care assistance policies. But, according to Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates, even after lawmakers restored funding, something not reflected in the report's numbers, the state's eligibility threshold remains among the bottom 10 in the nation. In addition, it's been eight years since the state raised its reimbursement rates for providers. Hornback says for a small business owner like her that makes it very difficult to maintain a high quality of care. "I do my best to provide the curriculum and a quality program to where these children are ready when they start kindergarten," she says. "Because isn't that the whole reason behind going to preschool, is so that these children are ready?" According to the report, Kentucky is one of seven states that has not changed its reimbursement rates since 2006.

Paintsville/Johnson Co. Chamber of Commerce Host Meet the Candidates Night

The Paintsville/Johnson County Chamber of Commerce held a “Meet the candidates Night” Monday night in the auditorium of the Big sandy Community and Technical College’s Mayo Campus in Paintsville. The public was invited and a good crowd was on hand to hear the thoughts of the candidates and try to get a clearer picture of who the candidates are, what they represent and what they believe. Last night’s meeting featured the Paintsville City Mayor’s candidates with Johnnie LeMasters, Denise Preece, Dan Lyons, Ricky Joe Keeton, current Mayor Bob Porter was absent due to a prior commitment. The Johnson Co. Sheriff’s race between challenger and former Sheriff Bill Witten and our current Sheriff Dwayne Price. Each of the three Commissioner races in the County. Dist 1 – current commissioner Kathy Adams and challenger Kackie Ross, Dist 2 – current commissioner Paul “Barber” Daniel and challenger Chad Woody, Dist 3 – current commissioner Darren Gamble and challenger Travis Scott. Also the District Judges race with Atty’s John Chaffin and Paul Pack, State Representative 97th District candidates current Rep. Hubie Collins and challenger Bobby McCool and City Council candidates able to speak.

Of course the election is just 8 days away (Tuesday, November 4, 2014) and expect to get a last minute knock on your door, as the candidates make a last pitch to the voting public in Paintsville and Johnson Co. If your unsure were you vote, contact the County Clerk’s office and ask. As always, WSIP news will have LIVE coverage of election results as they come in at the Clerk’s office. Our coverage begins around 6:00 PM or as the polls close.