LOCAL NEWS

WSIP News 5-25-2016

 

2nd Arrest made in Murder of a Former W.Va. Coal Executive

A second person was arrested Tuesday afternoon, in connection with the murder of a former W.Va. coal executive. According to reports, Ben Hatfield was found shot to death in the Mountain View Memory Gardens Cemetery in Mingo Co., W.Va early Monday morning. Hatfield had been reported missing after not returning to his residence in Kanawha Co. He had been visiting his wife's grave at the cemetery. Mingo Co Sheriff James Smith says investigators were able to ping Hatfield's phone and that led them to the cemetery, where they found his body.

On Tuesday morning, Anthony Arriaga, 20, of Gibsonburg, Ohio, was arrested early in Allen Co, Ohio, which is more than five hours away from Mingo Co. He was charged with first degree murder in Hatfield's death. Arriaga waived extradition and a judge set his bond at $1 million, according to court officials. No word when he will be transported back to West Virginia. Sheriff Smith says an automatic handgun, believed to be the murder weapon in the homicide investigation, was found near the river by a Kentucky State Police K9 unit, not far from where Hatfield's body was located. According to Sheriff Smith, they believe Arriaga killed Hatfield then took his own clothes off and left them near the scene. Arriaga then paid a man $45 to give him a ride to Wayne Co, telling the driver he had fallen into the river. Reports indicate that when Arriaga got to Wayne Co, he allegedly told another person he killed a man and needed to get to Ohio.

On Tuesday afternoon, Ricky Dean Peterson, 20, of Wayne, was arrested and charged with accessory after the fact, obstructing/resisting an officer, and giving false information to a trooper. Investigators say they got a tip that Arriaga visited Peterson after the murder. Peterson initially told them he had made no contact with Arriaga and had no knowledge of the murder or the suspect. However, according to the criminal complaint, two other people who live in the home told investigators Arriaga was at the home and told Peterson about the murder. Investigators say while transporting Peterson to jail, he told them if they took him home, he would give them valuable information about the murder. He's being held in the Western Regional Jail.


Floyd Co. Deputies Search for a Wanted Man

According to a news release from the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office, on May 16 the agency received a report of a stolen 2002 Green 450 Honda 4 wheeler from the John Hall/Bill Hall area of Floyd Co. Through tips from the public, deputies were able to recover the stolen 4 wheeler and return it to its rightful owner. A warrant has been issued for Douglas Martin of the John Hall/Bill Hall area in connection with the theft. If you have any information to supply the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office, please call the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office at 606-886-6711 or you may call the anonymous Tip Line (606) 949-2020.

Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office needs Help in Recent Robbery at Dewey Lake

In a separate news release from the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office, the agency is continuing to investigate the theft of Army Corp equipment from the Dewey Lake and they are needing the public’s help in catching those responsible. Investigators say the theft happened sometime between 8:00 PM on April 29th and 6:00 AM on April 30th near the Dewey Lake Dam area. Reports indicate that 2 male individuals unlawfully entered a fenced area where the Corp of Engineer keeps their boats stored. The 2 men then stole property from the boats including a two-way radio. If anyone has any information on this incident, you’re ask to contact the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office at 606-886-6711 or you may call the anonymous Tip Line (606) 949-2020.


Six People Indicted after Car, Tool Theft in Hazard

Six people were indicted Monday following the theft of a car and more than $40,000 in tools from Master Tech Auto. Randy Dale Campbell was arrested after the theft, but police were not able to recover all the tools. Deanna Gwinn, Charles Griffith, Charles Thomas, Sammy Watts, Angelia Joseph and Randy Campbell were each indicted. Prosecutors allege Campbell stole everything and the other five conspired to help him. All six are charged with participating in an organized crime syndicate, Campbell was also charged with theft and burglary, and Joseph was charged with receiving stolen property.


Ky. AG asks Supreme Court to Hear College Funding Case

Kentucky's Democratic attorney general has asked the Supreme Court to decide whether Gov. Matt Bevin has the authority to cut college and university budgets without the approval of the state legislature. A state judge ruled last week that Bevin does have the authority to order public colleges and universities not to spend all of the money the state legislature gave them. Attorney General Andy Beshear is appealing the decision, arguing it gives the governor's office too much power. The case would normally go to the state Court of Appeals. But Beshear is asking the state Supreme Court to take the case because of its "great and immediate public importance." A spokeswoman for Bevin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Sanders Campaign Requests Kentucky Vote Re-canvass

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign is requesting a recanvass in Kentucky's presidential primary, where he trails Hillary Clinton by less than one-half of 1 percent of the vote. The Sanders campaign says it will ask the Kentucky secretary of state to have election officials review electronic voting machines and absentee ballots from last week's primary in each of the state's 120 counties. Clinton holds 1,924-vote lead over Sanders out of 454,573 votes cast. The Associated Press had not called the race, despite Clinton's slight lead, in the event that Sanders might ask to recanvass the vote. A recanvass is not a recount but a review of the voting totals. Both Clinton and Sanders received 27 delegates, but one delegate remains to be allocated in a congressional district that includes Frankfort and Lexington.


Road Paving in Planned in Johnson Co.

Due to unforeseen circumstances the contractor for the Johnson Co Road Department, was not able to start the Southside paving project as planned on Tuesday. The contractor will be starting the Southside blacktopping project at 7 AM Wednesday morning. The road department is asking that all vehicles be moved off the road by 7 AM on Wednesday morning. Once again, The Johnson Cou Road Department says thanks for your cooperation!

 

WSIP News 5-24-2016

 

Johnson Co Sheriff Employee Charged with Stealing County Tax Money

According to reports, a Johnson Co grand jury has indicted a former employee with the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office on theft charges. Joyce Estep is charged with theft by unlawful taking under $10,000, a Class D felony, for stealing $919 worth of county tax money from the property tax collection. According to the indictment, Estep took the money between December 1, 2015, and January 31, 2016. Sheriff Price says Estep would accept the cash payments from the local citizens, mark them as paid in the system, then come back and take them at a later date and time. She was fired the day the discrepancies were discovered, according to reports. Estep was an employee at the Sheriff’s Office for nearly 5 years. Estep was booked into the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center on Friday afternoon, but has since been released. She is scheduled for a pretrial conference June 3. The KSP handled the investigation. No other information has been released at this time.


One Man Dead, One Arrested following a Floyd Co Stabbing

According to information from the KSP in Pikeville, a Floyd Co man is dead and another man arrested following a stabbing Sunday evening. Reports indicate that the incident happened at a home on Denwood Road in Martin, (Floyd Co). The Floyd Co. Coroner’s Office identified the deceased as Timmy Ward. Kentucky State Police arrested Trenton Ward in connection to the incident. Information says following the incident, Trenton Ward went to his aunt's house, changed clothes and threw his old clothes into a creek. Trenton Ward was lodged in the Floyd Co Detention Center, but at this time, has only been charged with tampering with physical evidence. An autopsy was performed on Timmy Ward's body Monday, but the results have not been returned. KSP in Pikeville are continuing to investigate this incident.


Morehead State Univ. Police Officer Injured in Accident

An officer with the Morehead State University Police Department was injured Monday morning in a motorcycle accident. According to the University Sgt., Anthony Daulton was on his way home from work on his personal motorcycle when he lost control on University Blvd. Sgt. Daulton then crossed a creek and struck an embankment. He was taken to the University of Kentucky Medical Center with unknown injuries. His condition is not known at this time. University officials say Sgt. Daulton was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.


Arrest made in a Mingo Co W.Va Coal Executive’s Murder

The Mingo Co Sheriff says an arrest has been made in the death of a former coal executive from West Virginia. Ben Hatfield was found shot to death around 6:30 a.m. Monday at Mountain View Memory Gardens Cemetery in Maher, W.Va. Hatfield was the former vice president of Patriot Coal Corp. Sheriff James Smith says Anthony Arriaga was arrested in Ohio about 2 a.m. Tuesday morning. Sheriff Smith says they've also located a vehicle that's connected to the case. Hatfield's body was found. Sheriff Smith says Hatfield was fatally shot as he was visiting the graves of his wife and in-laws. Smith said Hatfield lived in Kanawha County and his girlfriend had reported him missing after he didn't return for the weekend. Smith says they pinged the victim's cell phone, and it led them to the cemetery. Officials are working to get Arriaga extradited back to W.Va. to face the charges against him. No other information is being released at this time.


Man Charged In a Deadly Apartment Fire in Winchester, May Have Bond Reduced

The man that police say is responsible for an apartment fire that killed three people, including his own son, may have his bond reduced. According to the Winchester Sun, a judge is considering lowering the bond of Jackie Hisle. Hisles is accused of starting an explosion and fire at the B & P Apartments. Hisle admitted to smoking while on oxygen, triggering the explosion. His attorney asked the judge to lower the bond, and the prosecutor admitted that the million dollar bond was excessive. The judge will make a decision at a later date. For now, Hisle remains in jail.


2 Kentucky Groups Receives Federal Grants to Help with Poverty Areas

One group will receive a $250,000 federal grant to help low-income communities develop businesses and create jobs in eastern Kentucky. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the grant last week for the London-based Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation. The USDA reports matching funds are required locally to double the impact of the grant. The grant will support the Leslie Co and Perry Co fiscal courts and the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program. The agency also announced a $95,000 matching grant to Community Action Kentucky to help five rural utilities operate a database to map and manage assets. The communities are Cumberland, Evarts, Jenkins, Liberty and Lynch. The USDA reports the grants involve persistent poverty areas.



WSIP News 5-23-2016

 

Knott Co Man Dies Following Shooting Incident Involving KSP

A Knott Co man was fatally wounded Thursday evening after being involved in a shooting incident with the Kentucky State Police. Troopers with KSP Post 13 in Hazard responded to a complaint of an intoxicated man who was fighting with several individuals at a home on Jenny Holland Drive in the Fisty community of Knott Co. While Troopers were in route to the residence, an additional call was made advising that this same male subject, later identified as 36 year old Timothy Brandon Stacy of Fisty, had possession of a firearm which he had fired several times outside of the residence. Officers with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife also responded to the scene.

When Troopers arrived on scene, they observed Brandon Stacy outside of the residence. They began talking with Mr. Stacy, who became combative and ran inside the home. Commands were given to Stacy urging him to come out of the residence unarmed, which he ignored. After several more attempts to negotiate failed, Stacy retrieved the gun and waved it toward Troopers, making threats to them. He ignored pleas from officers to drop the weapon and suddenly raised the gun toward them. Perceiving a threat to their safety, Troopers discharged their issued firearms, fatally injuring Brandon Stacy, who was pronounced deceased at the scene by Knott Co Coroner Jeff Blair. The body was sent for an autopsy at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort

Troopers Josh Huff and Charlie Moore, and Detective Chris Collins have all been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure, in a trooper involved shooting. This investigation is being conducted by Lt. Jeff Lewis with KSP Post 8 in Morehead. He will be assisted by Lt. Aaron Martin with KSP Post 14 in Ashland and Lt. Ryan Catron with KSP Post 13.


Floyd Co. Deputies Recover Stolen Items. Warrant Issued for Man

According to a news release from the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office, on May 16 the agency received a report of a stolen 2002 Green 450 Honda 4 wheeler from the John Hall/Bill Hall area of Floyd Co. Through tips from the public, deputies were able to recover the stolen 4 wheeler and return it to its rightful owner. A warrant has been issued for Douglas Martin of the John Hall/Bill Hall area in connection with the theft. If you have any information to supply the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office, please call the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office at 606-886-6711 or you may call the anonymous Tip Line (606) 949-2020.


Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office needs Help in Recent Robbery at Dewey Lake

In a separate news release from the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office, the agency is continuing to investigate the theft of Army Corp equipment from the Dewey Lake and they are needing the public’s help in catching those responsible. Investigators say the theft happened sometime between 8:00 PM on April 29th and 6:00 AM on April 30th near the Dewey Lake Dam area. Reports indicate that 2 male individuals unlawfully entered a fenced area where the Corp of Engineer keeps their boats stored. The 2 men then stole property from the boats including a two-way radio. If anyone has any information on this incident, you’re ask to contact the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office at 606-886-6711 or you may call the anonymous Tip Line (606) 949-2020.


KSP Investigating Collision in Fleming Co

According to a news release from the KSP in Morehead, on Friday May 20, 2016, at 08:03 A.M. Kentucky State Police Post 8 Morehead received information from Fleming County 911 about single vehicle collision that occurred on Highway 697 in Fleming County. Trooper Jared Wagner responded to the scene. After further investigation it was determined that Christian Garcia, 18, of Flemingsburg was traveling northbound on KY 697 when he lost control of his vehicle and exited the opposite side of the roadway before coming to a final rest over an embankment. Mr. Garcia was airlifted to the University of Kentucky Medical Center where he is listed in stable condition. The collision remains under investigation by Trooper Jared Wagner.


Judge Denies Motion to Exclude Testimony in Federal Vote-Buying Case in Magoffin Co

According to reports from the Salyersville Independent, the judge in the federal vote-buying case has denied a motion to exclude evidence of alleged acts from the 2010 general election. In the superseding indictment filed on February 25, Magoffin Co Magistrate District #1 Gary "Rooster" Risner, Tami Jo Risner, Mason Daniels, Scott Lynn McCarty, and Larry Shepherd were charged with paying and offering to pay for votes in an election, broken down into 17 counts of felony offenses. All have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Reports say Gary Risner's attorney, filed a motion in limine to exclude evidence of alleged acts from the 2010 general election since the defendants are only on trial for punitive acts concerning the 2014 primary and general elections, stating McCarty's statements to the FBI strain his credibility as to whether or not he was actually "in the fold" with Hardin, Shepherd and Gary Risner and that many of the statements were only hearsay. On Tuesday, May 17, United States District Judge Danny C. Reeves filed a memorandum opinion and order, denying Risner's motion in limine to exclude the evidence, citing case laws that indicate that allowable background evidence includes "those other acts that are inextricably intertwined with the charged offense or those acts, the telling of which is necessary to complete the story of the charged offense."

The jury trial is scheduled to begin on Tuesday, July 5, 2016, at 9:30 a.m. at the Pikeville Federal Courthouse. A pretrial conference is set for Thursday, June 2 at 2 p.m. in Pikeville.


Kentucky sees Big Unemployment Drop in April

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for April 2016 dropped to 5.3 percent from a revised 5.6 percent in March 2016, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The preliminary April 2016 jobless rate was identical to the rate recorded for the state in April 2015. The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for April 2016 was 5 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. In April 2016, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 1,982,338, an increase of 268 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment was up by 6,405, and the number of unemployed decreased by 6,137.


Speed Limit Lowered on US 23 in Floyd Co

This reminder, according to officials with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the speed limit on US 23 in Floyd Co has been reduced to 45 miles per hour through the area where a rockfall last week, reduced traffic to two lanes. A news release said drivers who will not slow down and those who are speeding up to pass vehicles before merging into the single lane create a serious safety hazard in the area. “We’ve had some close calls,” said Darold Slone, Engineering Branch Manager. “Some people insist on reckless driving, aggressive driving, trying to get in front of other vehicles before the road merges into a single lane, especially northbound drivers. They are putting themselves, other drivers, and our workers in danger.” The hillside where the rockfall started is still unstable, the release noted.

 

WSIP News 5-20-2016

 

Knott Co. Man Dies in Officer-Involved Shooting

A Knott Co. man died Thursday night in a police involved shooting. According to information, the incident took place at a residence on Highway 721 in the Fisty Community near Hindman. Kentucky State police say they received a call that a man, identified as Brandon Stacy, was drunk and was firing shots near his home. When troopers arrived at the scene, they say Stacy raised a gun at them and Troopers then fired in self-defense, killing Stacy. Police say no one else was injured. KSP shut down Kentucky 721 for several hours as they investigated the scene. An autopsy will take place Friday in Frankfort and the Kentucky State Police will continue to investigate.


Man Dies in a Harlan Co. Fire

Courtesy: MGN Online

Kentucky State Police Troopers in Harlan Co are investigating a fatal fire in the Baxter community. They say that a man was found dead in the home when the fire department entered the structure. The victim was identified as 25-year-old Jerry Robert Langley. Troopers say the owner of the residence was the one who discovered the home was on fire. Langley's body was removed by members of the fire department, Kentucky State Police and coroner's office. An autopsy is scheduled at the State Medical Examiner's Officer in Frankfort.


3 People Arrested on Possession Charges in Floyd Co

Three people were arrested Thursday night in Prestonsburg for possession of controlled substance charges. Arrested where: Joshua Vanhoose, 32, of River, Eric Hall, 29, of Wayland and Traci L. Hall, 29, of Louisa. All three were charged with first degree possession of a controlled substance and other related charges. According to a news release from the Prestonsburg Police Department, Officer William Holbrook went to a car parked by itself in Archer Park and questioned the people inside. Officer Holbrook reported that he received conflicting stories about why the men were parked at the park and due to those stories, as well as suspicious activity led him to a search the vehicle. During the search, police found two yellow baggies containing thick brown liquid, one yellow bag with white powder residue, several hypodermic needles, spoons, a set digital scale and a large amount of small plastic bags. All three were arrested and taken to the Floyd Co Jail.

 

Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office needs Help in Recent Robbery at Dewey Lake



According to the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Dept. the agency is needing the public’s help in catching those responsible for stealing property belonging to the Corp of Engineer at Dewey Lake. Deputies are investigating a theft that occurred sometime between 8:00 PM on April 29th and 6:00 AM on April 30th near the Dewey Lake Dam area. Reports indicate that 2 male individuals unlawfully entered a fenced area where the Corp of Engineer keeps their boats stored. The 2 men then stole property from the boats including a two-way radio. If anyone has any information on this incident, you’re ask to contact the Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Office at 606-886-6711 or you may call the anonymous Tip Line (606) 949-2020.


Man Rescued from Top of Building after Falling from Ladder in Martin Co.

According to information supplied by Donald York with the Mountain Wolf Website, rescue crews responded to the Roy F. Collier Community Center in Inez Thursday, after receiving information about a man hurt after he fell from a ladder while cleaning gutters. According to York, Charles Maynard, a maintenance worker at the facility, was cleaning gutters on the building. He had placed a ladder on the lower level roof and was working on the gutters on the higher roof. Reports indicate the ladder slid out from under Maynard and he fell onto the lower roof. Due to Maynard’s injuries, he was unable to go back down the ladder. Members of the Prestonsburg F.D were called to assist rescue workers and brought their ladder truck to the Community Center and was able to get Maynard to safety and he was taken to a nearby hospital by NetCare Ambulance. No other details are known at this time.


Elliott Co Woman Indicted on Medicaid Fraud Charges

An Elliott Co woman has been indicted on two counts of medicaid fraud, according to the office of Attorney General Andy Beshear. Ruby Fraley, 56, of Isonville, was indicted by an Elliott Co grand jury of the Class D felonies. Fraley was employed to manage the services of Medicaid recipients who were enrolled in the Consumer Directed Options Program, which allows qualifying Medicaid members to receive nonmedical services in their home. It is alleged that Fraley completed and submitted an employee’s timesheets for personal care of a Medicaid recipient when other records indicate that the employee could not have provided services.

Additionally, it is alleged that Fraley submitted timesheets indicating she was providing personal care for a Medicaid recipient while at the same time billing and receiving payment for transporting other Medicaid recipients. It is also alleged that Fraley fraudulently submitted documents to the Kentucky Medicaid Program causing a loss to Medicaid of more than $1,900. Arraignment has been scheduled for June 13, in Elliott Co Circuit Court. If convicted, Fraley faces a potential sentence of one to 10 years. This case was investigated by Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse of the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office and the Cabinet for Health and Family Service’s Office of the Inspector General. A charge is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The Attorney General’s tip line for reporting allegations of Medicaid provider fraud is 502-696-5405. Since taking office in January, Beshear has recovered more than $2.6 million for the state through Medicaid Provider Fraud recoveries.

Perry Co Clerk Fined; Considers Appealing Charge

Perry Co Clerk Haven King was sentenced Thursday after being found guilty in April on harassment and official misconduct charges. King had been on trial after a video surfaced of him questioning a woman about her license plate on Facebook. The accuser, Kali Bentley, claimed King tailgated her on the way to school before harassing her. King was found not guilty of wreckless driving, menacing, stalking and unlawful imprisonment. King will not spend time in jail and was ordered to pay $750 in fines. King’s lawyer said they will discuss an appeal of the official misconduct charge before the fine is paid.


Former State Rep. W. Keith Hall Begins Prison Sentence

Former State Representative W. Keith Hall reported to jail Wednesday after his conviction of bribing a state inspector. Hall formerly served Pike Co as a representative for 14 years. He was subsequently convicted by a Pikeville jury. Hall owned and operate surface mines in the county and in 2009 and 2010, Hall paid around $46,000 to former mine reclamation officer Kelly Shortridge for favorable treatment in connection with his official duties. In exchange for money, Shortridge was to ignore violations at Hall's property. Shortridge was sentenced to two years. Hall will serve seven years at the United States Penitentiary McCreary in Pine Knot, a minimum security facility. Hall will have to serve two years on supervised release once he serves his time and pay the government a $25,000.


Speed Limit Lowered on US 23 in Floyd Co

According to officials with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the speed limit on US 23 in Floyd Co has been reduced to 45 miles per hour through the area where a rockfall last week, reduced traffic to two lanes. A news release said drivers who will not slow down and those who are speeding up to pass vehicles before merging into the single lane create a serious safety hazard in the area. “We’ve had some close calls,” said Darold Slone, Engineering Branch Manager. “Some people insist on reckless driving, aggressive driving, trying to get in front of other vehicles before the road merges into a single lane, especially northbound drivers. They are putting themselves, other drivers, and our workers in danger.” The hillside where the rockfall started is still unstable, the release noted.

 

WSIP News 5-19-2016 - UPDATED

 

Johnson Co. Sheriff Deputies Recover Stolen Property

According to reports, on Tuesday evening, the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office recovered several stolen items from a home in the West Van Lear community. Deputies say they located stolen property inside of a home in the area, such as carpet, a ceiling fan, lights, and curtains. Deputy Byron Fairchild indicates that a nearby neighbor was redoing a house and it was broken into and the items were taken. Deputies found Howard Smith inside the home with the stolen items. Deputies say Smith had several warrants on him, including one for burglary. He was arrested Tuesday at the scene. Other people were also inside the home and the Sheriff’s Dept. say they will likely be facing charges as well and social services removed a 12-year old from that home due to an unsanitary environment and they found needles. The Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office said the stolen items was returned to the owners. No other information has been released at this time.

 

Video of Party Results In Arrest of 2 Magoffin Co School Employees

Two men who work for the Magoffin Co School System were arrested overnight, after video of a birthday party showed them allegedly partying with underage children. Reports indicate that Dearl Peters and Wendell King were both arrested and lodged in the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center. KSP say they were alerted to a video post that appeared to show a birthday party with several young people in attendance. In the video, the group can be seen flipping off the camera and singing "Happy Birthday" while holding cups filled with an unknown liquid. That video led officers to King's house on Patrick Drive in Salyersville. Upon arrival, Police say they discovered Dearl Peters, Leaha VanHoose and several juveniles trying to hide alcohol containers from sight. King was discovered unconscious and undressed in a bedroom. Reports indicate that one of the juveniles was sent to the hospital with symptoms of alcohol intoxication. All three individuals were charged with unlawful transaction with a minor, 3rd degree. Peters is listed as a carpentry teacher by the Magoffin Co School Board and Wendell King is also listed as working in the Central Office.


Online Tips lead Floyd Co. Deputies to Vehicle used in a Recent Theft

The Floyd Co Sheriff's Dept. is crediting social media for helping them find a truck used to haul away stolen items during a recent theft. On Saturday, May 14 a man showed up at the residence of Dallas Bates' asking if he would sell some of the items under his carport. The home owner agreed to sell some of the items and the then man said he would be back with some money, then left the property. The man did not return and Bates went to sleep. When he woke the next morning, he noticed items missing. Bates had security cameras on his property and once he checked them, he seen the same man taking multiple items from Bates' home, including two used dryers, a weed eater and shop vacuum.

The Floyd Co. Sheriff’s Dept. posted still pictures of the man on their Facebook Tuesday and within hours they received online tips that help lead them to the vehicle used to haul away the stolen items. Deputies spent most of Tuesday taking statements from witnesses and searching for the man in the pictures and where able to identify him as Justin Hughes. Hughes was located and was arrested and charged with theft, trespassing and possession of burglary tools.


Investigators say Morehead Fire Intentionally set

Investigators now say a fire that destroyed two Morehead businesses last month was set on purpose. Police in Morehead say surveillance video from the morning of April 12 shows a person entering the building. A short time later, the video shows flames coming from that building. Police say that video helped them determine it was arson. The fire destroyed H2O Wireless & Tobacco and Electric Beach Tanning on W Main St. The owner of the building said the fire caused around $1 million in damage. Police have not made any arrests in the case.


Judge Rules Bevin can Cut College, University Budgets

On Wednesday afternoon a Kentucky judge has ruled Republican Gov. Matt Bevin can cut the budgets of public colleges and universities without the approval of the state legislature. Franklin Co Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate says two state laws allow Bevin to reduce allotments for public colleges and universities. Wingate ruled while the governor's powers are usually confined to the state constitution, the legislature can give the governor additional powers by passing laws. He said Bevin's cuts of nearly $18 million to colleges and universities this year are not improper. Bevin proposed the cuts in January. The state legislature did not approve them. Bevin ordered the cuts anyway. Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear sued him. Wingate ordered Bevin to leave the $18 million alone until the case has been resolved.

31 Kentucky Counties Report Election Fraud Tuesday

More than 76 reports of election fraud from 31 counties were called into the Kentucky Attorney General’s hotline during Tuesday’s primary, Attorney General Andy Beshear reports. Complaints included procedural and legal questions, voter assistance, voting machines, voter identification, residency, election officials, electioneering, poll disruption and vote buying. The following counties in our region were among those with reported issues:

* Boyd County: Voting machine
* Floyd County: (two calls) Special or absentee ballot and one electioneering within 100 feet of polls

* Johnson County: Procedural question
* Pike County: Election official
* Rowan County: (two calls) Election official and procedural question


US 23 Slide in Floyd Co. Remains Active

Ivel slide by Paul Funk 1.jpg Ivel slide by Paul Funk 2.jpg

According to information supplied by the Dept. of Transportation District 12, traffic is down to two 12-foot lanes, using the southbound lanes of US 23 at Ivel in Floyd County following a slide that started Wednesday evening, May 11. Wide loads are now prohibited in the area. Highway District 12 Chief District Engineer Mary Westfall-Holbrook said the slide area is within sight of the 7.0 mile marker of the northbound lanes between Davidson Memorial Gardens and the Ivel Post Office.

“The hillside is not stable,” she said, “even though we have cleaned the pavement. You can see and hear the rock and earth moving up on the hill. We cannot put traffic on the northbound lanes while there is still any danger that more material could come down.”

Westfall-Holbrook estimated it could take two months to correct the situation. In the meantime, any wide loads – vehicles that have to have a permit from the Division of Motor Carriers – need to go around the area. There is no marked detour. “They may have to go as far as Hazard in one direction or as far as Charleston in the other direction,” she said. “They will have to figure that out themselves.” She said the team at District 12 and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet recognizes that this will be a significant inconvenience for what could be a prolonged period of time, but pointed out that District 12’s job is to protect the traveling public, even if that means temporary inconvenience for some drivers.

We located what we believe to be the source of the water,” she said, “which is off state right of way on private property. That means we have to get our right of way people involved before we can do any excavation to see what needs to be done to fix the problem. We are not talking a short-term fix here,” she explained. Meanwhile, the two 12-foot southbound lanes are carrying two-way traffic on the busiest stretch of highway in Eastern Kentucky. “The speed limit is 55,” Westfall-Holbrook said, “but people are not slowing down, despite the radar trailers, the variable message boards, and the cones that direct northbound traffic into the southbound lane. If people do not slow down, they are risking their lives and property and the lives and property of others.”

She said that vehicles are hitting cones and ignoring the reduced speed warnings. “If they don’t slow down, someone is going to get hurt,” she warned. She praised the law enforcement agencies who are assisting with traffic control: City of Prestonsburg Police Department, Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, Kentucky State Police, and Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement. She also praised the work of the Allen and Betsy Layne Volunteer Fire Departments. “They came out Wednesday night and stay with us, directing traffic and generally helping our crews make the area safe enough to re-open two of the four lanes.” Updates on the situation will be made as soon as additional information is available. Once excavation begins to tackle a permanent fix for the problem, it is possible that the entire roadway at that site may have to be shut down for a period of time. Sara George, Information Officer for the district, said people can look to the media for updated information, check on KYTC District 12’s Facebook page.