WSIP News 9-23-2016


Paintsville Mayor Bob Porter’s Trial Underway in London

Paintsville Mayor Bob Porter’s Federal Trial is underway in London. Mayor Porter has been charged with theft of government property. According to WYMT, prosecutors spent much of the time on the first day (Wednesday) outlining their case against Porter, citing several documents, including check and invoices, dating back more than six years ago. During the Prosecuting Attorneys opening statements, they said Porter used his position of authority to receive benefits he was not entitled to. Former Paintsville Utility Manager Larry Herald pleaded guilty in April after he admitted to lying about being unaware that Porter was delinquent on his utility bill until confronted about it by the city council.

KSP Trooper Not Indicted for a July Shooting

A Pike Co grand jury decided Thursday, not to indict a KSP Trooper involved in a July deadly shooting. Trooper Jonathan Rouse shot and killed John A. Casey on July 31, 2016. Rouse and another trooper responded to a complaint on Phillips Branch Road in Pike Co., where they found Casey and Lacy Wolford. Reports indicates that Trooper Rouse told Casey he was under arrest for an outstanding warrant. Wolford then ran off and the two troopers took off after him. He was later arrested. When Trooper Rouse returned, he learned Casey had also run off into the woods. Casey would later walk out of the woods in an area above the trooper, taunted him and threw rocks at Trooper Rouse. Reports went onto say, when Casey reached into his pocket to pull something silver out, Trooper Rouse feared it was a weapon, drew his weapon and shot Casey. They later learned the silver object was actually a can of beer. The Pike Co. Grand Jury heard testimony that Casey had a blood alcohol level of .100 and Gabapentin, which he did not have a prescription for. The grand jury found Trooper Rouse used justifiable force and believed if Casey would have submitted to the arrest, "there is no doubt he would be alive today".

Pike Co Jail Rape Case Suspect Identified

Earlier in the week, we reported about an inmate at the Pike Co Detention Center on shock probation following a rape last week. Last Tuesday a Corrections Officer at the Pike Co Detention Center walked in on the rape during a watch tour. Reports indicate that the victim is doing okay and will serve the rest of his time on probation. The accused inmate has been identified as Mike Henry Fields. Fields has been indicted and charged with sodomy and is currently in isolation. Investigators are still trying to determine what happened in the moments leading up to the incident.

Plea Deal Taken in a Magoffin Co. Sexual Abuse Case

A Magoffin Co man has pleaded guilty to an amended-down charge of sexual abuse and is set for sentencing on November 3. Mark Minix, of Allen Drive, in Salyersville was indicted on six counts of first-degree sodomy with victims under 12 years of age, a Class A felony, in June 2015. According to the indictment, on or about February 14, 2014, Minix allegedly engaged in deviate sexual intercourse with a person or persons less than 12 years of age. According to the Salyersville Independent, on September 15, Minix took a plea deal offered by the Commonwealth, which amended the sodomy charges down to one count of first-degree sexual abuse, a Class D felony. For his plea of guilty on the sexual abuse charge, the Commonwealth is recommending Minix be sentenced to 27 months in prison, register as a sex offender for 20 years and complete the sexual offender training, if necessary, as well as five years of conditional discharge. They ask for the other charges to be dismissed and Minix is to have no contact with the victims. The plea deal, signed by Minix, his attorney and the assistant Commonwealth attorney, was filed in the Magoffin County Circuit Court on September 15 and sentencing is scheduled for November 3 at 10 a.m.

Pike Co Teen Charged in Connection with Missing Girl

A couple of weeks ago, a 14-year-old Shelby Valley High School student was reported as missing by her family. Since that time, the girl has been reunited with her family. Now, the man she apparently left with is facing a criminal charge. 19-year-old Lucas Pigg, of Ashcamp, has been arrested and charged with custodial interference. The arrest warrant alleges Pigg picked the girl up from school and kept her away from her family for several days. Pigg continues to be held in the Pike Co Detention Center without bond.

Earthquake Recorded in Pike Co Thursday

A small earthquake hit in Pike Co more than five miles South of Pikeville around 8:57 a.m. Thursday. Officials say it recorded 2.3 on the Richter Scale, the epicenter was in Virgie near Robinson Creek. No injuries or damage has been reported at this time.

Supreme Court Says Bevin Cannot Cut University Budgets

Kentucky's highest court says the state's Republican governor cannot cut the budgets of public colleges and universities without the approval of the state legislature. The 5-2 ruling by the state Supreme Court reverses a lower court ruling that said Gov. Matt Bevin had the authority to order public colleges and universities not to spend all of the money the state legislature gave them. Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear appealed, arguing Bevin's order was illegal. A majority of the court agreed on Thursday, saying Bevin does not have that authority. The ruling is a victory for Beshear, who has sued Bevin three times so far questioning the extent of the governor's power. Just last month, Bevin boasted on a Louisville radio show that Beshear "will lose every one of these cases."


WSIP News 9-22-2016 - UPDTAED


Paintsville Mayor Bob Porter’s Trial Underway in London

Paintsville Mayor Bob Porter’s Federal Trial got underway in London on Wednesday. Mayor Porter has been charged with theft of government property. According to WYMT, prosecutors spent much of the time on Wednesday outlining their case against Porter, citing several documents, including check and invoices, dating back more than six years ago. During the Prosecuting Attorneys opening statements, they said Porter used his position of authority to receive benefits he was not entitled to. Mayor Porter is expected back in court today (Thursday) for the jury to continue hearing testimony in this case. Former Paintsville Utility Manager Larry Herald pleaded guilty in April after he admitted to lying about being unaware that Porter was delinquent on his utility bill until confronted about it by the city council.

New Report Finds 'Erin Brockovich' Chemical in U.S. Drinking Water

A national report released on Tuesday, says dangerous levels of a chemical that could cause cancer is contaminating the tap water for hundreds of millions of Americans, according to a CNN article. The chemical, chromium-6, was featured in the popular movie "Erin Brokovich." The study was done by Environmental Working Group (EWG). In the report done by EWG, an interactive map shows which counties were tested and if they tested positive for chromium-6. The map is attached to this story. Counties in our area that tested positive for chromium-6 include Boyd, Carter, Johnson, Pike, Martin and Floyd. According to CNN, chromium-6 is produced by industrial processes, as well as being found in the ash from coal-burning power plants and is used to lower the temperature of water in the cooling towers of power plants. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration sets strict limits for airborne chromium-6 in the workplace. The Environmental Protection Agency has not set a specific limit for chromium-6 in drinking water, CNN says.

Couples Seek Legal Costs in Kentucky Marriage License Case

The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky says lawyers for the couples who sued to be issued marriage licenses in Rowan County are seeking to recover more than $233,000 in legal fees and costs. Two gay couples and two straight couples sued in 2015 after Rowan Co Clerk Kim Davis refused to issue marriage licenses days after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled same-sex couples could marry. Davis was jailed for several days after refusing to comply with a court order to stop denying qualified applicants a marriage license. Her deputy clerks issued licenses while she was incarcerated. The state eventually changed marriage license forms so that clerks' names did not have to appear, and the case was later dismissed.

Kentucky State Police Post 14 Ashland Warns of Telephone Scam

According to a news release, the KSP Ashland Post has been notified that scammers are using the KSP Post 14 telephone number in an attempt to deceive individuals. The attempted scam begins when a caller replaces their number with the KSP Post 14 telephone number, 606-928-6421, and calls the unsuspecting person. The caller makes various threats of a criminal nature, but at this time has not demanded any funds. The Kentucky State Police would like to remind people that we do not call and collect funds, or threaten arrest. To help as a guide, below are the "Top 10 Tip-offs to a Rip-off".

* High pressure sales or frequent calls are signs that it's a scam.
* If the caller demands an immediate decision, it's likely a rip-off.
* People requesting a credit or debit card or any banking account information.
* If the caller offers to send someone to your home or to overnight something.
* Something for free is usually a reason to be suspicious.
* Unresponsive to questions or too quick to answer by cutting you off.
* An investment without a risk.
* Will not provide written information or references.
* Not registered with the Attorney General's Office.
* If it sounds too good to be true, it often is.

Should anyone receive calls related to this scam, they are encouraged to contact the Kentucky State Police (1-800-222-5555).

Kentucky’s Unemployment Rate at 4.9 Percent in August

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for August 2016 was 4.9 percent from a revised 5 percent in July 2016, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The preliminary August 2016 jobless rate was 0.4 percentage points lower than the 5.3 percent rate recorded for the state in August 2015. The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for August 2016 was 4.9 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Kentucky Joins Lawsuit Against New Overtime Rule

Kentucky has joined the list of states challenging the United States Department of Labor's new overtime rule. If implemented, the new rule will more than double the minimum salary overtime threshold for public and private workers without Congressional authorization. Governor Bevin believes that the rule will force Kentucky and many other state and local governments to substantially increase their employment costs. On March 13, 2014, President Obama ordered the Department of Labor to revise the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees to account for the federal minimum wage. On May 23, 2016, the Department of Labor issued the final new overtime rule. It doubles the salary-level threshold for employees to be exempt from overtime, regardless of whether if they perform executive, administrative, or professional duties.

After December 1, 2016, all employees are entitled to overtime if they earn less than $913 a week — including state and local government employees. Additionally, the new rule contains a ratcheting mechanism to automatically increase the salary-level every three years without going through the standard rule-making process required by federal law. In addition to Kentucky, other states that joined this filing include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

Gov. Bevin Signs Bill that Provides CPR Training for Students

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, joined by Sen. Max Wise and members of American Heart Association, recently to sign Senate Bill (SB) 33, requiring every public school district to ensure that students receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training at least once while enrolled in grades seven through 12. The training does not have to be provided by a certified instructor or result in the students being certified in CPR. “The power of what you’re learning here will literally change someone’s life,” Bevin said during the signing. “It is serious business, and I challenge each and every one of you to step up and learn as much as you can about it. You have the ability to change the world.” Sen. Max Wise said SB 33 will teach hands-on life-saving skills that can be essential for saving lives. “I would like to thank all the groups who helped raise awareness in the public and in the legislature on the importance of SB 33,” Wise said. “This bill will teach hands-on life-saving skills to our public high school students that can be essential for saving lives in their communities. I also appreciate Gov. Bevin for his support, and everyone else who assisted in the passage of this bill.”

Construction to Begin on New Magoffin Co Library

Another step closer to building the new Magoffin Co Public Library. The library board met last week with officials from Codell Construction and Summit Engineering. The Salyersville Independent reports holes should be drilled this week on the site of the previous building, and bid packages for the first step of the project are in the process of being prepared. A construction sign showing two views of the new library’s design will be going up soon. The library board meets again October 3rd.

Online Voter Registration Exceeds Goal

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has exceeded her goal for online voter registration ahead of the October 11 deadline. More than 40,000 Kentuckians have used the Commonwealth’s new online voter registration portal at GoVoteKY.com to register to vote or update existing registration. Over 12,000 new voters have registered online. The Secretary said “Online voter registration has been a game-changer for Kentuckians. They’re responding overwhelmingly to this new tool because it’s easier than ever to register to vote and update your registration online. And, importantly, it’s saving time and money for the government.” Grimes has been traveling to colleges across Kentucky promoting GoVoteKY.com and made a stop Wednesday at Big Sandy Community and Technical College’s Prestonsburg Campus.

New TAP Location Opens at Carl D. Perkins Center in Johnson County

The eighth demonstration site for the Telecommunications Access Program (TAP) with the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has open in Thelma in Johnson Co. The new site at the Carl D. Perkins Vocational Training Center is open for Kentucky residents to test a variety of telephones for this with hearing loss and speech impairment. TAP is a statewide effort to provide residents of Kentucky, who have speech and hearing impairments, with landline or wireless equipment to make communication on the telephone more accessible. There is also a TAP location in Pikeville. For more information about the TAP program, you can contact Wilma Wright at 502-573-2604.


WSIP News 9-21-2016


Seven Horses Rescued in Johnson Co

A total of seven horses have been rescued in Johnson Co. following the recent discovery of three other horses that were found shot dead earlier this month. According to reports, the 3 horses were found shot in the head at an old strip mine in the Greasy area of Johnson Co. in early September. Animal rescue organizations from across the state were called by the Johnson Co Sheriff’s Office to assist in moving the surviving seven horses to a safer location. Dumas Rescue, Sadie’s Place, Kentucky Human Society Equine Care, and several volunteers assisted in the rescue. Debbie Hinkle with Dumas Rescue said the horses will be vetted and trained now that they are safe. The horses will be held for 14 days before they can be adopted. Officials ask that if anyone has any information in the case to please call the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office at 789-3411.

Martin Co. Deputies Continue to Search for Suspect who Attacked, Robbed Elderly Martin Co Man

Deputies in Martin Co are continuing their search for the person who assaulted and robbed an elderly Martin Co. man. According to Martin Co. Sheriff John Kirk, 77-year-old George Webb heard someone knocking on his door back on 9-2-2016. When Webb answered, Kirk says the suspect attacked him and beat him unconscious and robbing him. The sheriff says the man went into the home and stole several items including money, jewelry and prescription medication. Webb’s wife managed to escape out the back door, according to the sheriff. She then went to a neighbor's house for help. That neighbor, who is also a police officer, tried to catch the suspect, but the man got away. Kirk says the suspect was last seen heading south on Route 292 toward Pike Co in a 2008-2009 white Ford Explorer. If you have any information, you are asked to call the Martin County Sheriff's Office at (606) 298-2828.

Lawrence Co. Sex Offender Gets Probation

James Moore, 65 of Lawrence Co. recently pled guilty to 2 Counts of Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Registration and as a result, received 3 years supervised probation on one count and 1 year to be ran concurrent on the second. Persistent Felony Offender charges against Moore was dismissed. Moore will have his final sentencing scheduled for Oct. 14, 2016.

Powell Co. Tow Truck Driver Killed While on the Job

A tow truck driver was killed on the Mountain Parkway Monday night while on a tow run. The crash happened around milemarker 19 on the parkway. The Clark Co Coroner says Mark Banks was loading a vehicle onto a tow truck when another car hit him. Banks died at the hospital. The driver of the car involved in the crash was also taken to the hospital. The Sheriff's Office in Powell Co is investigating.

Emergency Declaration Waives Service Hours for Gas Delivery Drivers

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Greg Thomas issued an emergency declaration exempting hours of service regulations for commercial vehicle operators delivering fuel. The order comes after a leak was discovered in a Colonial pipeline in Alabama, which has disrupted the distribution of gasoline throughout the southeast. The waiver applies only to those delivering fuel and exempts them of the currently imposed service hours for the transportation of gasoline and diesel fuel. Drivers must have a copy of the Declaration in the cab of their vehicle. The emergency declaration will remain in effect until 12:01 a.m. October 5, 2016.

Statewide Broadband Network Initiative Moving Forward in Eastern Ky

Gov. Matt Bevin and U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers announced that the state’s broadband initiative, KentuckyWired, is moving forward with the initial build out in eastern Kentucky followed by the rest of the state. Since announced last year, significant progress has been made in engineering, site design and surveys along with strategic partnership agreements and more. Lawrence State Rep. Jill York said, “Broadband Internet access in Eastern Kentucky will change the game entirely, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to support the Governor in making it a reality." Lawrence State Rep. Jill York said, “Broadband Internet access in Eastern Kentucky will change the game entirely, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to support the Governor in making it a reality."

The EKN partnership covers 21 counties in eastern Kentucky and will tie into the main trunk line from northern Kentucky. The Cincinnati Bell partnership is critical in that it is one of two key gateways—along with Louisville—to the worldwide web points of presence. A presence in both Cincinnati and in Louisville provides redundancy in case one site has issues. Without these links, KentuckyWired would just be a network within the state with no connections to the high-speed, high-capacity Internet. These agreements highlight KCNA’s ongoing commitment to work with existing infrastructure companies to efficiently and economically improve broadband services in the Commonwealth. Additional strategic partnership discussions are currently underway throughout the Commonwealth. The KentuckyWired middle-mile network, a public-private-partnership with the Macquarie Group, will consist of more than 3,000 miles of fiber optic cable and more than 1,000 government and post-secondary education sites that will be connectivity points in communities for local internet service providers to tap into for last-mile service to customers. Preparation work has already taken place at nearly 100 government, university and community college sites in eastern and northern Kentucky.

EKN will construct approximately 305 miles of fiber optic cable in their service areas. The construction will cover a significant portion of Eastern Kentucky including Lawrence, Elliott, Morgan, Menifee, Wolfe, Powell, Estill, Lee, Breathitt, Magoffin, Johnson, Martin, Floyd, Pike, Knott, Perry, Owsley, Jackson, Clay, Leslie, and Letcher counties, and the communities of Louisa, Sandy Hook, West Liberty, Frenchburg, Stanton, Irvine, Beattyville, Campton, Salyersville, Paintsville, Inez, Pikeville, Prestonsburg, Whitesburg, Hindman, Booneville, Hazard, Manchester, McKee and Hyden.

First Ever Eastern Ky Women Veterans Conference Set for next Month

At the request of women veterans for a conference close to their homes, the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs is holding the first ever Eastern Kentucky Women Veterans Regional Conference in Hazard on Oct. 1. “Women veterans throughout Kentucky let us know that they needed regional conferences near their communities,” KDVA Commissioner Norman Arflack said in a news release. “As the primary goal of the Women Veterans Program is to reach out to women veterans in their communities, we are happy to come to them,” he said. The conference will offer workshops on veterans benefits and services, which women veterans often do not seek; women’s health care; organizing women veterans groups, and employment.

The conference opens at 8 a.m. and runs until 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1 at Hazard Community and Technical College, 1 Community College Dr. in Hazard. Conference admission is free, but registration is required. You can register at:


Find out more about the conference by visiting:


Charity Offering Prizes for Food Donations

A local charity is offering a chance to win great prizes including 4 Tickets to Big Blue Madness, UK men's basketball tickets, an iPad or a 60" Smart TV just for donating a single bag of groceries. The Stumbo Family Foundation's 8th annual golf tournament is benefiting the Eula Hall Health Center, better known as the Mud Creek Clinic. In addition to tournament proceeds, the Foundation is conducting a food drive for the Center's Food Pantry. Donors who bring a bag of non-perishable groceries to StoneCrest Golf Course Wednesday evening, Sept 21 or all day Thursday, Sept 22 will receive a free raffle ticket -- a chance to win prizes from a prize pool valued at more than $4000. A complete list of prizes can be found online at Stumbo Family Foundation dot org. The Foundation receives no state or federal funding and has raised over a quarter million dollars for various charities in the past seven years. For more information, please contact Mary Karen Stumbo @ 859-967-4645


WSIP News 9-20-2016


Deputies Find Nearly $9,000 worth of Marijuana at Johnson Co Home

Johnson Co. Sheriff Deputies located three large marijuana plants Monday at a home on Prestons Ridge in the Boons Camp community of Johnson Co. Estimates are the plants have a street value of nearly $9,000. Deputies say they were serving a warrant when they found the plants Monday afternoon, but no arrests were made after they discovered no one was home, but charges are pending. The Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Dept. is continuing to investigate.

Martin Co. Sheriff’s Dept. Arrest 2 on Drug Charges

According to a news release from the Martin Co. Sheriff’s Dept. Deputies arrested 2 men over the weekend in Martin Co. after the men were caught buying/selling marijuana while attending the annual Martin Co. Harvest Festival. According to the arrest citation, Robert R. Whitt 36 of Louisa and James Tyler Harmon 24 of DeBoard were both arrested at the Martin Co. Courthouse. Deputies say Harmon sold a small bag of marijuana for $10 to Whitt and another Deputy witnessed this transaction take place. The bag of marijuana was recovered at the scene, along with the money. Both Whitt and Harmon were charged with Trafficking in Marijuana less than 8 oz.

Martin Co. Man Charged with Leaving the Scene of an Accident

In a separate news release from the Martin Co. Sheriff’s Dept. an Ohio man was arrested Saturday for leaving the scene of an accident and filing a false report to the Police. According to the arrest citation, Jamie Lee Marcum 30 of West Portsmouth, Ohio was involved in an accident on Saturday, but left the scene before Deputies arrived on location. Marcum would then call 911 and reported that his vehicle had been stolen. However, a witness told Deputies that he seen Marcum driving the vehicle at the time of the accident. Marcum was arrested and taken to the Big Sandy Regional Detention center charged with 1). Leaving the Scene of an Accident and 2). Filing a False Report under KRS 304 Subtitle 37.

Family Continues Search for a Missing Martin Co Man

Family members of a missing Martin Co man are continuing their search efforts that now stretch into its 9th month. Search efforts have been non-stop for William "Scottie" Fannin, 38 of Milo in Martin Co. No one has seen or heard from Fannin since mid-December. According to the Martin Co Sheriff's Office, Fannin was last seen on Dec 10 at his home along Dick Fannin Lane. For month’s police, friends, and family members have searched the hills of Martin Co. in hopes of finding some kind of sign of Fannin’s whereabouts, but so far there has been nothing but discouragement. Fannin's family continue to hold onto hope, but prepare for the worst. The Martin Co Sheriff’s Dept. say they are still receiving tips, but they have no new leads and they believe foul play could very well be involved in Fannin’s disappearance. Scottie Fannin’s family is offering a $5,000 reward for any information that leads to his whereabouts. If anyone has any information to provide officials, you’re asked to contact the Martin Co Sheriff's Office at (606) 298 – 2828.

Five Students taken to Hospital after School Bus Accident in Lewis Co

Five Lewis Co. students were taken to the hospital after an accident involving a school bus Monday Morning. According to information released from the Lewis Co School System, the accident happened in Garrison on Route 1306 just off of Route 8. Officials say there were 14 middle and high school students on the bus. Reports say the bus driver reported an oncoming vehicle, which forced him to steer the bus into a ditch. The front of the bus hit a driveway which damaged the bus extensively. Three students were taken by ambulance to a Portsmouth hospital, while two other were taken in personal vehicles. All the student’s injuries were considered to be minor, according to Lewis County Sheriff's Dept. Deputies have identified the person believed to be driving the oncoming vehicle, but that name had not been released at this time. The remaining students were picked up by other school buses or by their parents before being taken to school, according to Deputies. The crash is under investigation.

Another School Bus Accident in Laurel Co

School officials in Laurel Co. released information on another school bus accident Monday morning. Officials say a car pulled out in front of a school bus in Laurel Co. on Farris Jones Road in Laurel Co. The bus was loaded with school kids at the time of the crash, but officials say there were no injuries. Police say the car that collided with the school bus was driven by a 17-year-old boy. Police are continuing to investigate this incident.

Ex-Powell Co Youth Pastor Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse

A former Powell Co youth pastor has pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual abuse Monday. 52-year-old Steve Williams was accused of sexually abusing at least two minors. Williams was a school bus driver for Powell Co Schools and pastor of the Bowen First Church of God for about two and a half years. Powell Co deputies say the church has one of the largest youth groups in the area, and Williams was very involved with many children in the congregation. Authorities were first alerted about the alleged misconduct by the Powell Co Board of Education back in December 2015 after a student who attends Powell Co Middle School reported that she had been sexually abused by Williams.

Following the allegations, Powell Co school officials immediately suspended Williams from busing students. Hours later, Powell Co deputies received another complaint accusing Williams of sexual misconduct; this time from a 16-year-old girl. The trial against Williams was set to begin Monday morning. After accepting his guilty plea, the judge scheduled formal sentencing for November 2. Williams was a former pastor in Floyd Co. before moving to Powell Co.

Kentucky Governor's Spokeswoman Leaving for Trump Campaign

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin's spokeswoman is leaving to take a position with the Donald Trump campaign. Jessica Ditto is resigning to become deputy communications director for the Republican nominee for president. Before being named as Bevin's spokeswoman last year, Ditto was communications director for his campaign and transition office. She also worked for former Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher and the Republican Party of Kentucky. Ditto will work in New York with Jason Miller, Trump's senior communications adviser. Miller was a consultant for Bevin's 2015 campaign for governor.

Kentucky State Police taking Applications for Academy Class

People interested in joining the Kentucky State Police can apply through the agency's website. The state police are taking applications for the next academy class through close of business Oct. 14. Information at the website at http://www.kentuckystatepolice.org/career.html includes an outline of the application process, a list of minimum requirements and disqualifications, a downloadable application form with a list of required supporting documents, a downloadable study guide for the written test, physical standards requirements and a list of testing date, times and locations. For more information, call (866) 360-3165.

Ribbon Cutting held for Interapt TechHire E.Ky on Mayo Campus of BSCTC

Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC), in conjunction with the Paintsville/Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, hosted a ribbon cutting for the Interapt TechHire East Kentucky (TEKY) facility on Monday at the Mayo Park. The TEKY initiative is a public/private partnership located on the Mayo campus of BSCTC. It is designed to develop a technology ecosystem in the region that will put Eastern Kentucky workers on a fast track to become computer coders. Last month, the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP) was awarded $2.75 million for the TEKY project.

EKCEP serves as the regional lead in the White House’s designation of Eastern Kentucky as a national TechHire community, with partners including Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR), BSCTC, and Interapt, a Louisville-based technology firm. The TEKY program launched its first 50-member cohort earlier this month. Participants will go through a paid training and internship. Upon successful completion of the internship, participants will be hired by Interapt. A second group of 50 participants will start next year. BSCTC has committed vast resources to the project, including the renovation of Building F on the Mayo campus to mirror the work space found in Silicon Valley, technical support and other services. Part of the renovation was provided through a $250,000 KARD (Kentucky Appalachian Regional Development Fund).