WSIP News 12-8-2017


Six People Arrested on Drug Charges in Martin Co

According to the Martin Co Sheriff’s Office, six people were arrested Monday night following a drug bust. Information released suggest that Deputies first visited a residence on Jack Cassidy Branch, where the homeowner gave consent to search. Upon searching of the residence, Deputies found marijuana, pills, meth precursors and various items of drug paraphernalia. Arrested at that location was 56-year-old Kathleen Moore of Inez, 37-year-old Sandra Morrison of Inez and 46-year-old Ferman Mcguin of Hager Hill. Deputies then went to the Dempsey Housing Apartments and after conducting what’s known as “knock-and-talks”, they (Deputies) arrested 34-year-old Tommy K. Johnson Jr. of Warfield and 30-year-old Christopher Stampered also of Warfield, after allegedly finding them in possession of pills. Deputies would make one more arrest when they found 34-year-old Jeffrey Moore of Inez, stopped on a bridge on old route 3. Moore allegedly admitted to smoking meth. He was arrested for public intoxication and possession of drug paraphernalia. All six people were lodged in the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center.

Suspect Arrested in a Tuesday Robbery in Hazard

Police in Clay Co arrested a man Tuesday night that is identified as the suspect from Tuesday's robbery at the Hazard Village Rite Aid. According to reports, the Clay Co. Sheriff’s Office, along with the KSP, stopped to assist a vehicle that was broke down. The driver, identified as Michael Scott Ganues and a female passenger. Turns out the car had a stolen license plate from Laurel Co. The woman sat in a Police cruiser while Deputies questioned Ganues. Police then asked the woman to get out of the car. They asked her if she had left anything in the cruiser, and she said no. Upon searching the car, Deputies found two baggies of meth and a white pill where the woman had been sitting. The woman denied the pills were hers. As Deputies placed the woman under arrest, she told them her name was Michelle Davis and gave them a Social Security Number and phone number, but officials say they could not find anyone matching that information. Investigations revealed that the woman’s true identity is Michelle L. Lindsey of Dry Ridge, Ky. and she is a wanted fugitive in Georgia and Kentucky. Ganues was arrested and lodged in the Clay Co Detention Center, charged with theft of a motor vehicle registration plate and robbery first degree. Lindsey is charged with theft of a motor vehicle plate, possession of a controlled substance and giving officers a false identity.

Ashland Man Arrested on Attempted Murder and Other Charges

An Ashland man has been arrested after he shot another man in the head early Tuesday morning. According to WSAZ reports, Michael Kelley, 35, was arrested Tuesday for attempted murder by the Ashland Police Dept. Investigators say the shooting happened at the Winchester Inn in Ashland and a bullet from Kelley’s gun skimmed a man's skull. Police say the man shot has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home. Kelley was arrested at the Country Hearth Inn across the Ohio River in South Point about 1 p.m. on Tuesday. Police say a search warrant at that location turned up another firearm and drugs, which led investigators to another location in the 3000 block of Central Avenue in Ashland where multiple stolen firearms connected to a theft ring were seized. Arrested at that scene was Dylan G. Easterling and Kasey B. Childers, both of Ashland, who are facing burglary and criminal trespassing charges.

State Government News

Kentucky GOP House members are asking Republican Gov. Matt Bevin not to call a special legislative session on pension reform before the end of the year. According to The Courier Journal, a large majority of House Republicans sent a letter making the request Wednesday. House Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne said the letter expressed the lawmakers' desire to address the pension crisis but not during a special session. Majority Leader Jonathan Shell said of the 64 members of the House GOP caucus, at least 45 signed the letter during a retreat Wednesday. He said eight lawmakers couldn't attend the retreat. Bevin has said all year that he would call a session before year's end. His office didn't immediately respond to an email from the newspaper seeking a response to the lawmakers' letter.

PSC Conducts Hearing on Ky Power’s Rate Adjustment Request

An expert witness for the Kentucky attorney’s office on Wednesday told the Kentucky Public Service Commission that his calculations justify a $39.9 million rate increase for Kentucky Power customers. Ralph Smith, a regulatory consultant and a certified public accountant with Larkin & Associates in Livonia, Michigan, made his comments on the first day of a multi-day evidentiary hearing before the PSC concerning the company’s request to adjust its base rates. When asked by PSC if he stood by his filed testimony, Smith said, “Yes.” In June, Kentucky Power filed a rate review request with the PSC seeking to recover $69.6 million from customers. A settlement reached last month and presented to the Commission for consideration lowered that request by $28.6 million to an overall increase of $34.7 million.

The Commission is conducting its official hearing this week on Kentucky Power’s request to ask questions and gather additional testimony before issuing a ruling. Commissioners can approve, modify or reject the settlement agreement. If approved, new rates would go into effect in mid-January. The settlement proposes rates based on the opportunity to earn a return on equity of 9.75 percent, which Kentucky Power consider a vital component to attract investment. The settlement also provides a mechanism for Kentucky Power to recover 80 percent of its mandatory federal transmission expenses. The company had indicated that it would have to file another case immediately if the federal transmission costs were not accounted for in this case. As a result of the balance provided by the settlement, Kentucky Power agreed that if the agreement were approved, it would not seek an update to its general base rates until at least 2021. This essentially provides customers with a three-year stay out of changes to base rates. Under the settlement agreement, the residential customer rate would increase approximately 9 percent.

Kentucky Power provides service to about 168,000 customers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties, including Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Clay, Elliott, Floyd, Greenup, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Magoffin, Martin, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Rowan. Kentucky Power is an operating company in the American Electric Power system.