Local News 11-30-2012

Officials Investigating Recent Reports of Thefts from Martin County Schools

According to reports, law enforcement officials in Martin Co. are investigating recent thefts from Martin Co. Schools. Indications are that an estimated $10,000 in thefts has occurred the last few weeks and officials with the school system has said they have discovered thousands of gallons of fuel missing from the bus garages and the schools. According to a recent report in the Mountain Citizen newspaper in Inez, 2,000 gallons of fuel has been missing from the bus fueling station outside of Inez Middle School since last weekend and this is the third time this has happened in less than two months. The newspaper also reported that in addition to the fuel, 12 batteries have been reported missing from school buses parked overnight at the main bus garage on Otto Lane. Officials in Martin Co. are asking the public for their help in finding out who is involved with these thefts and ask that if you have any information, to please contact the Martin County Sheriff’s Office at 298-2828.

KSP Arrest Morehead Man on Felony Charges

According to a news release from the KSP, on Tuesday November 27 2012, Kentucky State Police in Morehead received a burglary complaint at two residences on Ridgeway drive in Morehead. Trooper Anson Tribby and Trooper Josh Preece responded to the scene and conducted an investigation where they discovered that over $10,000 worth of items were stolen from the two residences. On Wednesday November 28, Kentucky State Police Trooper Josh Preece and KSP CVE Officer Tommy Jones responded to a different residence on Ridgeway Drive and located Shawn Bear, 21 years old, of Morehead in possession of the stolen items inside of his residence. Mr. Bear was taken into custody and charged with Burglary 2nd Degree, Burglary 3rd Degree, Criminal Mischief 1st Degree, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The items have been recovered and returned to the owners. Mr. Bear is lodged at the Rowan County Detention Center. The case remains under investigation by Trooper Anson Tribby.

An Eastern Ky. Mayor Reportedly Resigns after Arrest on Drug Trafficking Charges

According to reports, Olive Hill city Mayor Danny Sparks was arrested Wednesday night after allegedly selling marijuana to an undercover informant near Olive Hill Elementary School. Detectives with the FADE Drug Task force along with Olive Hill Police made the arrest. Sparks was charged with felony trafficking marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, along with a violation of having an open alcoholic beverage container in a motor vehicle. He was booked at the Carter County Detention Center, but was soon released after posting a $5,000 bond. According to the Grayson Journal-Times newspaper, they report that Sparks resigned following his arrest, but WSIP news has not received official word from Olive Hill City Hall concerning the reported resignation. A court date has been set for Dec. 10 at 9 a.m. in District Court. Sparks was re-elected mayor in 2010.

Competency Hearing Scheduled for a Pike Co. Man Involved in Police Chase

A competency hearing has been scheduled for today for the man accused of dragging a Prestonsburg police officer from his vehicle as he attempted to flee earlier this year. According to reports, Christopher Allen Salyers, 41, of Pikeville, is scheduled to be in Floyd Circuit Court at 11 a.m. today for a hearing to establish his competency to stand trial. Back in July of this year, Salyers was reportedly stopped at a checkpoint, then he gave officers a false name, but when questioned, Salyers allegedly grabbed Prestonsburg Police officer Brian Prater’s arm and began to drive away. Prater was able to free himself from Salyers’ grip before his speed increased. Police say the event turned into a high-speed pursuit reaching speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, that led police into Pike County. In Pike County, the suspect allegedly collided with another vehicle. Undeterred, Salyers continued on before a final crash near Pikeville High School ended the chase and sent the man to jail. Salyers has been indicted on charges of first-degree attempted assault, two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, first-degree fleeing or evading police, resisting arrest, theft of identity, giving an officer a false name or address, reckless driving, driving on a DUI-suspended license and first-degree disorderly conduct.

Speaker Stumbo Says Gambling Bill Can Start In House

House Speaker Greg Stumbo is no longer demanding that any legislation calling for a constitutional amendment to legalize gambling start in the Senate. Stumbo told reporters Thursday "that line in the sand doesn't have to be drawn any longer." Stumbo and Gov. Steve Beshear are hopeful that the departure of Senate President David Williams will improve the chances of getting a bill through the Legislature. Williams, an opponent of casino gambling, resigned earlier this month to become a circuit judge in southern Kentucky. Beshear has said he's hopeful lawmakers may approve a constitutional amendment after they convene in January. If lawmakers approved a constitutional amendment, it would have to be placed on the ballot in 2014 for Kentucky voters to ratify or reject.

Tax Reform Panel's Last Meeting Set For Next Week

What is expected to be the final meeting of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform has been set for next week in Frankfort. Members will be finalizing their recommendations for reforming Kentucky's tax code in the meeting that's set for Dec. 6. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. EST in a conference room at the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority's headquarters at 100 Airport Road. Proposals on the table include raising the cigarette tax to $1 a pack from the current 60 cents. Beshear appointed the tax panel earlier this year to recommend a simpler tax code that would generate enough revenue to meet state needs even during recessions. The panel has ruled out a 6 percent tax on groceries that could generate $500 million a year.

Local Circuit Court Clerk's Participate in 2012 Circuit Court Clerks Fall College

Johnson Co Circuit Court Clerk Vicki Crace Rice, Lawrence Co's Jodi L. Parsley, Magoffin Co's Tonya Arnett Ward, Pike Co's Anna Pinson and Floyd Co.Circuit Court Clerk Douglas Ray Hall, all participated in the 2012 Circuit Court Clerks Fall College that took place Nov. 13-15 in Lexington. The Administrative Office of the Courts provided the judicial education program for the state’s circuit court clerks. The event included 15 hours of continuing education credit for the circuit clerks. The circuit court clerks attended sessions on adoptions, forcible detainers, accounts receivable, driver licensing, the juvenile court process, child support enforcement and the court system’s case management system. The circuit court clerks also spent time discussing best practices in their offices. The circuit court clerks heard from Chief Justice of Kentucky John D. Minton Jr. and the other Supreme Court justices and AOC Director Laurie K. Dudgeon at the college. They also had a session with the commissioner of the state Department of Corrections and attended courses about House Bills 463 and 308, which took effect in 2011. HB 463 is the most comprehensive overhaul of Kentucky’s penal code in more than 30 years and HB 308 requires Kentucky to notify the FBI when a court finds an individual mentally incompetent. The circuit clerks received information about upcoming distance learning that will provide them with continuing education without the travel and received an update from the Trust for Life program. The KACCC sponsors Trust for Life to promote organ and tissue donation through driver licensing and the Kentucky Organ Donor registry.