Local News 12-12-2012

Minutes from the Johnson County Fiscal Court Meeting 12-10-12

The Johnson Co. Fiscal Ct. met in regular session Monday, December 10 @ 4:30 pm in the meeting room of the Johnson Co. Courthouse in downtown Paintsville. Nine (9) items were listed on the agenda to discuss on the evening. The meeting began in normal fashion with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, the approval of the minutes from 2 previous special called meetings from November 2, 2012 and November 14 and the court approved to pay the monthly bills

First item discussed was the approval to transfer $40,000 from the general fund to the jail fund. Next the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Department, requested a total of $43,837.59 be transferred into the 2012 Sheriff's budget. $31,837.59 from tranfers to police equipment, and $12,000 from computer services to police equipment. Also concerning the Sheriff's Dept., a request was made to amend to the sheriff’s budget to add $4,933.97 from a KLEPF grant to increase deputies salaries, which was approved as well. Next Johnson Co. road foreman Sam Auxier, requested in writing fpr the fiscal court to advertise for bids for the sale of a 1994 Ford passenger van.Commissioners approved Judge Daniel to advertise the van for sale through bids. Next Judge Daniel informed the court that the code red system (911 emergency notification system), is up for renewal. Daniel said the company wanted new a four year contract. However Daniel noted that a 4 year contract would run into another term and he wasn’t sure they could go that far. It was decided to discuss this item at the next appointed meeting.

Next the court approved an appointment to the library board, due to the resignation of John Bland. Frank Haeberlin was chosen to replace Mr. Bland. Judge Daniel told the court he wanted to Thank John Bland for the years of service he has provided to the library board. The final item discussed on the night concerned a possible upgrade to the puclic tennis court at the park and playground, bu both local school districts. They are requesting financial support from the county to upgrade these old tennis courts. Students from both school systems use the tennis courts for practice, but are in rough condition and is not adequate for hosting tournament's and such.. This upgrade could costs as much or over $50,000. The court also discussed the possibility of constructing a "new facility" if  money can be found to fund it. Daniel said thye court should do what they can to help in getting the tennis courts upgraded or build new ones. Daniel requested permission to enter into discussions on these possibilities and stated that he knew of at least four agencies already involved. The commissioners approved this request from Judge Daniel. With nothing further to discuss, the meeting adjourned.

Floyd Co. Man Facing Several Charges

A Floyd County man is in some big trouble after KSP troopers attempted to serve a bench warrant on him found drugs, weapons and other contraband items in his home. Members of the Kentucky State Police Post 9 Criminal Interdiction Team went to the home of Jason K. Chaffins last Wednesday to serve him with an arrest warrant, after following up on drug information. Once inside his residence, officers noticed two handguns, drugs, drug paraphernalia and items used to make methamphetamine. In addition to the bench warrant, Chaffins now faces charges of manufacturing meth, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest, endangering a child, and two counts of possession of a handgun by a convicted felon. Officers assisting the Criminal Interdiction Team at the scene included Sgt. Ronald Peppi, DE/SI East, TFC. Bo Cure /K-9 Special Operations, Tpr. Brad Hamilton, Tpr. Josh Brainard and Wayland Police Officer Brian Ratliff. This incident remains under investigation by Tpr. Zack Bryson, of the KSP Post 9 Criminal Interdiction Team.

Martin County Clerk's Daughters Indicted

Reports out of Martin Co. says on Dec 6, two former Martin County deputy clerks have been indicted by a Martin County grand jury. The indicments stems from their involvement in allegedley using public monies from the clerk's accounts for their own personal use. Tonya Delong and Tammy Perry Hairston, both daughters Martin Co. Clerk Carol Sue Mills, are facing charges of abuse of the public trust and Hairston faces additional charges of possession of a forged instrument. Mills, who fired her daughters when she learned of an investigation by the Kentucky State Police. Mills says she beleives drug abuse was the cause of her daughters' problems. A little over 2 week's ago, the Martin Co. Clerk's office was audited by State Auditor Adam Edelen and his office turned the information over to the KSP. The indictments claim that:

Tonya Mills from on or about January 9, 2012 through July 14, 2012 cimmitted the offense of Abuse of Public Trust over $10,000 by obtaining and dealing with public money or property subject to a known legal obligation to make a specified payment for disposition as her own, by intentionally failing to make the required payment for disposition of the property when she retained for her use funds of the Martin County Court Clerk's office in an amount over $10,000. The punishment for the Class C felony is 5-10 years and a fine not more than $10,000.

Tamberlyn Sue Hairston aka Tammy Mills, committed the offense of Abuse of Public Trust under $10,000, a Class D felony,  by obtaining and dealing with public money or property subject to a known legal obligation to make a specified payment or disposition as her own, by intentionally failing to make a required payment or disposition of the property when she retained for her use funds of the Martin Couny Clerk's office in an amount under $10,000. The penalty is 1-5 years and a fine of not more than $10,000. She is also accused of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the 2nd degree, a class D felony with a penalty of 1-5 years and a fine not more than $10,000 when on October 15, 3022, October 28, 2011, and November 11, 2011 she was knowing and unlawfully was in the possession of forged checks with intent to defraud made out to Kathy Preece. The first for $350, the second for $420, and the third for $320. On October 21, 2011 she committed the offense of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the 2nd degree when she knowing and unlawfully was in possession of a forged check made to Tim Smith in the amount of $175 with the intent to defraud. Mills responded to the State audit, saying all monies that was taken has been paid back in full.

Seeking Tax Fairness out of Tax Reform

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Recommendations for overhauling Kentucky's antiquated tax code are on their way to the governor. One member of Governor Steve Beshear's Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform hopes lawmakers see the report as an "opportunity" to make "historic changes in Kentucky's trajectory." Jason Bailey, who is director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, says the proposed reforms would make the income tax "somewhat fairer." Low wage earners would receive a refundable tax credit. "So we're asking more of those who are more able to pay, for the most part." Limiting itemized and retirement income deductions is part of the plan to raise new revenue for the state. About $500 million of the nearly $700 million in new tax revenue would come from changes to the income tax structure. Bailey says that's a "key part" of reform because the state has suffered $1.6 billion in budget cuts in recent years. "This doesn't even begin to make up for all of that, but puts us on a greater path. We have to be putting more money into education, into health care and human services, into other quality-of-life investment." However, the commission's recommendations include around $100 million in corporate tax cuts. Brian Sunderland, with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, calls that "a big win" for business. Bailey claims it's "unnecessary." "Business tax cuts are really a race to the bottom between states." Instead, Bailey says, those taxes should be invested in education and infrastructure. Sunderland says the tax cut addresses an "injustice" to current companies who want to make more investments. Modernizing the state's tax code has been talked about for years. Now that a concrete plan has been sent to the governor, what he and lawmakers do with it will be the real litmus test. Bailey hopes Kentucky's leaders step above "the influence of lobbyists" and their own short-term political concerns. "This is a chance for them to make a difference that will help people's children, that will help their schools, that will help their economic future. And if they explain that to their constituents I think they can win their support." Lawmakers return to Frankfort in January for the 2013 session.
Concord Road, (KY-1145), Set to Close

It's been announced that the new bridge is open which links the Concord community in Johnson County to KY 40 and a stretch of KY 1145 or Concord Road, will permanently close to all traffic on Friday, January 4, 2013. Willared Cuzzort, planning engineer at Hwy Dist. 12 of the Ky. Transportation Cabinet, said the affected area is from CSX railroad crossing at mile point 1.090 to the intersection of Ky 581 at Mile point 2.130. Cuzzort said, “This is a winding, steep stretch of road. Before the new bridge was built, this was the only access in and out of the Concord community. That is now no longer the case. Using the new bridge which connects KY 40 and KY 1145 is a much safer, more efficient way to travel.” The $3.4-million bridge connecting the Concord area of Johnson County to KY 40 near Paintsville opened on November 23. Cuzzort said that the particular section of Concord Road which will be discontinued for public use does not have any homes, businesses, or structures on it.