Local News1-2-2013

Martin Co. Arcade Robbed at Gunpoint

Reports out of Martin County say a man walked into the Starlight Arcade Monday and held four employees at gunpoint and officials say he got away with more than just cash. Accordingto owner James Howard, a man came in the door with a gun pointed at his employees, jumped over the counter and made one of them give him the keys. The robber took the money out of the register and he also took a gun that was kept at the arcade. The robber is described as about 6'1", 175 pounds, wearing a black mask and mining pants and left the arcade on foot. Martin County Sheriff Garmon Preece says his department is investigating, but currently doesn't have alot of information to go on and ask that if anyone has any informatio, to please contact the Martin County Sheriff's Office at (606) 298-2828. 

An Eastern Ky. Jail Foils an Escape

An eastern Kentucky jailer says an inmate charged with murder planned to use a hypodermic needle and sharpened pencil as weapons in a plot to escape from jail. Letcher County Deputy Jailer Jeff Mullins says they found the items under James Maggard's bunk in his jail cell after receiving a tip. Maggard is behind bars for the alleged murder of Drad Fleming earlier this year. Maggard says Fleming and himself  had gotten into a fight and that he blacked out, but denied killing Fleming. Fleming’s estranged wife Stephanie Fleming and Austin Ison also face charges in connection with the crime. No further information has been released.

Kentucky Highway Death Toll Up Slightly From 2011

Kentucky's highway death toll in 2012 is up slightly from a year ago, and law enforcement will be out in force on New Year's Eve in hopes of keeping roadways safe for holiday motorists. Preliminary statistics show 735 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2012, according to the state police count. That number is up from 714 during the same period in 2011. But state police say this year's death toll so far is down from a three-year period ending in 2010. Through Christmas, 317 of this year's highway traffic victims were not wearing seat belts, and 139 fatalities resulted from crashes involving suspected alcohol use, according to state police.

Questcare Ambulance Service Ceases Operations

An Eastern Kentucky ambulance company has decided to shut down operations, after numerous problems in 2012. According to the KSP, Questcare Ambulance Service has decided to shut down their operations. A few months ago, the state temporarily suspended Questcare's license citing unsafe conditions for patients, but allowed the ambulance service to resume business after the company made changes and updated their equipment.. Questcare served Floyd, Johnson, Martin, Magoffin and Pike counties. No word on what exactly forced this shutdown.

A Tax Credit for Kentucky's Lower-Income Workers?

A tax credit for the working poor was heavily debated this year, but survived to make the list of proposed state tax code changes sent to Gov. Steve Beshear by his blue-ribbon commission. A state Earned Income Tax Credit is seen by proponents as one of the best tools to help working families climb out of poverty. Molly Tevis-Orona, who lives in Jeffersontown, says her family uses a similar, federal tax credit to pay for car and homeowners' insurance. "We cannot get to work unless we pay our car insurance, because you cannot drive without car insurance - and most of the time, we just have enough money to make ends meet." She says her family of three, living on an annual income of $24,000, has used the federal Earned Income Tax Credit for the past four years. Twenty-five states and the District of Columbia offer their own versions of the Earned Income Tax Credit. Terry Brooks, Kentucky Youth Advocates executive director, says it would be a good way to jump-start broader tax reform in the state. "If that works at the federal level, what we really want is to double down. We want that same level of commitment at the state level." The governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform recommended a credit that would be 15 percent of the federal credit. Kentucky Youth Advocates estimates the price tag to the state at $114 million. Tevis-Orona says she and others who receive tax-credit money pump it back into the economy. "We're not using it on anything frivolous, I'll tell you that right now. Actually, studies show that most recipients of the Earned Income Tax Credit use it to either further their schooling or pay for some life bill." EITC legislation repeatedly has died in the Kentucky Legislature. Brooks says the federal credit has had bipartisan support in Washington, D.C., over the years, something he hopes will eventually happen in the Bluegrass State as well.

Aid for heating emergencies begins Jan. 7

Big Sandy Area Community Action Program is preparing for the next stage of heating assistance. Big Sandy ACAP will begin accepting applications Jan. 7 for the crisis component of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis until March 31, or until funds are depleted. The crisis portion of LIHEAP is intended to assist households experiencing heating emergencies. Households are considered to be in a home heating crisis in any of the following circumstances:

• The household is within four days of running out of fuel if bulk fuel (coal, fuel oil, propane, kerosene, or wood) is the primary heating source.
• The household has received a disconnect notice if natural gas or electric is the heating source.
• The household’s home heating costs are included in the rent and the household has received an eviction notice for non-payment of rent.

To be eligible for Crisis assistance, households must verify their address, verify a heating crisis exists and meet federal income eligibility guidelines. Applicants also must apply in their county of residence. In addition, applicants must present the following:

• Proof of household income for prior month;
• Birthdates for all household members;
• Social security card or official documentation with social security numbers for each member of household.

Big Sandy ACAP provided $1.3 million to 8,543 households in Floyd, Johnson, Magoffin, Martin and Pike counties during LIHEAP’s subsidy component. Applications will be taken at the following BSACAP service offices from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Floyd County
60 Court Street
Allen, Ky

Johnson County
230 Court Street
Paintsville, Ky.

Magoffin County
131 S. Church Street
Salyersville, Ky.

Martin County
387 E. Main Street
Inez, Ky.

Pike County
478 Town Mountain Road
Pikeville, Ky.