Local News 1-25-2013

Man scamming Johnson Co. businesses

According to a news release from the Johnson County Sheriff's Dept. The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by several businesses through the course of this week, after discovering they were the victims of a “quick change scam”. A quick change scam typically involves a con artist who confuses a cashier by paying with a large denomination bill, and then changing his mind several times about how he wants the change returned to him. The suspect attempted to pay for items with a $100 dollar bill. Then he asked the cashier to see the bill because he said had a phone number written on it that he needed. The cashier returned the bill, and then he asked for change for a different bill. This exchange continued for several minutes, all the while he was talking attempting to confuse the cashier. In one store, he stayed for an estimated 20 minutes, all the while talking to the cashier, while continually switching bills.  It is believed that the suspect has gotten away with at least $400 in Johnson County, and it is unknown how many businesses outside the county have been hit. The suspect is described as being a black male, standing around 5’11” and weighing an estimated 170lbs. He was last seen driving a red Kia Soul. If you have been the victim of this man, or if you have any information in reference to this case, please call the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at (606) 789-3411. This case is currently under investigation by Deputy Terry Tussey.

Powell County Woman Charged With Neglecting Adult

A Powell County woman has been arrested on charges of knowingly neglecting and abusing an adult. Ruby Richardson was arrested Wednesday, and police say she knowingly exploited an adult. The alleged victim in the case, a woman in her 50s, was discovered in the Powell County home Wednesday. She told the sheriff's department she'd been living with Richardson for more than a year, and had been abused repeatedly during that time. Two weeks ago, the victim said she was placed in the house, where she was told not to answer the door for anyone. According to a warrant, the victim claims she was beaten by Richardson numerous times, and was even forced to eat dog food and table scraps. Court documents show over the last year the victim had gone from 230 pounds to less than 100 pounds. Sheriff's deputies say the victim has an unknown diagnosis, but is "low functioning."

Knott County Goverment Will Have State Intervention

According to WYMT-TV, they are reporting that Knott County government officials are being forced to make some big budgetary changes in the wake of a $934,000 shortfall. The state has taken notice of the county's financial woes. "If our budget is not balanced by June 30 (end of fiscal year), then the legal staff with the Department of Local Government has advised me and the fiscal court that legal action would be taken," deputy judge executive Greg Mullins said. State officials have told the Knott County fiscal court they want to see some sort of financial plan submitted to them by Feb. 6. A decline in coal severance funds was a big reason why the county lost $1.2 million in the first two quarters of this fiscal year. In order to make up for deficit, the fiscal court may have to approve a new revenue stream - like an occupational tax - in addition to spending cuts.

Gov. Beshear Supports Local Tax Levy Proposal

Gov. Steve Beshear has joined municipalities across the state in backing a constitutional amendment that would allow local-option sales taxes. Beshear said the proposal "makes sense" during a luncheon Wednesday sponsored by Greater Louisville Inc., which serves as the chamber of commerce for the Metro Louisville region. The idea to create an alternative for funding local projects was recommended by a tax reform commission appointed by Beshear. It has also received support from the Kentucky League of Cities, Greater Louisville Inc., and county and city officials from across the state. Previously, Beshear had said only that he was reviewing recommendations from the tax reform commission.

Jobless Rates Down In 97 Kentucky Counties

Unemployment rates fell in 97 Kentucky counties between December 2011 and December 2012, while 21 county rates increased and two stayed the same, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the Commonwealth at 5.4 percent. It was followed by
Fayette and Union counties, 5.9 percent each; Franklin and Oldham counties, 6.1 percent each; Madison and Shelby counties, 6.2 percent each; Scott County, 6.3 percent; Jessamine County, 6.4 percent; and Daviess and Warren counties, 6.5 percent each. Magoffin County recorded the state's highest unemployment rate - 16.9 percent. It was followed by Fulton County, 15. 8 percent; Leslie County, 14.6 percent; Letcher County, 14 percent; Knott County, 13.8 percent; Bell, Harlan and Wolfe counties 13.5 percent; Jackson County, 12.9 percent; and McCreary and Perry counties, 12.7 percent.

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working. Civilian labor force statistics include non-military workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks. The statistics in this news release are not seasonally adjusted to allow for comparisons between United States, state and county figures. Learn more about Kentucky labor market information at www.kylmi.ky.gov.

BSACAP Offering Free Tax Preparation

Starting Monday, Feb. 4, Big Sandy Area Community Action Program (BSACAP) will provide free tax preparation services to households earning less than $50,000 BSACAP’s IRS-trained tax staff prepare and electronically-file returns and screen for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a refundable federal income tax credit for low- to moderate-income working individuals and families.
“Our tax program helps put money into the pockets of eligible individuals who might not be aware of the tax credits available to them,” explained BSACAP Executive Director James Michael Howell. “Also, since the service is free, it saves people from having to pay someone to prepare and file their taxes.” Filers must present the following documents:
• photo ID and social security card for each person on the return
• all W-2 and/or 1099 forms
• payments for child care expenses (plus name, address, employer identification number or social security number of child care provider), Form 1098-T (if applicable)
• student loan interest paid
• mortgage and property tax information
• routing and account information for direct deposit
• a copy of 2011 tax return (if available)
BSACAP’s tax preparation is available in the following locations:

Johnson County
• Johnson County Courthouse, 230 Court Street, Paintsville
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Mayo campus of the Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC)
513 Third Street, Paintsville
Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Magoffin County
• 131 Church Street, Salyersville
Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pike County
• Pike County Courthouse, 146 Main Street, Pikeville
Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Assistance with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be provided at the BSCTC location. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred. For more information or to schedule an appointment: In Johnson County, call (606) 789-3641; in Magoffin County, call (606) 349-2217; and in Pike County, call (606) 432-6394. The service is also available in Martin County by appointment only by calling (606) 298-3217. BSACAP’s tax service is funded through the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association.