Local News 2-27-2013

Johnson Co. Coroner Confirmes Identities of Missing Johnson County Couple.

According to Johnson County Coroner J.R. Frisby, he told the Associated Press that the identities of  the two bodies found at an Oil Springs farm have been confirmed.  Frisby made the announcement after receiving the State Medical Examiner's official autopsy results, confirming the identities of Larry, 60, and Sandra,53, Blanton. The Blantons were reported missing in September, but their bodies were found buried behind a horse barn on their family farm in Oil Springs late Friday night, into Saturday morning. Johnson Co. Sheriff Dwayne Price said investigators went back to farm after getting a tip about where the bodies could be found. The two where found buried in a 4-6 foot hole.  Officials say there is no word on how the couple died. The couple's son, Willie Blanton and his girlfriend Amanda Fannin, bot currently in jail, have been called persons of interest in the case. Both were arrested on charges not directly related to the disappearance.

Body Found In Pike County River

Accoring to a news release from the KSP in Pikeville,on Monday February 25 at 12:38 P.M. Post 9 Pikeville received a call of a body in the Tug Fork River in the South Williamson community of Pike County. Detectives Gary Sykes and Kevin Newsome along with Belfry Fire Department responded to the location. The deceased will be transported to the State Medical Examiner's office for identification purposes. Information will be released as it becomes available. This case remains under investigation by KSP Detective Gary Sykes.

Man Police Say Hit Student Trying To Board School Bus Indicted

The man police say tried to pass a stopped school bus in Rowan County earlier this month and hit a student has been indicted in the case. According to a police report, Scottie D. Ingle, 30, was heading southbound along Kentucky 519 around 7:10 a.m. on February 13 when he tried to pass the bus. The car hit a student trying to board the bus. The victim, 13-year-old Christopher Olvera, was airlifted to UK Hospital for treatment. His family said he needed surgery for a leg injury, but has since returned home to recover. Ingle is charged with one count of second-degree assault. Ingle also was indicted for wanton endangerment in the same incident involving a school bus, nearly striking a second juvenile. He is being held in the Rowan County Detention Center.

Eastern Kentucky Residents File Suit Over Contaminated Water

Dozens of residents in eastern Kentucky have filed a lawsuit against a coal company claiming underground mining has contaminated their water supply. Almost 40 residents in the Letcher County community of Premium have filed suit against United Coal Company, which owns Sapphire Mining's UZ No. 1 and UZ No. 2 mines. Residents say underground mining at the two locations led to their wells becoming contaminated five years ago. United Coal Company declined to comment on pending litigation. Kentucky Department for Natural Resources spokesman Dick Brown says Sapphire Mining has supplied a temporary drinking water source to affected residents and is working to get them added to a proposed public water project.

Panel OKs Bill To Let Counties End Constable Posts

Counties could abolish their constable offices under a bill that has cleared a House panel. The House Committee on Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs approved the proposal Tuesday. It will now proceed to the full House for consideration. the bill would amend the state's constitution to allow counties to eliminate their constable offices, which the constitution established in 1850. constables, who are elected, have the same law enforcement powers as sheriffs but lack the same training requirements. A 2012 state report said constables are outdated. Supporters of this bill and previous legislation have cited examples of rogue constables taking their law enforcement powers too far. The Kentucky Constable Association has opposed previous legislative efforts, pushing for more training instead.

Proposal Would Give Gov. Beshear One Extra Year in Office

Governor Steve Beshear would get an extra year in office and Kentucky's statewide elections would be aligned with national elections under an amendment that has passed the senate. If it makes it through the house where democrats are skeptical, it would have to be ratified by voters next year. If passed, Kentucky elections for constitutional offices would move to 2016. If Beshear got an extra year, he would become the longest serving governor in Kentucky history.

Dating Violence Law: Will 2013 Be the Year?

FRANKFORT, Ky. - A bill which would give anyone in a dating relationship the ability to obtain a domestic violence protection order has cleared the Kentucky House for the third straight year. But it's not clear whether the legislation will make it out of the Senate and into law before the legislative session ends next month. Kentucky is one of two states that does not extend domestic-violence protections to dating partners. According to Mary O'Doherty, assistant director of the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association, it's time the state catches up. "It definitely tells me that Kentucky is behind the times," she declared. To obtain a protective order in Kentucky, a member of a couple must be married to the other or have lived together or had a child together. State Senator Denise Harper Angel, D-Louisville, wants the law extended to dating partners. "The crime happens because of a relationship, not the address," she said. Senator Harper Angel has a similar bill (SB16) to the one that's already passed the House. The House bill has been tweaked by lawmakers to clarify what constitutes a dating relationship. Through an amendment, lawmakers also attempted to ease concerns among school officials about carrying out protective orders involving students. Mary O'Doherty pointed out that the Federal Violence Against Women Act requires Kentucky to honor protective orders for dating partners from other states, a cruel irony. "What's crazy about the situation we're in is that our law enforcement officers are required to protect victims who come from other states but not our own," she said. The dating violence bill passed the House 92-5 and now awaits committee action in the Senate. Link to HB9: lrc.ky.gov. Link to SB16: lrc.ky.gov.