Local News 3-4-2013

Officials Continue Search for Man Missing in Magoffin County

The Magoffin County Sheriff's Department is searching for an eastern Kentucky man. According to Sheriff Carson Montgomery, he says 29-year-old Freddy Brown, also known as Freddy Howard, was last seen in the Johnson Fork area of Magoffin county Wednesday around six in the evening. The rescue squad spent most of Sunday searching the area for the man's whereabouts. If you have any information, please contact the Magoffin Co. Sheriff's Dept or dial 911. WSIP news will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.

Feds Say Man Posed As Mine Electrician

An eastern Kentucky man has been indicted in federal court for posing as a mine electrician while working at a Letcher County underground mine. An indictment in U.S. District Court in Pikeville says James A. Cress was working for the Cumberland River Coal Company at the Blue Ridge No. 1 Mine as an electrician from May 2009 to July 2010. It says Cress presented himself to the company as a certified electrician though he was not. Cress, of Totz in Harlan County, is facing 19 counts for violations of the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Act. The indictment says he initialed record books indicating he had examined or tested equipment at the mine. Cress is facing up to five years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines if convicted on the charges.

The Trial of One of the Two Men Charged with Killing a Former Paintsville Resident Underway in Louisville

The murder trial for one of two men charged with killing a man who had ties to Eastern Kentucky continued Thursday with gruesome photos and testimony about James Carroll’s death. Carroll’s body found in a plastic storage container, buried about three feet below a dirt basement floor, in a Louisville house in June 2010. Police said at the time that Carroll had been dead for about six months and was killed in December 2009. Joseph Banis and Jeffrey Mundt were arrested and charged with the murder after police responded to a domestic dispute at their home. It was in that home where Carroll's body was found. Police said following the arrests, the three men had a sexual relationship. Banis’s trial is taking place in Jefferson County Circuit Court. During testimony Dr. Donna Stewart, with the medical examiners office, testified that Carroll suffered three different types of injuries: stab wounds, a gunshot wound and blunt force injuries. She also said that toxicology tests showed that Carroll had drugs in his system. Several months before Carroll's body was found, Banis and Mundt were arrested at a hotel in Chicago. The report says Banis admitted to Chicago police that he had $54,000 in counterfeit money, three guns, and ammunition. Reports by a KSP firearms expert confirmed that one of those guns was the gun used to kill Carroll. Carroll had family members in Floyd County and once owned a hair salon in Paintsville. This trial for Mundt is scheduled for May in Louisville.

Knott County Man Pleads Not Guilty to Assault Charges

A Knott County man has pleaded not guilty to an assault charge. Hillard Smith was arraigned in Knott County Circuit Court last week. Police say he allegedly shot 24 year old Travis Scott in the Mousie community in October of last year. Smith was indicted earlier this year, Scott survived the shooting. No further information has been provided.

Deadly Crash Leads to Murder Charge

 An elderly woman is dead after being struck while waiting for help after her vehicle went into a ditch. Around 10pm Thursday evening, 79-year-old Martha Vivian of Clay City was driving on KY 11 in Powell County when she lost control of her vehicle and went into a ditch. Kentucky State Police say while Vivian was standing next to her vehicle she was struck by a pickup driven by 34-year-old Johnny Moore of Mt. Sterling. She died at the scene. Moore was charged with Operating Under the Influence and Murder. Police say they smelled alcohol on his breath after the accident. They are waiting for the results of a blood test. Moore is being held at the Powell County Detention Center on a $250,000 cash bond. The accident remains under investigation by Kentucky State Police.

Lewis County High Student Charged with Terroristic Threatening

A student at Lewis County High School has been arrested and charged with making terroristic threats. According to the Lewis County, Ky. Sheriff, the arrest was the result of an alleged threat at the school Thursday morning. The Sherriff’s Office said they received information that a male student was reportedly going to bring a gun to school. During the investigation, deputies learned the student was actually going to bring a M-80 firecracker to school and detonate it. Following the arrest, the juvenile was taken to the Boyd County Detention Center. Because the student is a juvenile, his name is not being released.

Kentucky's Jobless Rate Much Improved In 2012

Kentucky is reporting significant improvement in the state's jobless rate for 2012. The Office of Employment and Training reported Friday that unemployment improved from 9.5 percent in 2011 to 8.2 percent in 2012. That's a 1.3 percent drop in the jobless rate, which reflects the addition of 28,800 jobs for the year. Kentucky had the 19th highest annual unemployment rate among all states in 2012. Annual unemployment rates declined in 46 states, rose in two states and were unchanged in two. Among neighboring states, Indiana and Illinois had unemployment rates higher than Kentucky. Virginia, Missouri, Ohio, West Virginia and Tennessee had rates lower than Kentucky.