Local News 5-9-2013

Prosecutors File Motion to Revoke Plea Deal for Amanda Fannin

In a move that, from the start has been a possibility, prosecutors in the Blanton's murder case have filed a motion to revoke a plea deal with one of the suspect's. Amanda Fannin had struck an agreement with prosecutors in February, agreeing to tell oficials information she knew about the deaths of Johnson County couple Larry and Sandara Blanton and where they could be found. Fannin's plea agreement included that she could not be charged with the murders unless officials present proof she was involved in the couple's deaths and the cover-up that followed. Also this aggrement meant her boyfriend Willie Blanton, the son of the murdered couple, could not face the death penalty if found guilty. Willie Blanton is being charged with the Blanton's murders.Officials say the hearing on the motion to void the plea agreement is set for May 17.

Woman Seriously Injured in Hit and Run in Perry Co.

Law enforcement in Perry Co. are investigating an apparent hit and run that occurred on Tuesday. According to the Perry County Sheriff's Dept. they say the hit and run happened around 3 pm. Tuesday on Highway 476 in the Rowdy community of Perry Co. The victim has been identified as Mary Newsome, 29, who was airlifted from the scene to the UK hospital with serious injuries. Deputies said a man saw Newsome laying in the roadway, that man then ran to a nearby business and called 911. Witnesses described the vehicle that hit the woman as a white Dodge pickup truck. Deputies say Mary Newsome lives nearby were she was found and has two children. Perry Co. S.O. is requesting the public's help in located the driver of the hit and run vehicle for questioning and ask t hat if anyone has any information, to please contact the Perry County Sheriff's Office at (606)-439-4523.

Another Home Burns in Martin Co.

According to reports out of Martin Co. the Warfeild VFD were called to the scene of another house fire at around 2:50 am Wednesday morning. This structure fire was located at 5310 Blacklog Road near
Route 2032. Reports indicate the house was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived on scene. Not alot of information has been released at this time and fire officials trying to determine the cause of the blaze.
Information has not been released on the owners or occupants of the residence. Also on scene with the Warfield VFD at this scene was the Martin County Sheriff’s Department. 

PSC Plan Public Meetings on Replacing Big Sandy Plant; Comments Welcomed

The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) will offer opportunities next month for members of the public to provide comments regarding the proposal by Kentucky Power Co. to purchase replacement electric generating capacity in order to retire the Big Sandy generating facility near Louisa. A public meeting will be held Tuesday, May 14 in Louisa. On Wednesday, May 15, the PSC will conduct a teleconference linking sites in Whitesburg and Hazard with the commission offices in Frankfort. Both the meeting and the teleconference will begin with a presentation by PSC staff on the regulatory processes governing the case and an overview of the Kentucky Power proposal. “These meetings are an opportunity for the public to learn how the PSC reaches a decision in cases such as this,” PSC Chairman David Armstrong said. “The meetings also allow the PSC to hear directly from ratepayers in these matters.” The presentation by PSC staff and a question-and-answer period will begin at 5 p.m. EDT each day and last an hour. Public comments will follow at 6 p.m. EDT. Kentucky Power is seeking PSC approval of an agreement to purchase a 50 percent interest in Ohio Power Company’s Mitchell power plant, which is south of Moundsville, West Virginia. Kentucky Power and Ohio Power are both subsidiaries of American Electric Power Co. The 780 megawatts of capacity from Mitchell would nearly replace the 800 megawatts generated by the larger of two units at the Big Sandy plant. In its application, Kentucky Power says the cost of the Mitchell purchase will be about $536 million. That is $404 million less than the estimated cost of upgrading Big Sandy’s 800-megawatt unit in order to meet stricter federal air quality standards, as the company earlier had proposed to do. Kentucky Power canceled the upgrade plans in May 2012 and said it would consider other options. The plan to purchase generating capacity at Mitchell is the best of the available alternatives, Kentucky Power said in its application to the PSC. The 800-megawatt Big Sandy unit now is scheduled to close in mid-2015. An older, 278-megawatt unit at Big Sandy is scheduled to be either converted to burn natural gas or shut down by the end of 2014. Kentucky Power has not yet finalized plans for the unit or for replacing that power. Both the Big Sandy units and the Mitchell units burn coal. But the Mitchell units are newer than the Big Sandy plant and have the equipment needed to comply with federal air quality regulations. Kentucky Power estimates that the purchase of the Mitchell units will result in an eight percent increase in customer bills, or about $6 per month for a typical residential customer. The rate impact of upgrading Big Sandy had been estimated by the company at about $31 per month for residential customers. The public meetings are scheduled for: Louisa Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 5:00 p.m. EDT Lawrence County Community Center 205 Bulldog Lane Whitesburg Wednesday, May 15, 2013, 5:00 p.m. EDT Room 203 Whitesburg ...

FDA's New 'Plan' for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month

May is Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, and the Food and Drug Administration has started it off with a major announcement. The agency will allow a form of women's emergency contraception known as "Plan B One-Step" to be sold over the counter, and to women as young as 15. The FDA says Plan B is a safe and effective way to prevent pregnancy, and that there should be no need for a doctor's prescription. The advantage of the new policy is speed, said Jill June, president and chief executive of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. The sooner the medication is taken, she said, the more effective it is. "We do know that when it is needed, it is needed right away," she said, "and so, this move by the FDA assures that more women will have ready access to it." A federal judge had ordered the FDA to make emergency contraception available without an age limit, and the Justice Department is challenging that ruling. However, the FDA says this decision is independent of that court case. Plan B works by preventing pregnancy, not terminating it, so the National Right to Life Committee considers Plan B a contraceptive and says it doesn't take a position on birth control. Some concerns have been raised about reducing the age limit for over-the-counter purchase of an emergency contraceptive. June, who has three daughters, said she would hope all young people would seek the advice of a parent or a trusted adult - but she knows it isn't always possible. "If they can't come talk to us, whatever the situation might be, we want to be sure that they can get the medication that they need that will keep them safe," she said. "This is a safe and effective medication." It's important to note that emergency contraception has been available to women younger than 15, but only with a doctor's prescription, and that will still be the case. Kentucky's teen pregnancy rate ranks 19th in the nation. Seventy-one out of 1,000 young women, ages 15 to 19, become pregnant. The FDA's release about its decision is online at fda.gov.

Martin Co. School System Announce Hiring of New Superintendent

During a closed meeting held Tuesday evening by the Martin Co. B.O.E. a new superintendent was hired to take over the Martin Co. School System, as soon as the current superintendent Mark Blackburn's contract expires in June. Steven Meadows has been hired as the new leader. Meadows comes from Bath Co. where he currently holds the position of personnel director and has also recently been an interim superintendent with the Bath Co. School System.

Motorcycle Run for Slain W.Va Sheriff Rescheduled

A postponed motorcycle ride to honor a slain Mingo County sheriff has been rescheduled for Sunday, May 26. Heavy rain over the weekend cancelled the original scheduled date. Organizer Paul Price of the Sidney, Ky.-based Appalachian Brotherhood riding club says the Sheriff Eugene Crum Memorial Poker Run will start at 1 p.m. May 26 at the Sycamore Inn in Williamson. The motorcycle procession also is expected pass through Crum's hometown of Taylorville and other communities where he had worked. Crum was fatally shot April 3 as he sat in his cruiser eating lunch in a Williamson parking lot.