Local News 9-12-2014

JCSO Locate Illegal Liquor Still in Williamsport Community

According to a news release from the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office, on Tuesday, September 9th, the Johnson County Sheriff's Office responded to a complaint of suspicious activity on the Left Fork of Two Mile in Williamsport: the residence of Shawn Gayheart. Deputy Richard Salyer responded to the residence and discovered an operating liquor still behind the residence. The owner of the residence was located near the still. The still had just been put into operation and was starting to produce alcohol. The still was disassembled by Gayheart and a criminal summons was issued for him to appear in court on the charge of Apparatus for Unlawful Manufacturing of an Alcoholic Beverage, 1st Offense, which is a Class A Misdemeanor. Sheriff Price stated this is the third still found in Johnson County this year and he attributes the rise to the television show “Moonshiners”. Owning, operating or possessing a moonshine still is a crime in Kentucky. Assisting at the scene was Sheriff Dwayne Price and Chief Deputy Kevin Pelphrey. Sheriff Price stated that community tips have been an invaluable tool in stopping crime in our county. He asks that if you have knowledge of any illegal activity, please contact the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at 789-3411.

JCSO Respond to Single Vehicle Accident

IN a separate news release from the JCSO, on Thursday, September 11th, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a single vehicle accident on KY Rte. 825 in the Riceville Community. A minivan driven by Michelle Williams, age 44 of Riceville had overturned. Williams lost control of her vehicle due to heavy rain in the area at the time. Williams’s vehicle left the road then traveled a distance on the shoulder of the road before hitting an embankment. Hitting the embankment caused the vehicle to overturn, where it came to rest in the roadway. Paintsville EMS and Rockhouse Fire Department responded at the scene, although Williams refused medical treatment. The accident is under investigation by Chief Deputy Kevin Pelphrey

KSP Investigating ATV Accident

In a news release from the KSP in Pikeville, on Wednesday September 10, Post 9 Pikeville received a call of a male lying beside the roadway in the Freeburn community of Pike County. KSP Troopers responded to the scene and located 40 year old Johnny Gooslin. Upon further investigation it was determined that Gooslin was traveling East on Woodman Creek Road. Mr. Gooslin lost control of his ATV upon entering a curve and was ejected from the ATV. Gooslin was pronounced deceased at the scene by Pike County Deputy Coroner Ernie Casebolt. The accident remains under investigation by KSP Trooper Shannon Jones.

Wolfe Co. Man Arrested for Exposing Himself To Children At a Park

A Wolfe County man was recently arrested by the Wolfe Co. Sheriff’s Office, accused of exposing himself to several children at a park and then chasing them. The man has been identified as 25-year-old Mitchell Ratliff. Deputies say Ratliff reportedly exposed himself to at least five children at a park near his home near Plummer and Washington on Monday. He was arrested on Wednesday and has been charged with indecent exposure and sexual misconduct. Investigators say Ratliff "denied the incident, but he did admit to playing tag with the kids. A judge has ordered Ratliff to stay at least 100 feet away from the park. Ratliff is currently in Three Forks Regional Detention Center.

Former Martin (Floyd Co) Mayor’s Stepson Sentenced

The stepson of former Martin city mayor Ruth Thomasine Robinson, has been sentenced to 31 months in prison, following his conviction earlier this year on charges related to a vote-buying scheme. James Steven Robinson, 32, was convicted in May of one count of civil rights conspiracy and two counts of vote-buying. He was also acquitted on one other count of vote-buying. Robinson appeared in U.S. District Court earlier this week for sentencing. U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar ordered a sentence of totaling 21 months for his conviction, plus an additional 10 months for a probation violation related to Robinson’s 2009 conviction of lying to authorities in an attempt to obtain unemployment benefits.

Robinson’s father, James “Red” Robinson, was scheduled to be sentenced this week for his conviction on one count each of conspiracy and vote-buying, but the judge delayed sentencing until Oct. 7. His wife and former Mayor Ruth Thomasine Robinson, who was also convicted of conspiracy and vote-buying, is also scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 7.

Kentucky Attorney General Announces Indictment on the Knott Co. Water & Sewer Mgr.

Attorney General Jack Conway has announced that the former manager of the Knott County Water and Sewer District has been indicted on one count of theft by deception over $10,000. A Knott County grand jury returned the indictment Thursday against 67-year-old Reva Campbell, of Hazard, Ky. Back in October 2013, Attorney General Conway’s Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) began an investigation into this case after receiving a complaint from the state Auditor’s office. The complaint was submitted to the Auditor’s office by an independent auditor who discovered possible forged financial documents during an audit of the Knott County Water and Sewer District.

According to the DCI investigation, from 2009 through 2013, Campbell allegedly allowed approximately $85,000 in questionable charges to be made on a credit card issued to her by the Knott County Water and Sewer District. Theft by deception over $10,000 is a class D felony, which carries a potential sentence of five to 10 years in prison. Campbell is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 25 at 10 a.m. in Knott Circuit Court. General Conway’s Office of Special Prosecutions is handling the prosecution of the case. A charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Program Finds Success in Reducing Sexual Violence in KY High Schools

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentucky's first lady calls it a game changer - using a program based on bystander intervention to reduce sexual violence among high school-age children. The Green Dot program, which was created and first used at the University of Kentucky, is now being tried in more than a dozen of the state's high schools. Gov. Steve Beshear's wife, Jane, says it's a huge step forward in changing the culture toward sexual violence, dating violence, sexual harassment and stalking. "How are we to stop the cycle of violence and influence on our children?" Jane Beshear asks. "Answers: early intervention, early education, access to treatment and laws that protect our young people."

Over the last five years, more than 100,000 - students from 26 high schools across the state have participated in a research trial. According to the research trial's primary investigator, Ann Coker, preliminary results show that Green Dot has reduced sexual violence perpetration by more than 50 percent. The primary prevention strategy is based on empowering students to reduce violence with their social networks. The idea for the program's name comes from dots on a map, each symbolizing "any behavior, choice, word, or attitude that promotes safety for all ... and communicates utter intolerance for any form of violence." Eileen Recktenwald, executive director of the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs, says the students' involvement in the project has been invaluable.

"They are the future of a violence-free world," she stresses. "May they carry and share, and the sharing is the important part, the active bystanding skills they have learned with them wherever they go."And maybe, just maybe, within their lifetime sexual violence will only be in history books." Those involved with the project say they hope to implement Green Dot in more high schools around the state.

Local News 8-29-2014

Officials Continue Assessment of Flood Damage

Folks continue to clean up from last Friday’s flash flooding here in Johnson County and neighboring Floyd County, the question now is whether or not these counties qualify for federal aid. Officials are continuing to assess damage in both areas. According to Gary McClure, Emergency Management Director in Johnson Co/Paintsville, around 25 homes received damage from the floods and around 100 homes were impacted in Floyd Co. Officials continue to survey the amount of damage, to see what qualifies as public assistance. To qualify for assistance, 6 million dollars in damage is needed from Floyd and Johnson County combined to qualify for federal aid.

James Lewis, with Kentucky Emergency Management told WYMT news, "Roads, bridges, highways, and things like that...we are trying to reach the state threshold. We've easily surpassed the threshold for Floyd County which is $137,000. Now our goal is to come up with enough damage to meet the state threshold so the governor can ask for a presidential declaration." Officials say they are not through all of Floyd County yet and are already well over a couple million dollars. Once assessments in both counties are complete, those numbers will be compiled and sent to Frankfort to see if the area qualifies for any federal assistance. If you have received damage from the recent flooding and have not contacted Emergency Management, you need to do so ASAP by calling 606-789-2260 or 606-789-4221.

Three Killed Wednesday in a Breathitt County Crash

According to a news release from the KSP a Wednesday accident in Breathitt Co. claimed the life of 3 men and left 2 others injured. The accident occurred on Wolverine Road in Breathitt Co. just before 10:00 p.m. Troopers say the driver of a vehicle lost control negotiating a curve and flipped after hitting a ditch and came to rest against a house on KY 3193 in Jackson.

Troopers say the driver, Shawn Cody Hardin, 19, who was driving the five passengers at the time of the accident, was arrested and will be charged with DUI, three counts of murder and two counts of assault. Adam Fugate, 31, Lee Campbell, 24, and Pearl Armstrong, 19, were killed in the crash, but the names of the men airlifted to UK Hospital has yet to be released. No other information has been released at this time.

Magoffin Co. Accident Sends Two to the Hospital

The Magoffin Co. Sheriff’s Department are investigating an accident from earlier this week involving two vehicles. Reports indicate the accident happened along Rt.1081 in Magoffin Co. near the junction of Rt. 2019 around 11:45 Tuesday. Deputies say two people were injured in the accident and had had to be taken to an area hospital with what appeared to be non-life threatening injuries. Both vehicles were heavily damaged. The names of the injured has not been released.

Floyd Co. Man Arrested for a Pizzeria Copper Theft

A Floyd Co. man has been charged with third-degree burglary, theft by unlawful taking, and first-degree criminal mischief after he was allegedly observed walking out of a vacant Pizza business with a pair of wire cutters in his hand. Police say Joseph W. Robinson, 25, of David was stopped by officers, who questioned him about his vehicle that was loaded with copper wire. Robinson originally told police the wire had come from David, but he allegedly admitted later that the wire had been cut out of Hobert’s Pizzeria and he did not have permission to be in the empty building. Robinson was taken to jail on the before mentioned charges, but has since been released on an unsecured $20,000 bond. He will have a preliminary hearing on Sept. 2.

Portsmouth Pair Arrested on Meth Charges in Kentucky

A man and a woman were arrested Tuesday in South Shore on meth-related charges after the man's grandmother found a meth lab in his car, the Greenup County Sheriff's Department says. Garrett Boyd, 23, and Breanna Horton, age unavailable, both of Portsmouth, Ohio, were charged with manufacturing meth, possession of meth precursors and wanton endangerment. Deputies say one of the meth labs was in the trunk of Boyd's car and discovered by his grandmother. Not certain what it was, she removed it from the trunk. Boyd and Horton were arrested in the Clifford Loop area of South Shore.  

Suggestions Wanted for Ky. Education Standards

Kentucky education officials want to tweak the state's English and math standards and they want help doing it. Officials unveiled a website on Monday where people can view the state's hundreds of English and math education standards. People can rewrite the standards or they can click a green thumbs-up icon, similar to Facebook's "like" button. State Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said the process is not a referendum on the standards and noted the department would ignore complaints that don't contain suggestions for improving the standards. Kentucky was the first in the nation to adopt the English and math standards, which were modeled after the Common Core standards that have since become a flashpoint in national politics.

Supreme Court of Kentucky to Hear Arguments Sept. 10 in Frankfort

FRANKFORT, Ky., Aug. 28, 2014 – The Supreme Court of Kentucky will hear oral arguments in cases that originated in Fayette, Knott and Johnson counties when it convenes Wednesday, Sept. 10, in Frankfort. Proceedings are open to the public and will take place in the Supreme Court Courtroom on the second floor of the state Capitol at 700 Capitol Ave. in Frankfort. The public may also observe oral arguments via the Supreme Court live stream on the Kentucky Court of Justice website. Oral arguments are available online as they occur in real time and are not available as archives. The Supreme Court is the state court of last resort and the final interpreter of Kentucky law. Seven justices (bios) sit on the Supreme Court and all seven justices rule on appeals that come before the court. The justices are elected from seven appellate districts and serve eight-year terms. A chief justice, chosen for a four-year term by fellow justices, is the administrative head of the state’s court system and is responsible for its operation. The Supreme Court may order a ruling or opinion to be published, which means that the ruling becomes the case law governing all similar cases in the future in Kentucky.

Local News 8-28-2014

Alleged Food City Meat Thieves Identified

The Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office have identified the 2 women who were allegedly caught on camera stealing meat from the Paintsville and Prestonsburg Food City’s. According to the original news release, video evidence show two women stealing meat from at least two grocery stores. The video apparently shows the pair concealing large quantities of meat and other merchandise in their purses. Sheriff Dwayne Price said his office after they were alerted by Paintsville Food City. Reports say the two women first struck at the Prestonsburg Food City on July 15. Sheriff Price identified the woman as Jessica Stumbo, 32 and Leverne Mullins, 49 both of McDowell. Price said when caught, each will be charged with theft and shoplifting. If anyone know the whereabouts of the two women, you’re ask to contact the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office at (606) 789-3411. Sheriff Price says his office needs your information, not your name.           

West Virginia Woman Sentenced in a 2012 Martin Co. Crash

A Wayne Co., W.Va woman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, for her involvement in a 2012 Martin Co. crash that left 5 people seriously injured. Sharon K. Reynolds, 54 decided to except the plea deal offered to her. The accident occurred on September 11, 2012 Rt. 3 near the entrance to the Big Sandy Regional Airport. According to the original report, Reynolds was operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and created a grave risk of death and/or serious injury. Reynolds car collided with a passenger van and a total of 7 people were injured, including Reynolds. Five of the seven injured had to be flown to Cabell-Huntington Hospital. Following her sentencing, Reynolds was taken immediately into custody.

Truck Catches Fire, Some Pike County Residents Evacuated

Emergency Management officials in Pike Co. were busy Tuesday morning, as a truck carrying oxidizer caught fire on a strip mine road in the Stopover community of Pike Co. The Phelps Fire Department quickly moved to evacuate around 150 people as a precaution. Officials say they chose to let the fire burn itself out and they reopened the area around 4 p.m. No injuries were reported with this accident or the evacuation. Pike County Emergency Management officials say several agencies are now looking into the cause of the fire.

Breathitt Schools to Remain Under State Control

The Kentucky Board of Education has decided to keep control of the Breathitt County school district for up to three more years. The unanimous decision came Tuesday after a nine-hour hearing in Frankfort. Attorneys for state Education Commissioner Terry Holliday argued that continued state management was needed so that students would continue making progress, but local school board members argued that some of their powers should be restored because they know what's best for students.

State manager Larry Hammond has overseen the district since December 2012 and he has recommended that the school stay under state control. Management of the school district was taken over by the Department of Education after an audit found "significant" problems. A follow-up audit in May found some progress, but also found continuing problems in student achievement and with district finances. 

Carter Co. Magistrate Arraigned on Election Related Charge

According to WSAZ news, a Carter Co. Magistrate was arraigned Wednesday on a misdemeanor election related criminal charge. Carter County Magistrate Clifford "Sodbuster" Roe stands accused of preparing an inaccurate voter assistance form. He allegedly assisted a voter, who could not get out to vote, with an absentee ballot on May 8, 2014 prior to the May primary election. The Attorney General's office, which is handling case, has made a plea offer to Roe. A decision is expected prior to his pretrial hearing, which is scheduled for September 24. If found guilty, Roe could face up to one year in jail and a $500 fine.

Bankruptcy Judge OKs Sale of 3 James River Coal Mines

A bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of three James River Coal Co. mining complexes to a subsidiary of Kentucky-based Blackhawk Mining LLC. The sale includes the Hazard complex in Kentucky, excluding the assets of Laurel Mountain Resources LLC; the Hampden complex in West Virginia, including the assets of Logan & Kanawha Coal Co. LLC; and the Triad Mining complex in Indiana. Blackhawk subsidiary JR Acquisition LLC will pay $20 million in cash and assume $32 million in liabilities. The operations employ about 900 workers. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin R. Huennekens approved motions enabling James River to sell the mines earlier this week. The company plans to complete the sale by the end of the week. Richmond-based James River filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April.

Kentucky Gets $20 Million Grant for Energy Study

Democrats and Republicans gathered Wednesday to celebrate a $20 million federal grant designed to move Kentucky to new forms of energy, a tricky subject in a state dominated by the coal industry. Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and U.S. Rep. Andy Barr joined Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and state House Majority Leader Rocky Adkins to announce a federal grant spread out among the state's eight public colleges and universities. The money will pay for researchers to explore new ways to generate energy from plants and chemicals. Beshear and Barr said the grant would complement the coal industry, which generates about 90 percent of the state's electricity. McConnell, who has made coal a central part of his re-election campaign, said the grant shows Kentucky is in a great position to compete for federal research dollars.

Paintsville Utilities Schedules Water Outage

Paintsville Utilities has scheduled a water outage for today, Thursday, August 28, 2014 beginning at 8:30 am for the following area in Johnson County. From the old Oil Springs Elementary School to the Johnson-Magoffin County Line and all side roads in between.

Paintsville Utilities will be replacing two (2) fire hydrants along KY Route 40. Water service will be restored as soon as possible. Once water service is restored, a boil water advisory will be issued for all customers within this area. You will be notified by the local radio stations when the boil water advisor has been lifted. Paintsville Utilities appreciates your patience and cooperation.

This outage was scheduled for this past Monday; however, with the heavy rain from Friday night, we had to cancel the hydrant replacements to restored water service back to customers that were without water.