Local News 9-17-2014



Man Facing Assault Charge in Martin Co.

A Martin County man is facing an assault charge for shooting another man in the face. According to the Martin Co. Sheriff’s Dept. the incident took place on Saturday. Reports say Sheriff Deputies arrested Larry Mills, who told them the victim, whose name has not been released, allegedly stole $20 and a pack of cigarettes from him. Mills went on to say that when he tried to confront the man, he was jumped and went home to get his 22 revolver. When he returned, he told deputies that he raised the gun, but his father in law grabbed him and caused the gun to go off. Officials say the victim suffered wounds to his face and neck. The Martin Co. Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate this incident and no further information has been made available at this time.

Carter Co. Man Pleads Guilty to Variety of Charges, Including Sodomy

According to a news release from the KSP, on Tuesday, September 16, Matthew Morrison entered a Guilty Plea in Carter Circuit Court to Sodomy 1st Degree, Trafficking in Controlled Substance 1st Degree and official Misconduct. KSP investigators say they received a complaint from a woman to whom Morrison was supposed to serve an arrest warrant on, who said she was forced into sexual acts with Morrison in exchange for not serving the warrant while he was a member of the Carter Co. Sheriff’s office. KSP added that Morrison had also been involved in several illegal exchanges of pills. He was fired from the sheriff’s office on Feb. 8.

The Sodomy charges were amended to Official Misconduct and Morrison received 12 months in jail. The controlled substance charge was amended to Tampering with Physical Evidence and he received 5 years in jail and on the official Misconduct charge, he received 12 months in jail. The sentences will run concurrently, with Morrison being on supervised probation for 5 years. As part of Morrison’s plea agreement, he also agreed not to seek nor accept employment with any law enforcement agency again.

Former State Worker Fined For Mistreating Women

A former assistant director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife was fined and reprimanded Monday for mistreating women as the Executive Branch Ethics Commission wrapped up a two-year investigation of the agency. Kenneth "Scott" King used his position "to create an oppressive and hostile atmosphere" by telling his female employees what parts of their body he and other male supervisors preferred, according to a news release from the ethics commission. King allegedly told some female employees to wear short skirts and high heels to meetings in order to get what they wanted and, in one case, told a female employee to show him her breasts.

King did not admit he did those things, but he did not contest them either, "recognizing that the evidence against him indicates" he committed them, according to a settlement agreement. He did admit to having the department fix a state-owned tractor that he broke while using it to improve some land he used for hunting. The commission fined King $2,750 and publicly reprimanded him. A call to King's attorney was not immediately returned. King is the eighth current or former Fish and Wildlife employee to be fined since January, according to John Steffen, the Ethics Commission's executive director. Altogether, Fish and Wildlife employees have paid or agreed to pay $21,449 in fines. Gil Lawson, a spokesman for the cabinet agency that includes Fish and Wildlife, declined to comment.

UPike Receives $2.2M to Create a Student Success Center

The University of Pikeville has been awarded $2.2 million to create a center for student success. The grant came from the US Department of Education as part of the Title III Strengthening Institutions Program. UPIKE President James Hurley said the grant would be used to create a center for student success with a centralized approach to advising, tracking and supporting first-year students. Hurley says they are eager to expand services they offer their students and this will help them be able to give individual attention to every first-year student. "We will continue to enhance our campus-wide efforts to improve retention and persistence, and ultimately graduate more students," said Hurley. There are 2,400 students enrolled at UPike for the fall semester, a record enrollment number.

Calls for More Funding on Childhood Cancer

LEXINGTON, Ky. - September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and Jamie Ennis Bloyd is, as she puts it, a "mom on a mission." Bloyd's five-year-old son Paxton has a rare form of lymphoma called sporadic type Burkitt's lymphoma. The Lexington mother says it's unacceptable that less than four percent of all cancer research is focused on pediatric cancer. "Kids are 100 percent of our future. Four percent is not enough for a population that holds all of the promise for everything, for our whole world," she says. "It's just not okay with me. Children are precious. They haven't done anything to deserve this." The American Cancer Society is urging that more resources be dedicated to caring for the overall well-being of child cancer patients and their families. While Bloyd understands the value of palliative care, she believes dollars for research should come first.

The American Cancer Society's Rebecca Kirch says that extra layer of support is critical because research shows two-thirds of childhood cancer survivors endure debilitating symptoms that can continue into adulthood, and even last a lifetime. "As we've seen more and more children surviving and growing into adulthood, it's not without the expense of this impact on these other things," she says. Kirch notes more focus is being placed on trying to limit the severe side effects of treating pediatric cancer. Bloyd's son Paxton is now on his eighth and final round of chemotherapy. She says his scans and biopsies are clear, but she had to "beg and plead" with her son's physicians to follow up on her son's lymph node. Her message to other parents - childhood cancer symptoms usually don't "roar out at you." "Things that can easily be written off as like, 'Oh that's just a four-year-old being a four-year-old, or a five-year-old being a five-year-old, going through a phase not wanting to eat,'" explains Bloyd. "Or, 'oh well, he just ran around and ate too much and has got a belly ache.' Or, you know, 'It's growing pains, that's why his legs hurt.'" From her own experience, Bloyd tells parents - don't be afraid to ask questions and "push, push and push again."


Local News 9-16-2014


Perry Co. Man Arrested on Robbery Charges

A Perry Co. man remains in jail after Police say he robbed a Perry Co. business at gunpoint on Sunday morning. Kentucky State Police say Sherman McIntosh went into the Vicco Double Kwik mart just before 10:45 a.m. Sunday. He showed a hand gun to one of the employees and demanded money. The employee complied and gave the McIntosh money from the cash register. The cashier told KSP that the robber got into a black vehicle and drove off on KY 15 northbound toward Hazard.

The employee told police the man was dressed in all black clothing and wearing a mask. Troopers found McIntosh in the Jeff Community of Perry County and was arrested, charged with first degree robbery. McIntosh was booked into the Kentucky River Regional Detention Center. KSP in Hazard are continuing to investigate this robbery. Police say no one was hurt.

Floyd Co. Woman Charged after Running over Her Husband

According to the Floyd Co. Times, a Floyd Co. woman is facing felony charges, for allegedly running over her husband with her car. Court records states that Tina Sturgill, 46 of Hi Hat, admitted to Police that she had taken the medication Neurontin, which is a drug used to treat seizures, restless leg syndrome, pain, anxiety, insomnia and bipolar disorder, before she went to pick up her husband, who had reportedly been in a fight. After she arrived at the scene, the couple began arguing and she told him to get out of the vehicle, but when he refused, she allegedly pushed him out of the car and then left.

Sturgill told police she didn’t know if the door may have hit him and “she was unsure if she backed over him,” the citation says. Police however said multiple witnesses, as well as Sturgill’s husband, said Sturgill indeed ran over him with her car. The husband also exhibited multiple drag marks and tire marks on his body. When questioned by police at the scene, Sturgill allegedly failed several sobriety tests, and she was taken to a local hospital for blood testing. Afterwards, she was lodged in the Floyd County Detention Center, charged with driving under the influence, first-degree assault and failure to render aid.

Sturgill’s case has already been sent to a grand jury for further consideration. She has been released from jail on an unsecured $10,000 bond, but under the condition she have no further “unlawful contact” with her husband. In April 2014, Tina Sturgill sought domestic violence order against her husband, which was granted in May, but then amended in June. Tina Sturgill is next due in court Oct. 1.         

Bond Remains at $50K for Alleged Firebombers

Two Boyd Co. residents were back in court Monday for another bond hearing for their case of using weapons of mass destruction, criminal trespassing and wanton endangerment, after the two posted a music video on Facebook showing them making and discharging homemade bombs. Joseph R. Waugh, 39, and Jessica L. Greer, 30, were arrested on July 29 and indicted last month. When the two were originally arrested, their bond was set at $5,000. That was increased to $50,000 following testimony at a preliminary hearing. Officials say the video is filled with violence and presents itself as a threat to the public, therefore a higher bond in necessary in this case. Judge David Hagerman ruled the $50,000 bond was appropriate in the case. If convicted, they both face 5 to 10 years in prison.

Contract Awarded For Next Phase of Kentucky Rail Trail

FRANKFORT (AP) - A construction contract has been awarded for the next phase of the Dawkins Line Rail Trail in eastern Kentucky. Gov. Steve Beshear's office says the Transportation Cabinet awarded the contract to Mountain Enterprises Inc. on a low bid of $1.47 million. Beshear says the next phase will give people more area to explore on what will be Kentucky's longest rail trail when complete. The first section of the Dawkins Line Rail Trail stretches 18 miles from Hagerhill in Johnson County to Royalton in Magoffin County. It opened to hikers, cyclists and horseback riders in summer 2013. The second phase will extend the trail by nine miles from Royalton to near Carver Tunnel in Magoffin County, ending near the Breathitt County line. That phase is scheduled for completion in May 2015. 

Reports show Kentucky Ranks 13th for Car Crashes Involving Deer

Kentuckians have a better chance at hitting a deer with their car than drivers in most other states. New data from State Farm shows Kentucky ranks 13th in the country for most deer crashes. The odds a Kentucky driver will hit a deer is 1 out 107. The national odds are 1 in 169. For the eighth year in a row, West Virginia topped the list with 1 in 39 odds. Hawaii is the place you're least likely to hit a deer, with odds of 1 in 10, 281. In Kentucky, drivers are most likely to hit a deer in the fall and early winter. October, November and December are the top months. According to State Farm, the average cost per claim is $3,888, up from $3,414 in 2013. You can get more information on deer collisions in Kentucky by clicking the link attached to this article.

Kentucky Students Invited To Participate In Highway Calendar Contest

Students across the state are invited to submit creative work for the Adopt-a-Highway calendar for 2015. The contest is aimed at educating and encouraging children not to litter and to spread the message to others. It's open to all Kentucky students of elementary, middle and high school age. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet hopes the participation in the program will give young people a sense of ownership in Kentucky's highways and highlight the importance of keeping Kentucky's highways clean and free of litter. "Increasing environmental awareness and stewardship among children is the goal of this program. Our hope is to bring about a change in attitudes and behaviors concerning a growing problem with litter," Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said. "A pleasing change of scenery can be accomplished with your child's help." The entry form with the necessary certificate of authenticity can be obtained by contacting KYTC's Office of Public Affairs at (502)546-3419. The form is also available online, just click on the "Art Contest Deadline" link. Entries must be postmarked by Sept. 30, 2014.

Local News 9-15-2014

KSP Continue Investigation of a Deadly Accident in Pike Co.

According to a news release from the KSP in Pikeville, on Thursday September 11, Post 9, Pikeville received a call of a single vehicle accident on Ky 194 East in the Grapevine community of Pike County. Investigation conducted at the scene indicates that Selena Thacker 31 years old of Kimper, Ky. was traveling East on Ky 194 when she lost control of her vehicle. Thacker's vehicle crossed the centerline exiting the left side of the roadway entering the ditch and overturned in the roadway. Thacker was pronounced deceased at the scene by Pike County Coroner Russell Roberts. The accident remains under investigation by KSP Tpr. Jimmy Nolte.

Martin Co. Woman Indicted on 19 Counts for Forged Checks

A Martin Co. woman has been indicted on 19 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument 2nd degree. According to the Mountain Citizen newspaper, the woman is identified as Audrey Doyle, 48 of Beauty. Doyle allegedly wrote forged checks totaling more than $10,000 from November 2 – 27, 2013 at the Inez Deposit Bank, from an account under the name James and Doris Crum. The grand jury also charged her with one count of 2nd degree persistent felony offender.

Breathitt Co. Rape Suspect also charged with same Crime in Pulaski Co.

The Kentucky Attorney General's Office announced last week that a suspect in a Breathitt County rape case, is facing similar charges out of Pulaski County. Robert Morris, 68, of Eubank was indicted earlier this month by a Pulaski County grand jury on charges of first-degree rape and first-degree sexual abuse. Morris had been previously indicted by a Breathitt County grand jury in September 2013 on six counts of first-degree sexual abuse. Those charges stem from alleged offenses that happened in Breathitt County between 2008 and 2013. The Ag's office said that there were two children involved in the Breathitt County case.

The Kentucky Attorney General's Office announced the indictment of Morris in a release on Thursday, as well as that of Brenda Morris, 61, on charges of complicity to Robert Morris' alleged offenses. Brenda Morris and Robert Morris are believed to be husband and wife. Officials said that one of the children involved in the Breathitt County case is the same child involved in the Pulaski County case. That child is under the age of 12. Both Robert and Brenda Morris were arrested in Science Hill earlier this week and lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center, each on a $150,000 bond.

Perry Co. Man Sentenced for Beating another Man with a Brick

A judge in Perry Co. has sentenced a Perry Co man to six years behind bars for the beating of another man with a brick and leaving him by a river to die. Larry Yocum pleaded guilty to several charges, including assault second degree, which was amended from an attempted murder charge. Back in 2013, officials say Yocum beat Jeff Karr with a brick and left him to die near the river in downtown Hazard. Late last year, a grand jury returned indictments against Jeff Karr’s wife Teresa, after prosecutors say she washed Yocum's clothes, trying to get rid of evidence. It is believed that Yocum, Jeff Karr and Teresa Karr, were involved in a love triangle gone bad. As part of Yocum's plea deal, prosecutors dismissed a tampering with physical evidence charge.

Two Men Arrested in Ashland for Drugs

According to the Boyd County Sheriff's Department, two men have been arrested on drug charges after deputies pulled over a car on a traffic violation. Officials say they seen a man step off a bus and get into a white Nissan Altima. The car then sped away from the bus station and police pulled the vehicle over at the Ashland Plaza Hotel parking lot. The driver of the car, Marcell Roshun Woods from Portsmouth was driving the car on a suspended license and Woods’ passenger, Jack Lamont Woods from Columbus, had nearly 200 grams of crack cocaine hidden in his shoes. Officials say the estimated street value of the crack cocaine, is nearly $20,000. Both men are now facing felony drug charges and are jailed at the Boyd County Detention Center.

School Food Fundraisers must meet New Federal Nutrition Guidelines

Fundraising with foods that don’t meet schools’ new federal nutrition guidelines will not be allowed during the school day in Kentucky, according to reports in the Lexington Herald-Leader. One of the most popular fundraisers for schools is the sale of candy, which formerly could be sold after lunch. Those days are over in Kentucky; the state has not requested an exemption to hold such fundraisers. Fundraisers using foods like cookie dough and frozen pizza, which are meant to be eaten at home, have not been restricted and there are no fundraising restrictions on foods that meet the Smart Snacks standards, the Herald-Leader reports.

Marty Flynn, executive director of the Kentucky School Nutrition Association, told the paper, “Regulations that stem from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, although well-intentioned, have been enacted too quickly, and without attention to the availability of acceptable products, acceptance of students and the financial consequences to the self-sustaining school meal programs. Many food service directors have indicated that for the first time in many years their programs lost money and have been faced with declining participation.”

Kentucky Works to Trim Childhood Obesity

LEXINGTON, Ky. - There is both good news and bad when the topic is obesity among Kentucky's children. While childhood obesity rates have leveled off and even dropped slightly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they continue to remain among the highest in the country in Kentucky. "When statistics indicate that one in three children born now will develop diabetes in their lifetimes, that - from so many perspectives - is really alarming," says Carolyn Dennis, a registered dietitian. Dennis points out diabetes is associated with so many health problems that it has enormous financial implications.

According to the CDC, 15.6 percent of Kentucky toddlers are obese before they start kindergarten. That's the sixth-highest rate in the nation. It jumps to third highest among high-school-age children, with 18 percent obese. This is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. And Anne Warhover, president and CEO of The Colorado Health Foundation, says adding healthy foods for school lunches, eliminating easy access to sugary drinks and increasing access to public parks are all strategies to reduce childhood obesity. "It's 100 percent preventable," she stresses. "We don't need to have this statistic, if we can figure out how to change the culture of health and how to make the healthy choice the easy choice."

Health experts say the research indicates a child who is overweight at age five, is five times more likely to be obese as an adult. Kentucky is making progress on the problem, says Dennis. She credits a cross-section of child, health and business groups, now working together, and points to a statewide initiative in Kentucky's nearly 3,000 licensed child care centers. "Working with the licensed child care centers on healthy eating and physical activity standards can really make a big difference for a whole lot of children, if we can get to them at the earliest stage possible," she says.

Voting Registration Deadline Looms for November General Election

In anticipation of the November 4th General Election, politicians are reminding Kentuckians of the voting registration deadline. County Clerks' Offices will accept voter registration cards until the close of business on Monday, October 6th. Mail-in voter registration applications must be postmarked by that date. Before registering, there are some rules to remember. To be eligible to vote, you have to have lived in Kentucky for at least 28 days before election day. You cannot be a convicted felon or have the right to vote anywhere outside Kentucky.