Johnson Co. S.O. Locate Mobile Meth Lab; Arrest Made
According to a news release from the Johnson Co. Sheriff's Dept. on the morning of Thursday, March 14th 2013 Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy Byron Fairchild and Kentucky State Police Trooper Dustin Thompson were en route to a residence located at 205 Castle Fork in Lowmansville to attempt to serve an indictment warrant on Lucas Moore. When the officers arrived at the residence, they saw Moore, along with two other male subjects sitting inside of a `96 White Chevy Lumina, and they appeared to be smoking Methamphetamine. Upon further inspection of the vehicle, the officers discovered an active “mobile” meth lab, as well as finished product. The three men: Lucas Moore, age 26 of Lowmansville, Donnis Skaggs, age 32 of Paintsville, and Jason Owens, age 31 of Swamp Branch were taken into custody and charged with Manufacturing Methamphetamine 1st, and Unlawful Possession of Meth Precursors. Two of the men also had outstanding warrants. Moore was served with an indictment warrant for Manufacturing Meth 1st, Persistent Felony Offender, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Owens was served with warrants for Burglary 2nd and Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence 3rd. All three were lodged In the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center. If you have any knowledge of any illegal activity, Sheriff Price asks that you call the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office at 789-3411. Remember, we need they need your information, not your name.
Floyd County Sheriff Charged With DUI
An Eastern Ky sheriff was arrested over the weekend, after police say he was driving drunk and swerving all over the Mountain Parkway. According to authorities in Powell County, police pulled over Floyd County sheriff John Blackburn around 8 p.m. Sunday evening. They say Blackburn almost hit a guardrail and crossed the center line several times in his personal vehicle. Officers say Blackburn was talking slow, had bloodshot eyes, and smelled of alcohol. They also say Blackburn's blood alcohol level was point 2.02, more than twice the legal limit. Blackburn was arrested and charged with DUI, but was released on bond later Monday morning.
Suspect in Floyd County Murder Released from Hospital
A man charged with a Floyd County murder has been released from a Huntington hospital, and is now in jail in Cabell County. Ronald Wright, 64, of Printer, Ky., was booked in the Western Regional Jail on a fugitive from justice warrant Thursday night. Kentucky State Police are charging Wright with murder and attempted murder in connection with shooting at the home of Famer and Lorene Halbert in McDowell earlier last week. Wright was also shot during the incident. 54-year-old Famer was killed in the shooting. His wife, Lorene, was wounded. Wright’s wife, Loretta, was also arrested and charged complicity to murder and complicity to attempted murder. She was arraigned on the charges Wednesday. Loretta is being held in the Floyd County Detention Center on a $500,000 cash bond. Lorene Halbet and Loretta Wright are sisters. An extradition hearing for Ronald Wright is expected to be held soon.
Registered Sex Offender Back Behind Bars
A registered sex offender is back behind bars in Pike County, this time he's charged with possessing child porn. According to reports, the investigation began when the U.S. Postal Service began looking into a mailing list for child pornography being shipped across the United States from Canada. Charles Compton's name appeared on the list and lead Kentucky State Police to execute a search warrant of his home, located on Island Creek Road in Pike County. Investigators say they found a large amount of child porn inside his home. Pike County Commonwealth Attorney Rick Bartley said "The investigation is ongoing, but to get things I requested the KSP to open a case and arrest Mr. Compton. Particularly, because we noted that he was on the sex offenders list and convicted of child molestation in Michigan and served a prison sentence for that." Compton has been indicted by the grand jury and is being held in the Pike County Detention Center.
Richie Farmer Charged With 42 Ethics Violations
The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has charged former agriculture commissioner Richie Farmer with 42 ethics violations for misusing state funds and state employees during his time in office. The charges, announced by the ethics commission on Monday, include Farmer placing his friends in jobs that had no specified duties and asking them to carry out his personal errands. He allegedly had employees chauffeur him to doctors' appointments and shopping trips as well as build a basketball court on his property. Farmer, a former shooting guard for the University of Kentucky's Wildcats basketball team, faces a $5,000 fine for each count, which amounts to $210,000. Seven employees who worked with Farmer also face ethics charges. And the commission issued an advisory opinion stating that employees must report suspected ethics violations.
Beshear Signs Bill To Increase Dropout Age To 18
Gov. Steve Beshear has signed a bill into law that will allow school boards to increase the mandatory school age in their districts from 16 to 18. If more than 55 percent of districts bar students from dropping out until 18, then all of Kentucky's remaining districts must follow suit within four years, according to the law. Proponents say the law - if enacted statewide - will prevent some 6,000 Kentucky teens from quitting school early each year. Fifteen other states bar students from withdrawing until they're legal adults. Beshear signed the law on Monday after a five-year effort by some lawmakers. It's a compromise between Republicans who wanted individual districts to have discretion over the dropout age and Democrats who wanted a statewide law.
Heart Dangers for Women Sometimes Not Obvious
A sharp pain or a tight feeling in the chest, along with shortness of breath. By now, most of us have been briefed on the warning signs of a heart attack, but according to the American Heart Association, those are typical signs of a heart attack in men. For women, they can be different. According to Teri Arnold, director of marketing and communications for the Association, it's not unusual for women to think they've come down with the flu. "It could be a pain in your neck, could be a pain in the jaw, pain in your back, nausea," Arnold said. "Sometimes women have a shortness of breath for a number of weeks and don't realize that it has something to do with their heart." The AHA recommends "knowing your numbers," with an annual doctor's visit to check blood pressure, fasting blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels and weight. All can involve risk factors for heart disease, and all can be controlled, to help prevent heart attacks. Arnold said that knowledge of risk factors and symptoms is key, something that Gail Alexander Wright is now keenly aware of. She suffered a heart attack a few years ago, at age 37, and said she had symptoms for weeks before the attack. "I had pain in the left side of my neck for three weeks straight; it would go away, come back, go away, come back; and then the tightening of the jaw, on and off, for three weeks," she recalled. Teri Arnold said there are many misconceptions about women and heart disease. Some people assume you have to be older to have a heart attack, or that they're not common for women. She suggested letting your primary care physician know if there is a family history of heart trouble, and asking for tests at doctor visits, and added that the AHA is working to educate doctors and hospitals about the risk factors for women.
Minutes from the Johnson County Fiscal Court Meeting 3-11-13
The Johnson Co. Fiscal Ct. met in regular session Monday, March 11 @ 4:30 pm in the meeting room of the Johnson Co. Courthouse in downtown Paintsville. Eight (10) items were listed on the agenda to discuss on the evening. The meeting began in normal fashion with the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, the approval of the minutes from the previous meeting on February 1, 2013 meeting and the court approved to pay the monthly bills. The court also approval to transfer $40,000 from the general fund to the jail fund, as well as approved the transfer of $2606 from the general fund to the Road Dept. for reimbursement expenses used during the recovery of the Blanton's in late February. Next item on the agenda was the approval for the clerk's quartely report from 12-31-2012 and the clerk presented the court with a check in the amount of $160,145.45 in expenses feesfrom 2012. Next the court heard from Tim Spencer with Rural & Secondary roads, as he gave a list of road improvements for Johnson Co.in 2013/2014. Those roads are Keaton and Barn Creek road 3.520 miles, Island Creek road 1.230 miles, Cantrell Creek road 1.563 miles and Oil Springs/Fishtrap 7.015 miles . All of these road plans where approved by the court. Next the court heard from Julie Paxton concerning the OVW arrest policy grant for Mountain Comprehensive. This grant will be run by the county for 2 years at $300,000 each year and will create 3 new jobs. This was also approved by the court.
Next the court approved the interlocal cooperation resolution for operation unite. The court also approved to adopt the USDA necessary forms for sheriff's RDA vehicle grant. Equal opportunity aggreement, assurance agreement, certification regarding debarment, drug free workplace, application certification of federal collection policies, certification for contracts, grants and loans and cash flow projection. The final item discussed on the night was the approval for the coade red weather alert contract. the court was presented a check from the Paintsville Rotary in the amount of $2093.79 to pay for this code red system from March 1 through November 11, 2013. After that the contract will be up for renewal. With no other items to discuss, the meeting adjourned.
USDA Announces Funding to Assist Johnson County with Purchase of Two Police Vehicles
USDA Rural Development State Director Tom Fern has announced a $20,210 grant to assist Johnson County Fiscal Court and Sheriff’s Department with the purchase of two police vehicles. “USDA is pleased to provide partner financing to assist with improving health and safety protection for Johnson County residents,” said Fern. Fern added that the Johnson County Fiscal Court in conjunction with the Sheriff Department will provide $37,534 toward the total cost of $57,744 for the vehicles. An estimated 4,100 Johnson county residents will benefit from improved protection and emergency services as a result of the added vehicles to the Sheriff Department’s vehicle fleet.
Magoffin Family Speaks Out on Plea Deal in Manslaugther Case
According to reports, a Magoffin County family is seeking justice for a four-year-old boy, who died of blunt force trauma two years ago. In 2011, James Garcia was charged with manslaughter after his four-year-old son Cameron Bryce Mullins, died of blunt force trauma following an assault. Reports say Garcia has been offered a plea deal to amend the charge to reckless homiside with a 16 month sentence, but Garcia has already served 15 months behind bars. Some family members say they don’t agree with the plea deal. Garcia reportedly has a jury trial and sentencing scheduled for later this month.
KSP Investigating Fatal Shooting in Floyd Co.
According to a news release from the KSP in Pikeville, on Tuesday March 12, 2013 Post 9 Pikeville received a 911 call of a shooting in the McDowell community of Floyd County. Kentucky State Police Troopers responded to the scene and located two victims inside a residence with gunshot wounds. Both victims were transported to McDowell ARH. Famer Halbert 54 years old of McDowell was later pronounced deceased by Floyd County Coroner Greg Nelson. Lorene Halbert 50 years old of McDowell was treated and released for a single gunshot wound. Ronald Wright was located at Saint Joseph hospital with gunshot wounds. Wright was later transported to Saint Mary's Medical Center in West Virginia. Warrants for Ronald Wright have been obtained for 1 count of Murder and 1 count of Attempted Murder. Loretta Wright was arrested and charged with complicity to Murder. Loretta Wright was transported and lodged in the Floyd County Detention Center. This incident remains under investigation by KSP Detective Jason Dials.
Police in Floyd Co. Say State Worker Arrested on DUI Charges
A man is behind bars after he was allegedly driving under the influence in a state owned vehicle. According to WYMT-TV, they are reporting, Glenn Couch was arrested on US 23 in Floyd County Wednesday morning. Police say they got several complaints about a white SUV driving slowly, hindering traffic. Police say Glenn Couch was driving and the SUV belongs to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. As they were searching for the car, police say it started veering off the road, almost hitting an officer. Couch was charged with driving under the influence and possession of a controlled substance. Also according to the report, Police said after he was arrested, he started cooperating and told them he snorted a muscle relaxer at a gas station. Couch of course is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
A Sentencing Deal Reached in a Murder of a Man with Ties to Area
ere's an update to a story from a week ago, reports say a Louisville man, convicted in the death of a man with ties to eastern Kentucky, has agreed to testify against his co-defendant in exchange for escaping a possible death sentence. A jury in Louisville convicted Joseph Banis of killing 37-year-old James Carroll during a night of sex and drugs on Friday. Banis was found guilty of complicity to murder, robbery, tampering with physical evidence, possession of a forged instrument and possession of meth and drug paraphernalia. The jury was supposed to return Monday to decide whether to recommend a death sentence. Banis and Jeffrey Mundt were arrested and charged with the murder after police responded to a domestic dispute at their home. Carroll’s body found in a plastic storage container buried about three feet below a dirt basement floor, in their home in June 2010. Police said at the time that Carroll had been dead for about six months and was killed in December 2009. As part of Monday’s agreement, Banis will receive a life sentence with eligibility for parole in 20 years. He also agreed to waive any appeals. Banis won't be formally sentenced until after the Mundt’s trial in May. Carroll had family members in Floyd County and once owned a hair salon here in Paintsville, Ky.
Knott Co. Fiscal Court Appoints New Judge-Executive
Three days after Knott County's judge-executive was removed from office, the county has a new man to fulfill those duties. The decision was made Monday at a special meeting of the Knott County Fiscal Court, which also featured a top county official tendering his resignation. Magistrate Jamie Mosley was elected to assume the duties of judge-executive after a judge Friday ruled that Randy Thompson could no longer hold the office. Thompson was convicted in a 2008 vote-buying case and has been in prison since December. The vote to appoint Mosley was 3-1, with Mark Chaffins casting the "nay" vote. Mosley will act as judge-executive until the governor appoints someone. Mosley expects that to happen sometime within the next two weeks. The Fiscal Court also on Monday accepted the resignation of deputy judge-executive Greg Mullins. Mullins was appointed by Thompson to act as judge-executive before Thompson went to prison. Mullins is now going back to his old job as Knott County's director of homeland security.
Two Facing Drug Charges in Perry County
Two Perry County men are facing drug trafficking charges. According to the Hazard Herald, they report the Kentucky State Police along with a K-9 unit, conducted a sweep of home on Jordan Street in Hazard and found marijuana prepared in small baggies and multiple pieces of drug paraphernalia in the home. Two children , ages five and seven were located at this residence. Police arrested Timothy Williams and James Rockey and charged them with multiple drug related counts.
Legislature OKs Measure Raising Dropout Age To 18
Kentucky students would be barred from dropping out of school before they're 18 years old under legislation passed by the Legislature on Monday. The Senate voted 33-5 late Monday afternoon for final passage. That vote came on the heels of 88-10 House vote. Raising the dropout age has been a priority for Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, who has been pushing legislation since he took office in 2007. It was a compromise arranged by Republican Sen. David Givens of Greensburg that lead to passage of the proposal after years of debate. Givens resolved the issue by allowing school districts to choose whether to increase the dropout age. After 55 percent of school districts sign on, it would be required statewide. Lagging districts would have four years to comply.
State Senate Adopts Resolution Requesting East Ky. VA Hospital
The Kentucky State Senate on Monday adopted Sen. Ray S. Jones’ resolution (Senate Resolution 193) urging the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to consider establishing a VA Medical Center in Southeastern Kentucky. “It would be very easy to establish a VA Medical Center in Southeastern Kentucky by contracting with a local hospital to provide the services for our veterans,” said Sen. Jones, D-Pikeville. Kentucky only has two full-service veterans hospitals, the Lexington VA Medical Center and the Robley Rex VA Medical Center in Louisville. Jones says this leaves the veterans who are residents of Southeastern Kentucky no option other than to drive to Lexington, Louisville, or one of the surrounding states to utilize the services of a veterans hospital. “Southeastern Kentucky is home to more than 34,000 veterans who have courageously served our country, many of whom sacrificed their own safety for the freedom of all Americans,” Jones said. “The courage and sacrifices exemplified by our veterans require no less than our unwavering determination to ensure that they are able to easily utilize the benefits they have so bravely earned. “If the United States Department of Veterans Affairs would establish a VA Medical Center in Southeastern Kentucky, it would greatly ease travel burdens of many veterans residing in Southeastern Kentucky who turn to VA Medical Centers for their healthcare needs,” he added. Sen. Johnny Ray Turner, D-Prestonsburg, is the primary co-sponsor of the resolution. Jones represents the 31st district, which includes Pike, Martin and Johnson counties. Turner represents the 29th district, which includes Breathitt, Knott, Floyd and Letcher counties.
Ag Commissioner Blasts Dems Over Hemp Bill Amendment
Kentucky Department of Agriculture Commissioner blasted Speaker Stumbo following a Democratic amendment to Senate Bill 50, which he said threatens to kill the measure with a redundant regulatory riposte. Commissioner James Comer came out firing Tuesday, following the filing of amendments by House Democrats late Monday afternoon. The amendments appear to make both the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Kentucky State Police responsible for testing registered hemp fields. “House Speaker Greg Stumbo continues to play games at the expense of the people,” Comer said. “Why in the world would anyone put two government agencies in charge of the exact same responsibility, especially when the Department of Agriculture has shown that it can perform testing at $20 per test, and the State Police have stated that it would cost them in excess of $750 per test?” Stumbo said that the amendment was “clean-up language” which provides some maneuvering room if the current bill’s requirements are not sufficient for any new federal standards which might be put in place if the ban on hemp is lifted.
The amendments to SB 50 were filed Monday afternoon by Rep. Richard Henderson (D-74). According to Comer, he had not been informed of or consulted with about the amendments. In hearings in both the House and Senate agriculture committees, Department of Agriculture representatives stated that the could perform testing at $20 per test. KSP officials stated that it would cost them $750 to test each field, and that the hemp testing would place a significant financial burden on their testing laboratory. Currently, the KDA performs a wide variety of regulatory responsibilities within the state including: checking fuel prices, commercial scales, inspecting amusement park rides, testing motor fuel for impurities and octane level, and conducting random inspections, and others. Comer says that conducting tests of registered hemp fields could be folded into the departments other regulatory responsibilities easily and efficiently.
Putting Food on the Table: Report says Kentucky Still Struggles
FRANKFORT, Ky. - Many people in Kentucky struggle to put food on their tables, despite an upturn in the state's economy. The state ranks 19th for the number of people who say they didn't have enough money to buy food at least once in the last year, according to a report released by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). The report says that's one out of every five Kentuckians (20.3 percent) Marian Guinn, who oversees the God's Pantry Food Bank, which collects and distributes donated food throughout the eastern half of Kentucky, said people are still struggling. "The fact that we're serving one in seven Kentuckians, and in actuality one in five Kentuckians may be struggling to meet the nutritional requirements of their household, is not at all surprising." The southeast and southwestern states are the two regions of the country where food hardship numbers are the highest, according to the report. It highlights the need to improve food stamp benefits, which are now called SNAP. The president of the Food Research and Action Center, Jim Weill, said that when people's nutritional needs aren't met, it's difficult for them to move ahead in other aspects of their lives. "We know from the research that means that parents and kids aren't doing as well at work and at school as they would be doing if they were consistently eating a healthy diet," he declared. Weill said improving food stamp benefits would start with passing a national Farm Bill that protects and strengthens the program. Some in Congress have suggested reducing benefits. The 5th district in Kentucky has the 23rd-highest food hardship rate among congressional districts nationwide. Guinn said that region of the state does not have enough food pantries and there are not enough employers fueling the economy. "Our struggles in south central and southeastern Kentucky relate to the rural nature of many of those counties as well as the lack of a lot of social service infrastructure," she asserted. Guinn said the good news is that God's Pantry has been able to grow distribution in recent years, a trend she hopes will continue. The FRAC report is at FRAC.org.
Magoffin Co. Officials Still Searching for Missing Man
Officials in Magoffin County continue to look for answers to the disappearance of a Magoffin Co. man, who has not been seen or heard from in 2 weeks and family members fear the worst. The man officials aresearching for is Freddy Brown, also known as Freddy Howard age 29, of Johnson Fork in Salyersville, He has been missing since Wednesday, February 27. According to Magoffin County Sheriff Carson Montgomery, he said Brown was last reportedly seen by his mother that Wednesday night (2-27-13) at around 6 p.m., at which time he was walking in her yard (near his home on the Left Hand Fork of Johnson). That was the last time anyone has seen Freddy Brown. Brown is described as 6 foot 2 inches tall, 180 pounds, with blue eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a green hooded jacket. While search crews search the area near his home for clues to his disappearance, Sheriff Montgomery said they will continue to follow all leads, but at this time, so far all of them have ran cold. Sheriff Montgomery had previously reported he did not suspect any foul play in this case, but now he says he is simply unsure what might have happened to Brown. Officials in Magoffin Co. ask anyone who might have any information regarding the whereabouts of Freddy Brown aka Freddy Howard, to please call the Magoffin Co. Sheriff's Office at 606-349-2914. According to family members, the Kentucky State Police are now involved in the search.
Accused Terrorist Sent to Federal Prison in Kentucky
An Iraqi man sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to terrorism charges has been assigned to a high-security facility in Kentucky. The federal Bureau of Prisons lists 25-year-old Mohanad Shareef Hammadi as an inmate at the United States Penitentiary-Big Sandy in Inez. The prison is about 140 miles east of Lexington. A co-defendant, 32-year-old Waad Ramadan Alwan, received a 40-year sentence in January. Alwan had not been sent to a prison as of Saturday. Hammadi and Alwan pleaded guilty in 2011 and 2012 to ship thousands in cash, machine guns, rifles, grenades and shoulder-fired missiles to al-Qaida in Iraq in 2010 and 2011. Prosecutors said the two were working with a confidential informant. Both were arrested in May 2011 in Bowling Green after a federal sting operation.
Lawmakers Still at Odds Over How to Fix Pension
Gov. Steve Beshear and legislative leaders still have not broken an impasse on how to go about shoring up the financially troubled pension plans for state and local government retirees. House Speaker Greg Stumbo said Monday the latest meeting yielded no resolution. The Democratic-controlled House and Republican-led Senate have been at odds on proposed fixes to the pension system, which has a $33 billion unfunded liability. The Senate is proposing a 401(k)-like retirement plan for new employees - a move the House opposes. And the House wants to use money from the lottery and horse tracks to boost the state's yearly pension contribution. The Senate is balking at that idea. Negotiators last met on Sunday.
Possible Changes to Kentucky Booster Seat Law
Small children are always supposed to ride in a child seat in the car, but the laws seem less clear for older children. Now, changes to a Kentucky booster seat law could keep kids in booster seats until they’re older. Under the current law, kids have to use booster seats until they reach seven years old or 50 inches tall. With the proposed changes, which are under consideration in the Senate Transportation Committee in Frankfort, the new limits become nine years old or 57 inches tall. Some parents believe a regular seat belt is enough to protect older kids in the case of a car crash. Trooper Michael Murriell of the Kentucky State Police said that’s not the case, since seat belts are designed to protect adults. Seat belts that don't fit can do more harm than good.
Kentucky lawmakers were presented with statistics from Kosair Children’s Hospital for children hurt in crashes. Most were older than seven and younger than 10, which meant they weren't required to ride in booster seats. All of the children wore seat belts at the time of the crash, and all had injuries to their internal organs. Half of them had head or face injuries – some severe. Murriell said car crashes are the number one cause of death for children between the ages of one and twelve in the United States. Keeping kids in child seats or booster seats until they’re big enough to wear only a seat belt is one way to reduce that risk. Parents have expressed their concern to Murriell that the changes will cost them money because they may have to buy a new or bigger seat. If children grow taller than 57 inches before they’re nine, they wouldn’t need to use a seat under the law, according to Murriell. Troopers from Kentucky State Police inspect child seats at post all over the commonwealth free of charge.
Stumbo Says Industrial Hemp Bill Is Dead
House Speaker Greg Stumbo says Kentucky's industrial hemp bill is dead. Stumbo told reporters Monday the bill is stuck in a committee, and it's too late for the House to vote on the measure based on General Assembly rules. The proposal would let Kentucky quickly license hemp growers if the federal government lifts its ban on the plant. The bill already cleared the Senate. Stumbo's statement angered the bill's supporters. Republican House Leader Jeff Hoover said Stumbo could suspend the rules and put the bill to a vote. Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said the measure could create jobs. The proposal is unpopular among law enforcement officials who say hemp could be used to camouflage marijuana, which has similar leaves but far less potency.
UPike In Legal Battle Over New Building's Design
The University of Pikeville says design issues with its $40 million Coal Building could cost the university as much as $2.5 million to correct. According to the Appalachian News-Express, they report the university has entered into arbitration with the architect, CMW, over the issue. A statement from university President Paul Patton said the issues first became problematic during furniture installation, when officials found that the smaller lecture hall in the building was not useable because of inadequate spacing in the aisles. The small lecture hall has not been used since the building first became occupied in the fall semester, and the structure's larger lecture hall is not in compliance with state building codes. After discovering the problems, Patton said, the university asked CMW to address the situation and their suggestion was to put a balcony in each lecture hall to accommodate 140 students with adequate space in the configuration desired, a suggestion that was already rejected during the design phase. "After eight months, CMW has failed to propose a solution to the lecture hall deficiencies that has been demonstrated to either meet building code requirements or meet the instructional needs of the University of Pikeville," Patton said in the statement. However, because of the College of Osteopathic Medicine's class expansion due on campus in July, Patton said, the university has no choice but to install the balconies, and bids are currently being solicited, with the cost expected to be $2.5 million.
KSP Investigating Domestic Disturbance in Pike Co.
According to a news release from the KSP in Pikeville, on Thursday March 7, 2013 Post 9 Pikeville received a Domestic Disturbance complaint in the Sidney community of Pike County. Kentucky State Police Trooper Jimmy Nolte responded to the complaint. While enroute Tpr. Nolte was notified that the parties had left the residence. Tpr. Nolte was given a vehicle description and shortly after he located the vehicle and parties involved. Tpr. Nolte made contact with Jonathan Thornsbury 29 years old of Sidney, Ky. as he was exiting a business and inquired about the disturbance. Further investigation by Tpr. Nolte revealed a unresponsive female in the vehicle operated by Thornsbury. EMS responded to the location and transported the female to Pikeville Medical Center where she was admitted into ICU for her injuries. Thornsbury was arrested at the scene on unrelated charges and transported and lodged in the Pike County Detention Center. A follow up investigation by Detective Jimmy Anderson led to charges filed on Thornsbury for 1 count Attempted Murder, 1 count Rape 1st Degree and 1 count of Sodomy 1st Degree. This incident remains under investigation by KSP Detective Jimmy Anderson.
KSP Investigating Fatal Collision Greenup County
According to a seperate news release from the KSP, State Police Post 14 Ashland is investigating a two vehicle collision that occurred on US 23 at the intersection of The Grant Bridge in Greenup County , KY. The collision occurred around 155 PM today. Benjamin R. Johnston, age 27, of Portsmouth, OH was operating a 2012 Jonway Moped travelling Southbound on US 23 and attempting to turn left onto the Grant Bridge. Jamie Miller, age 44, of Portsmouth , OH was travelling Northbound on US 23 operating a 1998 Ford Explorer. It appears Miller failed to stop at the red light at the intersection and struck Johnston . Drug usage is also suspected as a factor in the collision. Johnston was transported to Southern Ohio Medical Center and was pronounced deceased at 205 PM. Miller and a juvenile passenger were wearing seat belts at the time of the collision and received no injuries. Multiple agencies responded including Greenup County Sheriff’s Department, South Shore Fire Department, KDMC EMS and Portsmouth Police Department. Any charges are pending completion of the investigation. The Collision remains under investigation by Trooper Nathan Carter.
Morehead State Student Murdered; Boyfriend Charged
A case of domestic violence took a deadly turn for a Morehead State student. Cassie Owens, 21, was a sophomore at the university. She lived in a mobile home along Christian Street near campus with her boyfriend, 26-year-old Casey Shay. Thursday afternoon, Morehead police say Shay went to the Rowan County Detention Center and confessed he shot and killed his girlfriend. He is now charged with her murder. Police went to their home and found Owens in their bedroom with two gunshot wounds. The chief says Shay shot her Wednesday morning and then took a couple days to decide what to do before turning himself in. The couple had a 2-year-old daughter. Police say the daughter wasn't home at the time of the shooting. The daughter is now staying with a grandparent. No motive has been released. Shay has been charged with murder.
14 People Charged with Social Security and Health Care Fraud; Two Sentenced
Two women were sentenced in federal court for their roles in defrauding healthcare and Social Security benefit programs, according to information released Friday by the agency. Patty Justice was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to make restitution of $65,088 to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Justice was sentenced based on her Nov. 2, 2012, guilty plea regarding theft of government property. The case was initiated based on a referral from the SSA office in Pikeville, Ky. The referral alleged that Justice failed to report that she was living with and being supported by her husband, who had substantial income. The investigation determined that Justice was, in fact, living with and being supported by her husband. As a result, the SSA determined that based upon Justice's failure to report her true living arrangements and resources, she fraudulently received $65,088 in SSI benefits. Another woman, Alice Cole, was sentenced to six months in prison and three years supervised release, and was ordered to make restitution of $110,128 to the SSA and $25,998 to the commonwealth of Kentucky Medicaid program. Cole was sentenced based on her Nov. 6, 2012, guilty plea to theft of government property. This case was initiated in June 2012 based on information provided by the Prestonsburg, Ky., SSA office. The referral alleged that Cole failed to report that she was living with and being supported by her husband who had substantial pension income. The investigation determined that Cole had falsely reported a separation from her husband to SSA officials. As a result, the agency determined that based upon Cole's failure to report her true living arrangements and resources, she fraudulently received $110,128 in SSI benefits. Cole also fraudulently received $25,998 in Medicaid benefits.
Knott County Judge Executive Removed from Office
Residents in Knott County are currently without a judge-executive after a circuit judge in Floyd County removed Randy Thompson from office on Friday. Thompson, who is serving a 40-month prison sentence in Pennsylvania, was convicted by a federal jury in 2008 of using public funds to influence the 2006 general election. He began serving his sentence late last year, at which time Deputy Judge Greg Mullins began fulfilling Thompson’s duties as county judge. Floyd County Commonwealth’s Attorney Brent Turner, acting on behalf of the commonwealth, filed a lawsuit last month to remove Thompson from office based on his status as a convicted felon. Thompson filed a response in an attempt to dismiss the suit, though his attempt was ultimately unsuccessful when a judge’s ruling on Friday ended his tenure as judge-executive in Knott County. The vacancy left from Thompson’s removal will be filled by Gov. Steve Beshear, who according to state law has 30 days to appoint a new judge-executive to fulfill the remainder of Thompson’s term. The governor’s office learned of the court’s decision late Friday morning, said spokesperson Kerri Richardson. Thompson, who was initially appointed by former Gov. Ernie Fletcher in 2005, won his first full term in 2006. He was re-elected to office in 2010.
Accused Terrorist Sent to Federal Prison in Kentucky
According to reports, an Iraqi man has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to terrorism charges has been assigned to a high-security facility in Kentucky. The federal Bureau of Prisons lists 25-year-old Mohamad Shareef Hammadi as an inmate at the United States Penitentiary-Big Sandy in Inez. A co-defendant, 32-year-old Waad Ramadan Alwan, received a 40-year sentence in January. Alwan had not been sent to a prison as of Saturday. Hammadi and Alwan pleaded guilty in 2011 and 2012 to ship thousands in cash, machine guns, rifles, grenades and shoulder-fired missiles to al-Qaida in Iraq in 2010 and 2011. Prosecutors said the two were working with a confidential informant. Both were arrested in May 2011 in Bowling Green after a federal sting operation.
37 Student Hikers Rescued In Letcher Co.
Thirty-seven students from a Pennsylvania college were rescued Friday morning after they were lost for more than eight hours overnight, in Jefferson National Forest, in Letcher County. According to Chief Tony Fugate, with Mayking Volunteer Fire Department, the students left to hike a trail to the popular lookout spot, Branch Falls, around 3:30 Thursday afternoon. They soon got turned around. The 37 college students are from La Salle University in Philadelphia. They are here on spring break, building Habitat for Humanity houses. Around seven o'clock, hours after starting the hike, one of them used a cell phone to call 911. It's estimated the students were a couple miles deep into the woods. Fugate was part of the search team sent to find them: After seven hours of looking, rescuers found a note written in the snow. It said, "Keep Going." Fugate says they knew they were close. Around 3:30 Friday morning, more than eight hours after the first 911 call, the students were found. All the students returned to Pennsylvania on Saturday.
Ten Vehicle Pileup Reported in Pike County Late Wednesday
According to police reports, there were several vehicles involved in a accident on a Pike County highway Wednesday evening, that forced the shutdown of both lanes of Hwy. 119 at the Winns Branch exit. Reports indicate ten vehicles were involved in this crash. Officials say there were only minor injuries. Law enforcement officials are blaming slick roads to be the cause of the crash.
Greenup Man Recovering After Being Shot by a Stray Bullet
On Sunday, Kenneth Sparks was getting ready for church when the unthinkable happened. A single bullet went through his home and shot him in the back. It happened on Mayor Ridge in Greenup County. The Sparks family live in a neighborhood near the Happy Ridge area and are very familiar with the sound of gunshots. But they say Sunday’s incident hit way too close to home. The single shot came in near the roof line here through the back of the house,” said Kentucky State Police Trooper Michael Murriell. The victim’s father lives right across the street from his son and he says this isn't the first time something like this has happened. Police say whoever shot Sparks may have been up to a mile away; perhaps just firing a round for practice. Kentucky State Police hope the recent shooting raises safety awareness for residents living on rural roads in Greenup County. The shooter from Sunday’s incident has not been identified.
Lawrence County Man Pleads Not Guilty in Deadly Crash in North Dakota
A Kentucky National Guardsman from Lawrence County, Ky., has pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with a crash that killed two passengers and injured a third. The single vehicle accident happened in Devils Lake, North Dakota, in September. Christopher Brandt, 23, of Lowmansville, Ky., is charged with two counts of manslaughter and one count of reckless endangerment. He entered the not guilty pleas during a hearing Monday. Authorities say Brandt was driving drunk at a high speed when he lost control of his car and hit a tree. The crash killed Ronald Forsyth, 31, of Owneton, Ky. and Jason Burnette, 23, of Manchester, Ky. Brandt and David Duncan, 23, of Hueyville, Ky. were injured. All four were Kentucky guardsmen in training at Camp Grafton, near Devils Lake. Brandt faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Officials Looking for More Information for a Missing Magoffin County Man
The search continues in Magoffin County for a Magoffin County man that has been missing going on seven days now. The man they are searching for is Freddie Howard, aka Freddie Brown, who is 29 years of age and has been missing since Wednesday, Feb 27. Search Crews from all over the area are or have been involved with this search: East Kentucky Trackers, Morgan County Search and Rescue, Magoffin County Sheriff’s Office and the Magoffin County Search and Rescue team. Officials with the sheriff's office do not suspect any foul play, and is asking anyone that may have information to contact them at 606-349-2914.
Former David School Director Ordered to Payback $34K
The former director of the David School has been ordered to repay the school nearly $34,000, following a judge’s order Friday. Circuit Judge Johnny Ray Harris ordered Danny Greene to repay the school $33,919.33 to cover unpaid taxes from when Greene was still over the school. Greene did not appear at Friday’s hearing, but did a responsive pleading, which was entered into the record.n the pleading, Greene says he does not believe he should be held personally liable for the tax bills. “As explained to the IRS, tax forms were not submitted in a timely fashion due to limited staffing and personal illness,” Greene says in the pleading. “During the fall of 2011, the David School was granted abatement from the majority of the late penalties and put on a payment plan. These payments were being made up until Mr. Greene’s departure from the David School.” Greene also argued that the school carried “board and officers insurance” on him. “If the David School believes Mr. Greene has performed an act of omission, the school’s insurance through Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company would cover such omissions and financial liabilities that might have been incurred,” Greene says in the pleading. Greene also counters that the school owes him $96,293 for unpaid salary, deferred compensation and loans he and his wife made to the school. Judge Harris did not rule on those claims. Under Harris’ order, the court reserves the right to grant additional relief as to other potential claims.
Ky. Jobless Rate Dips Below 8 Percent for First Time in Four Years
For the first time in more than four years, Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate dropped below 8 percent to 7.9 percent in January 2013, according to the Office of Employment and Training , an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The revised December 2012 state rate was 8 percent. Kentucky’s unemployment rate has not been below 8 percent since November 2008 when it was 7.8 percent. The preliminary January 2013 jobless rate was .6 percentage points below the 8.5 percent rate recorded for the state in January 2012. The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate increased to 7.9 percent in January 2013 from 7.8 percent in December 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. It is designed to measure trends rather than to count the actual number of people working. It includes jobs in agriculture and those classified as self-employed. In January 2013, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,085,509, a decrease of 820 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment also fell with 53 fewer jobs, while the number of unemployed people dropped by 767. Kentucky’s statewide unemployment rate and employment levels are seasonally adjusted. Employment statistics undergo sharp fluctuations due to seasonal events, such as weather changes, harvests, holidays and school openings and closings. Seasonal adjustments eliminate these influences and make it easier to observe statistical trends. However, because of the small sample size, county unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.