Wednesday January 8, 2014

President Barack Obama plans to announce today that an area of southeast Kentucky struggling with chronic poverty and the loss of thousands of coal jobs will get priority when seeking federal money for job training, education, housing and other programs,

An eight-county area of Eastern Kentucky has been chosen for the Promise Zone program, according to the White House.

The designation will not include a big pot of new federal money, but it will give the counties priority for funding through existing programs and special help from federal officials in applying for money and coordinating efforts to fight poverty.  

The counties in the zone are Bell, Harlan, Letcher, Perry, Leslie, Clay, Knox and part of Whitley.

The announcement today was chosen to correspond with the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's 1964 State of the Union speech in which he called for "unconditional war on poverty in America."

Get more at kentucky.com


A Pineville woman is accused of trying to sneak pills into the Bell County Detention Center.

Middlesboro Police arrested 41-year-old Michelle Brock on shoplifting charges at Wal-mart.

Police say when they took her to jail, officers found a pill bottle hidden in a body cavity.

Police say she tried to smuggle more than 50 pills into the jail.


State auditors are referring the city of Barbourville audit to the Attorney General's Office, the Kentucky Department of Revenue, and Cabinet for Health and Family Services for review.

The audit started last year at the request of five of the six city council members.

The audit covered 2007 to August of last year.

The audit, released on Tuesday claims there is lax controls and oversight that led to financial abuse in the city.

Local officials say they are already fixing the issues and looking at the recommendations from the state audit.


The arraignment for a former Martin City mayor has been postponed.

In December, former Mayor Thomasine Robinson and five others were indicted in a vote buying scheme.

Prosecutors wrote in the indictment, Thomasine Robinson and the others conspired together to intimidate, oppress, threaten, and even injure voters of Martin.

All six are set to now enter pleas Thursday in Pikeville Federal Court.


A Harlan County woman will have to wait a little longer to learn how long she will serve behind bars.

In September, Rachel Osborne pleaded guilty to her part in the murder of 58 year old Steven Gibson.

Gibson's body was found in his Harlan home in June of 2011. Police later determined it had been there for a month.

Osborne agreed to plead guilty to wanton murder and robbery charges in exchange for a 20 year sentence.

She also agreed to testify against the other defendant, Timothy Turner.

A new sentencing date is not set yet.

Tuesday January 7, 2014

Wind chills plunged well below zero across Kentucky on Monday as a blast of arctic air forced schools to close and kept many people from venturing outside into the biting cold.  Temperatures dropped into the low single digits, and wind chills plummeted to 22 below zero at Louisville, 20 below in Lexington, 15 below in Jackson in eastern Kentucky and 14 below in Paducah in the west. Wind chills were expected to remain stuck well below zero across the state today.

Kentucky State Police say two people are dead following a blaze that destroyed a mobile home. police say the fire in Marion County was reported early Monday morning. Multiple departments from Marion and Nelson County responded and found the bodies after extinguishing the blaze. Police identified the victims as 60-year-old Thomas Wayne Cundiff and his wife, 71-year-old Mary Rose Cundiff, of the Holy Cross community.

While Letcher County has the state’s fourth-highest rate of unemployment, the current state of joblessness here is not as bad as it has been at other times in the modern era. Letcher County’s unemployment rate for November was 15 percent, up from 14.7 percent in October and 13.9 percent the year before. Letcher’s unemployment rate is better than only Leslie (16.5 percent), Magoffin (15.8), and Harlan (15.6) as the latest prolonged slump in mining leaves coalfield counties with the highest unemployment rates in the state.

Police are still looking for a Pike County fugitive who walked out of the Whitesburg hospital on Christmas Eve and left in a hospital pickup truck. Amanda Yonts, 24, of Shelby Gap, was admitted into the Intensive Care Unit of the Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital for a drug overdose. Nurses were aware that Yonts was wanted on an arrest warrant from Pike County for failure to pay fines.


Monday January 6, 2014

Fish and Wildlife officials need your help catching illegal poachers. Officials say two bull elk were shot Sunday morning in Knott County near the Beaver Creek Park. While it's legal for archers to hunt elk at this time, it is illegal to shoot them. Callers may remain anonymous, and a $1000 reward is offered for information that leads to the conviction of the poachers.

Around nine o'clock Sunday morning the Pikeville Police and Fire Departments responded to a call about a truck in the pond off of Hambley Blvd. When they arrived on scene officers say they saw a brown Ford truck partially under water. Officials discovered it was unoccupied. Officials say the keys were also still in the ignition and discovered the Pike County Sheriff's Office had received a report about this vehicle being stolen from the Big Creek area.

A man is behind bars following harassment complaints from several women. Laurel County Deputies say Willie Hubbard, 24, of Lily was harassing female customers at House's Liberty Station Saturday evening. Managers say they asked Hubbard to leave, but he refused. Officials say they saw Hubbard trying to get money from a woman in the parking lot when they showed up. Hubbard told police he had not been drinking, but that his father had spilled beer on him. Hubbard is charged with Criminal Trespassing, and Alcohol Intoxication.

A school district in Danville is leading the state in project-based learning. The concept is a deeper learning model that requires students to apply what they have learned to show that they are ready for college or a career after high school. Danville Independent School District Superintendent Carmen Coleman says that it's a different kind of accountability system for schools. As part of the move toward the concept, Coleman is preparing to state and federal officials for permission to stop giving two standardized tests to high school students.

Friday January 3, 2014

Several people were injured following a crash Thursday afternoon on the Hal Rogers Parkway between London and Somerset. It happened around 5:30 near mile marker 33 about 10 miles from Somerset. Two cars were involved and five or six people were injured, none of them seriously. They were taken to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital in Somerset for treatment. Police say slick roads were a factor in the crash.

A woman from Chapmanville, West Virginia was killed in an two vehicle crash in Pike County, Ky. Thursday morning. Kentucky State Police say Lillian Raines, 50, died in the crash on US 119 just after 7 a.m. Troopers say Raines lost control and struck a bridge twice before crossing the center line and hitting an on-coming vehicle. Raines died at a hospital in South Williamson. The driver of the other car was initially taken to a local hospital, before being transferred to a hospital in Huntington.

Knox County Sheriff's Deputies say ice caused a crash that killed a woman near Barbourville. Deputies say 62-year-old Ruby Miles died in a five car pile-up on South KY-11 early Thursday morning. Officials say she was on her way to work at Knox Central High School. She worked in the Food Service Department. Knox County Sheriff's Deputies say Miles was driving to school when her car slid on ice into the guardrail on South KY-11 and was part of a five car pile-up.

A three-vehicle crash involving a fire rescue truck and an ambulance also pushed a pickup truck into a creek early Thursday morning. That crash was part of at least three on Highway 28 in the same area. Ice caused another crash on Highway 15, near the intersection of Highway 7 Thursday, according to the Viper Fire Department.

Sheriff Kevin Johnson say they have reason to believe the fire is a case of arson. It happened around 9:30 Wednesday night on Mize Branch Road in the Burning Springs community.
Officials say there was some sort of an explosion that led to the fire, which crews were able to quickly contain. No one was injured. The cause of the blast is still under investigation.



Breaking News Wednesday January 1, 2014

Breaking News from WYMT:

The Letcher County coroner tells WYMT 24 year-old Mike Hogg was stabbed to death last night in Whitesburg.

His cause of death is listed as multiple stab wounds.
WHITESBURG, Ky (WYMT) - Kentucky State Police report one person is dead and two others are injured following an overnight stabbing in Whitesburg.

Officials tell WYMT the altercation happened after 2:00 a.m. on Wednesday on Main Street near the StreetSide Bar and Grill in Whitesburg.

The names of the victims are not being released at this time.

KSP said two people were questioned in connection to the stabbing but no charges have been filed at this time.

We hope to update this story as more information becomes available.