Mountain Kentucky

5:38pm

Thu August 22, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Fatality Free Year In America's Coal Mines Possible

Credit Emily Hoyer / Flickr, Creative Commons

It’s never happened, but a leading official in the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration believes a fatality-free year in coal mining is achievable. 


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5:30pm

Thu August 22, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Heroin Abuse Increasingly Popular In Mountain Kentucky

Credit Thomas Marthinsen / fl

Heroin abuse, according to an eastern Kentucky prosecutor, is growing more evident in Appalachia.  Given the Commonwealth’s crackdown on prescription drug abuse, more users are turning to illegal narcotics like heroin.  Commonwealth’s Attorney Brent Turner is seeing it in Floyd County.

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6:02am

Mon August 19, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Stephen Colbert's 'Best Segment Ever' Will Make You Feel So Many Things

Credit Gawker

It's being called "perhaps the single best segment" to ever air on The Colbert Report. And with good reason, because it probably is. In the latest installment of "People Who Are Destroying America," Stephen Colbert introduced his audience to Johnny Cummings, the openly gay mayor (and part-time hairdresser) of Vicco, Kentucky. Both Cummings and Vicco were in the news earlier this year after passing a city-wide ordinance banning discrimination against LGBT residents, becoming the smallest city in America to do so.   Read more...

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11:10am

Wed August 7, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Creepy Crawlies Return To Natural Bridge State Park

Monarch caterpillar at home in eastern Kentucky.
Credit Billy Liar / Flickr, Creative Commons

An eastern Kentucky state park will provide another opportunity this year for people to get a look into the world of caterpillars. Natural Bridge State Resort Park has set aside Aug. 23-24 for guided caterpillar walks and butterfly expeditions, both of which proved especially popular last year for children with a fascination for creepy crawlies.

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10:56am

Wed August 7, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Coal Miner Killed In Harlan County Accident

Kentucky officials say a coal miner has been killed and two more injured in an underground mine. The miners were working with a mining machine and became trapped when a wall apparently collapsed. The collapse killed 56-year-old Lenny D. Gilliam of Appalachia, Va.

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10:51am

Wed August 7, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Deputy Jailers Accused In Beating Death Of Inmate

Two eastern Kentucky deputy jailers have been charged in the death of an inmate last month. Kentucky State Police say indictments were returned Tuesday in Perry County charging 36-year-old Damon Hickman of Hazard and 57-year-old William C. Howell of Estill in Floyd County with one count of first-degree manslaughter.

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10:07am

Fri August 2, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Murder-Suicide Leaves Four Dead In Southeast Kentucky

UPDATE: Authorities in eastern Kentucky have found four bodies in two homes along the Kentucky-Virginia border. The Letcher County coroner says 58-year-old Timothy Shelby used a Glock pistol to kill 35-year-old Jennifer Walters, 25-year-old Joshua Wyatt and 31-year-old Amy Ratliff before turning the gun on himself.

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4:04pm

Mon July 29, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Two Injured In Police Helicopter Crash

Kentucky State Police say a helicopter conducting an ongoing investigation crashed this morning in eastern Kentucky. Trooper Shaun Little says the pilot and a trooper were airlifted for their injuries from the Evanston community in Breathitt County.  Media reports say the crash involved a Drug Enforcement Agency helicopter working with a marijuana suppression team.  Little declined to release the names of the crash victims.  The accident remains under investigation.

9:05am

Fri July 19, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Prisoners Refuse Meals At Federal Prison in Ashland

Credit Kate Ter Haar / Flickr, Creative Commons

Inmates at a federal prison in northeastern Kentucky have refused two meals but officials say they aren't sure why. The inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution-Ashland in Summit turned away lunch and evening meals on Wednesday. The warden's executive assistant, David Brewer, told The Ashland Independent newspaper the prison is operating on a status just below lockdown, with inmates confined to their cells at all times other than for meals.

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6:00am

Thu July 18, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

US 25 Safety Fixes Discussed In Corbin, But Funding Elusive

US 25, as it passes through Kentucky.
Credit Doug Kerr / Flickr, Creative Commons

Proposed improvements for US Highway 25 between London and Corbin are up for public review tonight.  The State Transportation Cabinet meeting comes after two years of study and citizen comment.   Transportation Cabinet spokesman Jonathon Dobson says deadly accidents are common on the nine-mile stretch of roadway.

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2:47pm

Mon June 24, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Instead of an Iron Horse, Converted Trail Serves Four-Legged Variety

Another 18 miles of eastern Kentucky natural scenery is now open to horseback riders, cyclists, and hikers.  The Dawkins Rail Trail runs through Johnson and Magoffin counties.  Kentucky Tourism Spokesman Gil Lawson says the path was originally used by railroads.

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10:08am

Fri June 7, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Harlan Officials Mostly Mum on Judge-Executive's Arrest

Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop
Credit The Kentucky County Judge Executive Association

The arrest of Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop by Sheriff Marvin Lipfird on Tuesday has created a wave of publicity and stirred discussion on social media. However, not much has been said by other Harlan County officials on the matter. Previous reports state Lipfird arrested Grieshop in his office Tuesday afternoon. Lipfird said Grieshop would not come out of his office. Read more...

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8:43am

Fri June 7, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Clay County Crew Killed in Helicopter Crash

Credit Air Evac Lifeteam

Three men died Thursday night in Manchester when a medical helicopter crashed, Missouri-based Air Evac Lifestream officials said Friday. The accident occurred around 11:16 p.m. Thursday while the helicopter was on its final approach to its Manchester base. "We are devastated at this loss," Air Evac Lifeteam President and CEO Seth Myers said in a news release. "These were members of our family. Our focus at this time is on providing support for the family and friends of these crew members." The crew members included pilot Eddie Sizemore, flight paramedic Herman "Lee" Dobbs and flight nurse Jesse Jones, the release said. Read more...

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10:23am

Fri May 17, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Seven coal mines open, creates over 250 jobs

“Good news” for the Eastern Kentucky coal industry was announced Wednesday, with officials saying several new mines are opening in Pike County, bringing more than 250 jobs. According to a statement from the Pike County Judge Executives Wayne T. Rutherford’s office, High Ridge Mining, a Kentucky corporation owned by Bill Smith, of Raccoon, announced the opening of seven deep mines in Pike County.

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10:26am

Thu May 16, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Mountain Parkway lanes closed for summer repairs

Traffic is moving a bit slower on the Mountain Parkway and likely will for the remainder of the summer. One lane in each direction will be kept open during the construction of a bridge, but the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Department of Highways announced the closures will keep traffic slowed around the 10- and 11-mile markers on the Parkway. Read more...

12:30pm

Wed April 17, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Heavy Rains Easing for Now

Heavy rains shut down some roads in Southeast Kentucky earlier today.  National Weather Service Meteorologist Sean Harley says some communities received as much as three inches of rain overnight.  He says waters are expected to recede, easing the threat of more flooding today.  “Not in the near term.  We do expect some heavy rain again later in the week, so we will have to watch that real close,” said Harley.

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3:31pm

Fri April 12, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Getting Eastern Kentucky Trails in Springtime Shape

A group of nine young adults is blazing a trail through parts of eastern Kentucky.  The Americorps team is improving trails in Letcher County and at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park.   Kentucky Tourism Spokesman Gil Lawson says hikers, bicyclists, and horseback riders will all benefit.  “Most folks can put on a pair of either hiking shoes or tennis shoes and get out on a trail.  Some people like to do things with bicycles and horses.  But, we are fortunate in Kentucky that we have trails in a lot of places, not just one area.  We’ve got trails in urban areas and rural areas,” said Lawson.

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10:35am

Fri March 29, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Attorney Plans Suit Against State for Failing to Make Coal Companies Clean Up

A lawyer in Eastern Kentucky has announced his plans to file suit against the state’s Energy and Environment Cabinet for allegedly not enforcing its own orders. The suit stems from the cabinet’s 2008 finding that a coal company was responsible for destroying the water supply in a small Letcher County town.

4:38pm

Tue February 5, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Honoring Weather Related Communications

Two Magoffin County officials are being honored for their response to a tornado event in southeast Kentucky almost a year ago.  County Judge Executive Charles Hardin and Emergency Management Director Mike Wilson are recipients of the StormReady Community Hero Award.  Wilson alerted Hardin of the impending tornado heading toward Salyersville.  Jackson National Weather Service meteorologist Shawn Harley says the county judge made door to door visits along highway 460.

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11:31am

Wed December 19, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

Whistleblower Faces State Penalty for Working in Unsafe Conditions he Reported

An eastern Kentucky coal miner who reported unsafe work conditions is now facing sanctions by the state. Mackie Bailey is a longtime roof bolting machine operator who worked at Manalapan Mining’s P-1 mine in Harlan County. For several weeks, Bailey says he and other miners had been working without a required safety device called the Automated Temporary Roof Support (ATRS), which is supposed to brace against the roof of the mine and protect miners from a potential roof collapse.

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9:18am

Mon December 17, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

Night Comes to the Cumberlands, 2012

In 1962, three books changed how America thought about the environment and poverty.  There was Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” Michael Harrington’s “The Other America,” and, out of Kentucky was “Night Comes to the Cumberlands.”  In it, Whitesburg author Harry Caudill linked Appalachia’s poverty to the dark side of coal mining. 

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4:02pm

Thu November 29, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

'Mountain Santa' Marks 37 Years of Helping Others

Mike

Holidays are a time for giving and helping others. Marking 37 years of delivering toys and treats to Harlan County children, Mike “Mountain Santa” Howard says he is looking forward to seeing all the smiling faces with this year’s deliveries beginning on Dec. 15. “I begin my runs on Dec. 15 and finish on Dec. 24,” said Howard, 59, of Wallins. “Last year we gave away over 100 truck loads of toys, along with treats. I have people who come from Mississippi, North Carolina, Louisville and Knoxville, just to name a few, to help me deliver the toys.”

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6:14am

Wed September 26, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

A New Path for Adventure Tourism

Kentucky’s adventure tourism effort is traveling down a new trail.  Ground was broken Tuesday on the Dawkins Line project in eastern Kentucky.  The trail, which runs along a former railroad line, is expected to attract hikers, horseback riders, and cyclists.  It’s a 36 mile trek that travels through Johnson, Magoffin, and Breathitt counties.  Work is underway for the first phase of the project.  It spans 18 miles from Hagerhill in Johnson County to Royalton in Magoffin County.

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7:14am

Thu August 9, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

62 Year Mountain Ministry Ends for Catholic Missionary

Monsignor Ralph Beiting in Meditation at his Louisa Parish.

The Roman Catholic missionary who founded the Christian Appalachian Project died overnight.  Since World War Two, Monsignor Ralph Beiting served the people of eastern Kentucky through a series of social service programs.  WEKU’s Charles Compton, who knew the Catholic priest, has this appreciation.

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3:12pm

Tue August 7, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

Coal Rally Set for in Southeast Kentucky

A rally in support of coal is scheduled for this weekend in southeast Kentucky. It stemmed from a Facebook post, but now Bell County resident and business owner Joe Harris says he expects more than 20,000 people to line a county road Saturday in support of coal.

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4:20pm

Wed July 25, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

Beers Sales Provide over $22,000 to Corbin

The first month of sales of packaged beer in Corbin has generated more than $22,000 in tax revenue for the city. Corbin Alcoholic Beverage Control Officer Bruce Rains said the 12 vendors who have received licenses to sell packaged beer, made payments to the city totaling $22,435.64. The city's alcohol ordinance calls for a four percent tax on the sale of beer. That means the vendors took in a combined $560,891 from the sale of beer in June.

10:01am

Wed July 18, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

Pike Air Service Remains in Holding Pattern

A proposal to apply for $1 million in multi-county coal severance funding in order to continue a project to establish commercial air service in Pike County will remain in a holding pattern for now. The Pike Fiscal Court, in its regular meeting on Tuesday, again declined to act on the proposal, for which a court resolution supporting the possible allocation of $1 million is required, despite the pleas of a consultant who is working on the project that this may be the last chance.

8:52am

Tue July 17, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

Safety Agency Cites Coal Company in Death of Miner

A personnel carrier involved in a fatal coal-mining accident in Letcher County had been altered so it no longer had an original safety feature, according to the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration. The agency cited the coal company in relation to the modification, and for using the carrier in a way that was dangerous. A mine foreman, Jerry E. Britton, 47, died in the Nov. 7 accident, which happened at the Hubble Mining Company LLC Mine No. 9, an underground mine about three miles west of Eolia.

9:43am

Fri July 13, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

Safety Agency Fines Harlan Coal Company

Federal mine-safety regulators want to fine a Harlan County coal company nearly $600,000 for alleged safety violations that led to the death of a miner last year. The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration announced the fine for Manalapan Mining Co. Inc. on Thursday. The fine is a proposed penalty because the company is contesting the citations that led to the fine.

4:39pm

Wed July 11, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

Pike Judge-Executive Unveils Plans for Natural Gas Station

Pike County Judge-Executive Wayne T. Rutherford’s office has announced that it is working toward establishing the region’s first natural gas filling station along U.S. 119 in Pike County. The announcement comes after Rutherford recently announced the county was requesting funding for the project and comes after Ford Motor Co. and General Motors announced in March they were investing in compressed natural gas, or CNG, technology.

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