LOCAL NEWS

WSIP News 5-24-2017

 

Johnson Co Voters say No to the Nickel Tax

Johnson Co voters took to the polls Tuesday to cast their vote for or against a nickel tax, implemented in 2014 by the Johnson Co. B.O.E. According to the Johnson Co Clerk’s Office, 1,278 people voted for the tax, and 1,551 people voted against it. School officials said the money would also have gone toward building a new high school and other renovation projects. The tax would have been a nickel (.05) on every $100 homeowners spend on property taxes. Since 2014 when the nickel was first added, the School system received about $800,000 from the tax. Since the tax did not pass, the Board of Education will have to pay the money back, how they pay the money back has yet to be determined. If the tax had passed, the state would have matched every $1.00 the county received with an estimated $1.83.


Family of Missing Woman Offers $10,000 Reward

The family of a missing Knott Co. woman is offering a $10,000 for information that leads to her whereabouts. Natasha Fugate Jones, went missing nearly 2 years ago and her family said they are still searching for answers. The family said Natasha Fugate Jones left the house the morning of May 7th, 2015 and never returned and she left behind two young boys. Family members add that she did leave a note for the boys saying she would be back. Kentucky State Police in Hazard says as of now, there are no new updates to the case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Kentucky State police post in Hazard at (606)-435-6069.


Date set for Former Harlan Co Sheriff’s Guilty Plea

Former Harlan Co Sheriff Marvin Lipfird is expected to plead guilty June 8th in federal court. Lipfird is charged with misappropriating public money. An attorney representing Lipfird filed a motion for re-arraignment in early May. Lipfird is accused of stealing money from a fund intended for controlled drug purchases and seeking reimbursement for numerous personal expenses, including food, alcohol, hotel rooms and a subscription to a dating website. Lipfird is accused of forcing Harlan Co to pay for fraudulent expenses, including duplicate payments for travel reimbursements and a cell phone issued to a friend. Lipfird is facing up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.


Emergency Road Aid Funds Announced for Slip Repairs in Magoffin Co

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has announced that $53,900 in Rural Secondary Road Aid emergency funds will be used for slip or slide repairs on a state highway in Magoffin Co. Repairs will be made to KY 3334 between mile markers 4 and 5. “The Bevin administration is committed to the Cabinet’s mission of providing a safe, reliable transportation network for all Kentuckians,” said KYTC Secretary Greg Thomas. “These emergency funds will help repair and restore damaged infrastructure throughout this community.” The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is responsible for administering the work.


Kentucky Unemployment Rate Rises

Kentucky officials say the state's unemployment rate rose slightly in April. The Office of Employment and Training says last month's preliminary, seasonally adjusted rate was 5.1 percent, up from the 5 percent statewide rate in March 2017. The statewide rate in April 2016 was 5 percent. Officials say the state's leisure and hospitality sector had the largest month-to-month increase last month, growing by 1,600 jobs. They say the construction sector and the education and health services sector each added 1,500 jobs last month. Manufacturing declined by 2,900 jobs since March 2017. But since April 2016, officials say the manufacturing sector was up by 4,200 jobs. The trade, transportation and utilities sector decreased by 1,300 jobs from March to April of this year. Government employment declined by 500 jobs in April.


PMC, BSCTC Partner on Accelerated Health Training

Big Sandy Community and Technical College’s (BSCTC) Workforce Solutions division and Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) have partnered to offer a new, accelerated Healthcare Fast path program. The 10-week program will start June 1 on the Pikeville campus of BSCTC and will offer credentials in the high-demand healthcare fields such as nurses’ aide, phlebotomy and pharmacy technician. “This is an exciting fast path that can lead to employment opportunities or jump start someone towards an advanced credential,” said Kelli Hall, dean of career education and workforce development at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. “We are excited to be partnering with Pikeville Medical Center to bring this training to the region.”

Students will earn more than five college credit hours during the course. “It is important that our participants not only secure the training and credentials they desire, but also earn college credit for their work,” added Hall. “We hope that the bundling of courses will encourage participants to look at careers as a practical nurse, nurse and respiratory therapy.” At the completion of the program, PMC will host a hiring event for participants. Eligible individuals can receive assistance fir tuition and other services through the East Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP). For more information on eligibility, contact (606) 789-3641. For more information on the Fast Path program, contact Danny Tonkin at (606) 788-2812 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Kentucky Power to Award Economic Development Grant in Perry Co.

Kentucky Power will award an economic development grant, Monday, to the Hazard-Perry Economic Development Alliance. The non-profit organization is working to recruit new industry, jobs and investment to the Coal Fields Regional Industrial Park serving five counties – Perry, Harlan, Breathitt, Knott and Leslie. The event will be held at the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program. It will allow Kentucky Power to show its support of economic development and education in the commonwealth thorugh the Kentucky Power Economic Development Growth Grants. K-PEGG is funded through the Kentucky Economic Development Surcharge approved by the Kentucky Public Service Commission in 2015. For every 15 cents collected monthly from customers, company stockholders match the customer contributions dollar for dollar to generate 600-thousand dollars annually for investment at the local and regional levels in the 20 counties served by Kentucky Power.


Click it or Ticket Campaign

Brush teeth, eat breakfast, tie shoes—these are automatic actions taken by millions of Americans every day, often out of habit. Buckling your seat belt should be such an automatic action. In fact, seat belt use should be the automatic next step after sitting down in a vehicle. From May 22 to June 4 Johnson Co Sheriff’s Office is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and law enforcement agencies nationwide for the 2017 Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization. No matter where you drive in Johnson County we pay attention to unbuckled drivers and passengers. Why the month of May? Memorial Day weekend kicks off the busy summer season, with many more families on the roads. We have found this to be the most effective time to remind drivers why seat belt laws matter—they help save lives.

In Kentucky, our overall seat belt usage rate is 86.5 percent, lower than the national seat belt usage rate of 90.1 percent. We have a particularly low seat belt usage rate for pickup truck drivers and passengers (78.7 percent). Pickup truck occupants think that they don’t need to wear seat belts because they believe their large vehicles will protect them in a crash. However, the numbers from NHTSA tell the truth: 60 percent of pickup truck occupants who were killed in crashes were not buckled up. That’s compared to 42 percent of passenger car occupants who were unbuckled when they were killed in crashes. This is not a campaign to write tickets or train law enforcement. This is a campaign to help keep people safe and alive. We see the causalities of not wearing a seat belt, and we do not wish that devastation on anyone. Believe me—we would rather write a seat belt citation than make a death notification. So please, make it a habit to buckle up the first chance you get, because in real life, we don’t always get a second chance. Buckle up Johnson Co. Click It or Ticket!


Graduation Dates and Times for Area Schools

The following is a list of dates and times for area High School Graduations.

Magoffin Co. High School - Friday, May 26 @ 7 PM
Sheldon Clark High School - Friday, May 26 @ 7 PM

Congratulations to All Area Graduates from New Country 98.9 FM.



WSIP News 5-23-2017

 

Special Election to be Held Today for Recallable Nickel Tax in Johnson Co

Today (Tuesday, May 23), citizens within the Johnson Co. School District will have the opportunity to vote Yes or No to the already implemented “recallable nickel” school board tax that was set in September of 2014. The cost of the election to the school district is an estimated $50,000. However, the impact if the “recallable nickel” school board tax is revoked is an estimated $800,000 of county tax funds and considerably more in matching state education funds according to the Tom Salyer, Johnson Co School District Superintendent. “We want what is best for Johnson Co students,” said Salyer. “We are known here for our top facilities and our development programs, and we want to keep that trend moving forward.”

“However, recalling this tax will have a negative impact on students. We will no longer be able to have a quality classroom experience, or hands-on-educational experiences to prepare students for real-world work experiences,” said Salyer. “Johnson Co residents are already paying a lower tax than surrounding counties, and this tax has been implemented by many other districts across the state. We can only use these funds for construction, remodeling, and debt services.” Salyer continued, “One of the things we are working toward is the construction of a new high school to supplement Johnson Central High School which was built in 1968. It’s a long term project to work toward, but without the support of the community through this tax, we will not be able to provide the students with what they need.”

The ballot, dictated by Judge John David Preston of the Johnson Co Circuit Court says, “Are you for or against the Johnson Co Board of Education’s levy of an additional equivalent tax rate of five ($.05) cents on each one hundred ($100) valuation of real and property to raise funds that would be dedicates strictly to new construction, major renovation of existing school facilities, and debt service?”


Man and Woman Accused of Child Sex Trafficking in Mingo Co., W.Va

A man and woman have been accused of child sex trafficking in Mingo Co. W.Va, according to a federal indictment that was unsealed Thursday, May 18. Misty Dawn Baisden and David Wayne Young have been charged with child sex trafficking, coercion or enticement of a female, sexual exploitation of children, and activities related to child pornography. The indictment lists two victims in the case -- one who was under 18 at the time the activities allegedly took place, and one who was under 14. The indictment accuses Baisden and Young of knowingly enticing, providing, advertising, patronizing and soliciting commercial sex acts with the minors. All of the crimes allegedly took place in March and April of this year, at Delbarton.



Driver that Caused Fatal Accident in Carter Co was on the Run from Deputies

Kentucky State Police have released more details after a fatal accident in Carter County. Troopers say the collision happened Friday evening on Kentucky Route 7 just south of Grayson. According to a release, a Carter Co deputy stopped a car on Carol Malone Boulevard after complaints of the vehicle being driven recklessly. The driver, Jamie Howard, 36, of Olive Hill took off from the scene. He attempted to pass a truck, but hit the rear driver side of a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado causing him to lose control, go into the opposite lane of traffic and hit a 1996 Chevrolet Silverado. The driver of the 1996 Silverado was unable to avoid Howard and the two collided causing the car to split into two pieces. Howard was pronounced dead at the scene. Troopers say alcohol and speed appear to be contributing factors to the crash. The two people in the 2016 Silverado were not injured. The driver of 1996 Silverado suffered serious, but non-life threatening injuries. Two other people in the truck, including a 6-year-old, received non-life threatening injuries. Grayson Fire Department, Olive Hill Fire Department, Carter Co EMS, Carter Co Sheriff’s Department, Olive Hill Police Department and the Carter Co Coroner’s Office all responded to the scene. The collision remains under investigation by Kentucky State Police.


Kentucky Needs $700 Million More Per Year for Pension Debt

Independent consultants say Kentucky taxpayers need to spend an extra $700 million each year to keep their troubled public pension systems afloat. That's on top of the nearly $2 billion taxpayers are scheduled to spend on all of the state's retirement systems in the fiscal year that begins July 1. State lawmakers were briefed on the report Monday. It's the second of three commissioned studies to study the state's pension system and come up with solutions. The final report will detail recommendations about how the state can meet that goal. Kentucky has one of the worst-funded public pension systems in the country. Last week, the governing board of the Kentucky Retirement Systems lowered long-held investment assumptions that added an extra $2 billion to the state's debt. Overall, the state's unfunded liability is more than $30 billion.


Emergency Road Aid Funds Announced for Slip Repairs in Magoffin Co

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has announced that $53,900 in Rural Secondary Road Aid emergency funds will be used for slip or slide repairs on a state highway in Magoffin Co. Repairs will be made to KY 3334 between mile markers 4 and 5. “The Bevin administration is committed to the Cabinet’s mission of providing a safe, reliable transportation network for all Kentuckians,” said KYTC Secretary Greg Thomas. “These emergency funds will help repair and restore damaged infrastructure throughout this community.” The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is responsible for administering the work.


KY 2019 in Magoffin Co to be Closed Beginning Today (Tuesday, May 23)

In order to replace a bridge, the Kentucky Department of Highways plans to close KY 2019 in Magoffin Co beginning Today (Tuesday, May 23). The road will be closed at milepoint 5.5, just south of the KY 1081 intersection, at the Raccoon Creek bridge. The road will be closed until late July or early August, and will reopen before school starts in Magoffin Co. A detour will be posted for drivers, and message boards will also be used to inform drivers of the closure. Traffic can detour via US 460 and KY 1081. Nearly 1,100 vehicles use this section of KY 2019 each day.


PMC, BSCTC Partner on Accelerated Health Training

Big Sandy Community and Technical College’s (BSCTC) Workforce Solutions division and Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) have partnered to offer a new, accelerated Healthcare Fast path program. The 10-week program will start June 1 on the Pikeville campus of BSCTC and will offer credentials in the high-demand healthcare fields such as nurses’ aide, phlebotomy and pharmacy technician. “This is an exciting fast path that can lead to employment opportunities or jump start someone towards an advanced credential,” said Kelli Hall, dean of career education and workforce development at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. “We are excited to be partnering with Pikeville Medical Center to bring this training to the region.”

Students will earn more than five college credit hours during the course. “It is important that our participants not only secure the training and credentials they desire, but also earn college credit for their work,” added Hall. “We hope that the bundling of courses will encourage participants to look at careers as a practical nurse, nurse and respiratory therapy.” At the completion of the program, PMC will host a hiring event for participants. Eligible individuals can receive assistance fir tuition and other services through the East Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP). For more information on eligibility, contact (606) 789-3641. For more information on the Fast Path program, contact Danny Tonkin at (606) 788-2812 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Kentucky Power to Award Economic Development Grant in Perry Co.

Kentucky Power will award an economic development grant, Monday, to the Hazard-Perry Economic Development Alliance. The non-profit organization is working to recruit new industry, jobs and investment to the Coal Fields Regional Industrial Park serving five counties – Perry, Harlan, Breathitt, Knott and Leslie. The event will be held at the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program. It will allow Kentucky Power to show its support of economic development and education in the commonwealth thorugh the Kentucky Power Economic Development Growth Grants. K-PEGG is funded through the Kentucky Economic Development Surcharge approved by the Kentucky Public Service Commission in 2015. For every 15 cents collected monthly from customers, company stockholders match the customer contributions dollar for dollar to generate 600-thousand dollars annually for investment at the local and regional levels in the 20 counties served by Kentucky Power.