WSIP News 4-21-2017


Traffic Stop leads to Two Arrest in Prestonsburg

According to a news release from the Prestonsburg Police Dept., on Thursday, April 20, officers conducted a regular traffic stop on a Nissan passenger car in the Prestonsburg Village area that resulted in two arrest on several drug charges. During the traffic stop, officers said they could smell a strong odor coming from the vehicle that appeared to be marijuana. The owner of the vehicle gave verbal consent to the officers on scene to search the vehicle. Officers were able to locate marijuana, a small amount of cash and a large amount of Crystal Meth and other drug paraphernalia. Randall C. Crider, 21 of Prestonsburg and Deana J. Lafferty of Dwale were both arrested and lodged in the Floyd Co. Detention Center.

KSP Looking For Missing Breathitt Co. Woman

KSP in Hazard are continuing their search for a missing Breathitt Co woman. Police say that 58-year-old Debbie L. Lacaria, of Jackson, was reported missing on March 10 by a family member. The relative said that no one had been in contact with her for several weeks. She was last seen by neighbors outside of her residence on Highway 3193 near the end of February 2017. KSP describes her as a white female, 5'5'', around 140 pounds. She has brown eyes and brown shoulder-length hair. If anyone has information on the whereabouts of Debbie Lacaria, they are urged to contact KSP Post 13 at 606-435-6069, or any local law enforcement agency.

State’s Unemployment Rate Remains at 5% in March 2017

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary March unemployment rate remained unchanged from February at 5 percent, according to the Office of Employment and Training (OET), an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. The preliminary March 2017 jobless rate was 0.1 percentage points lower than the 5.1 percent rate recorded for the state in March 2016. 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 March 2017, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,064,787, an increase of 19,971 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment was up by 18,952, while the number of unemployed increased by 1,019. 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.

Kentucky Broadband Project Inches Forward With Lease Signing

Kentucky officials have agreed to lease 315 miles of fiber-optic cables from five rural telephone companies as they continue to seek ways to lower the cost of a massive statewide broadband project. Kentucky is trying to build a statewide broadband network powered by more than 3,000 miles of fiber-optic cables. But the project has been plagued by delays and financing troubles. The Kentucky Communications Network Authority, which oversees the project, had not met in more than six months. But Thursday, the authority signed an agreement with Bluegrass Network to tap into its network. That means the state will save money because it won't have to build 315 miles of cable. State officials have not said how they plan to pay for the state's share of the network's cost.

Settlement with LG&E, KU Saves Kentucky Ratepayers $90 Million Annually

The Attorney General has announced that the Office of Rate Intervention has entered into a settlement with LG&E and KU that will save Kentucky ratepayers $90 million annually – $33.2 million of that for residential customers. Late last year, the utility companies proposed to the Public Service Commission a nearly $210 million increase in annual revenues. After studying the rate proposal, Beshear proposed the PSC dramatically reduce the rate request. Last week, Beshear’s office began working with the utilities on an agreement to lessen the annual revenue increase. The parties signed a settlement April 19 to limit the companies’ proposed increase and to provide certain other concessions. Beshear said his office was able to work with the utilities to hold the increase in the electric residential customer charge to 75 cents this year and 75 cents in 2018, for a total long-term increase of only $1.50 a month. The utilities originally asked to more than double the customer charge to $22, which would have been an $11.25 monthly increase. Other aspects of the settlement filed today with the PSC include:

· A more than 50 percent decrease to the residential gas rate increase requested by LG&E.

· The withdrawal of a smart meter project, which would cost customers more than $350 million over the life of the meters. The utilities agreed to create a collaborative to work with interested parties to understand and help address their concerns. Beshear’s office is included in the collaborative.

· An agreement by the utilities to provide shareholder contributions totaling nearly $1.5 million a year to help low-income residential customers defer utility costs.

· The creation of a limited rate pilot for schools in both utilities’ territories to help determine whether they use electricity in such a way to necessitate their own rate schedule.

Beshear’s Office of Rate Intervention serves as a watchdog for consumers in matters relating to health insurance, natural gas, water, sewer, electric and telephone rates. Under Kentucky law, the office is responsible for representing the interests of Kentucky consumers before governmental ratemaking agencies, concentrating on utility cases before PSC.

The PSC will review the reasonableness of the settlement at its May 9 hearing in Frankfort. LGE and KU provide nearly 950,000 ratepayers electricity, and LG&E provides natural gas to 325,000 ratepayers.

Latest on Mountain Parkway Expansion

Significant progress is being made along the Mountain Parkway Expansion Project. Construction continues on a new bridge near Salyersville’s Restaurant Row. Excavation work is increasing on the KY-30 interchange and workers have poured barrier walls for the section of the bridge that has been completed on the KY-7 interchange. In Morgan County, clearing and excavation continues as crews prepare to wide an over 8 mile section of the parkway. Speed limits are reduced in some areas; motorists are encouraged to use caution through the work zones.

BSCTC to Host Earth Day Celebration

Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) will host an Earth Day celebration at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 22 on its Prestonsburg campus. Tammy Ball, LCSW, professor of human services and a member of the college’s community garden, said the event will feature workshops and demonstrations for all ages. The event will feature information and demonstrations on battery recycling, garden demonstrations, sustainability information, tours of the community garden and other activities for the whole family. Ball said she hopes that visitors will see the community garden and want to volunteer or create a garden in their own community.

The 2017 WSIP Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radio-thon Starts Today

The 2017 edition of the WSIP/Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radio-thon continues all Day Today and we encourage you, the listener, to tune in and give us a call and become a Partner in Hope! Just $20 per month for a year, you can help the Children and Families at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. This will be our 12th year hosting this event. Last year Thanks to our loyal listeners and their generosity, our 2016 radio-thon raised a total of $61,161, for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. We encourage anyone, if you have a little extra time, to stop by our radio station located on Main Street in downtown Paintsville and volunteer your time to help answer the phones and help make our 2017 event a success!

Today, you will be able to call the Appalachian Wireless toll free # @ 1-800-942-8731 to become a Partner in Hope or to donate whatever you can afford or want to do. On behalf of WSIP and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Thank You and we look forward to another great Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radio-thon on New Country 98.9 FM WSIP.