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UPDATE: A lawsuit between a group of Blaine residents filed against the city saying they do not live in the city and should not be taxed, is set to be heard Wednesday morning by Judge John D. Preston, who will rule on the city limits of the nearly defunct city. After this year is complete in December any citizen can file suit to have the city abolished. No tax bills have been sent out for this year. The suit has been delayed for nearly a year.

 

--Mark

Lawrence Citizen wants Blaine questions answered; claims 'conflict of interest'...

Lazer contributor Max Young's photo shows what the orignal city looked like. It once had several businesses a wonderful hotel and mansion and a nearby railroad station.Lazer contributor Max Young's photo shows what the orignal city looked like. It once had several businesses a wonderful hotel and mansion and a nearby railroad station.

BLAINE, Ky. -- A Blaine, ky. area resident has issued a public letter to County officials and state departments to decide on a controversial city limits lawsuit. Aleshea, who is one of five complaintants on a lawsuit set to come up again next month, that would decide the true boundaries of the city. The suit was filed two years ago.

But that isn't the real problem.

In reality there is no Blaine city government nor any services. There can be not a single resident that will accept a position on a now empty city commission and mayor Geneva Wheeler says she will resign at the end of this term.

That means there is no government. Ms. Cordle said yesterday that no city property tax bills have been sent out this year but she has been paying all the time and is not situated in the boundaries.

HoganHoganCounty Attorney Mike Hogan, says the situation is a dilemma. "The state says two different things about this and we believe we should go by the Census data which says there's almost 300 people in Blaine," Hogan said. But Mr's Cordle's group, represented by Louisa attorney Nelson Sparks, a native of Blaine, says the last actual listing of the population as 47.

Hogan said Monday that even though the county government has taken over all services in Blaine and actually spent money on Blaine that was earmarked to Blaine, said the county is not liable for anything in the case. Judge/Executive John Osborne also said they don't believe the county has any part in it.

"this is a matter that is snarled up in the courts and besides, it takes at least a year to dissolve a city," Hogan said. He did not say if the city charter is involved the city limits case would be moot.

Hogan represents parties in two lawsuits involving the city including Ms. Cordle's, she pointed out in her letter. And to complicate matters even further, the Kentucky State Police have an open arson case involving the city building which housed three firetrucks and city offices before it burned two weeks ago. A WOWK report said a large safe was found with the door open and important city papers involved. Now no more news. A KSP spokesman did not return messages for comment.

This letter is the opinion of Ms. Cordle and not necessarily of this publication. Mr. Hogan was sent a copy of the letter and asked for a response but declined comment.


For The Lazer

WOWK-TV, other media...

I saw your news report on the City of Blaine Ky. It was lacking a little bit of information. My husband and I along with several other citizens ( Butch/Diana Smith, Hurl Skaggs, Danny/Rhonda Ramey) are the ones who have the law suit against the city over boundaries. We have maps from the Secretary of States office showing that we are not within city limits. The current mayor turned some people in for not paying taxes. Us being one of them ( and I have receipts where I paid), while giving commissioners checks back and marking them paid. I also have the original check that she gave back to Commissioner Larry Ramey. Now I hope you caught that, she gave Larry Ramey his check back and marked him paid which I would think would be illegal.

She gave the park to the county, without any input from the community. She also SOLD the gas for $1.00 which she also was not allowed to do. The gas was sold to Frontier Gas out of Prestonsburg Ky.

If you will go to the 2010 US Census Report, you will see that Blaine Kentucky’s population is only 47 people. That is a far cry from 200. The current mayor, according to the secretary of states maps, is not even in the city herself. The night she held the meeting over selling the gas, she only had one commissioner present and did not inform the community of the meeting time and date.

Everything in my book is being done crooked and she is choosing who pays taxes and who doesn’t. In order for a town to be called a city shouldn’t it provide services? Our police dept. is not Blaine Police it is the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office and they provide service for the whole county. My water is provided through Paintsville (Johnson County) Utilities, my trash is picked up by Thompson Sanitation which is a company from Louisa, and there is no ambulance service.

Attorney Mike Hogan is representing her (Mayor Wheeler) in BOTH lawsuits, not just one. Nelson Sparks is my attorney who is representing us all in this case. Now I am not one that likes to cause turmoil however, I do not think it is morally right to collect taxes from some and not the others. I am provided no services. Even when the City owned the gas company we were not provided gas. We even asked her at a meeting one night if she would provide us gas and she stated the city didn’t have money to run us gas. Why should I have to pay a tax when there is others who did receive services and don’t pay theirs?

Oh and one last thing, the last time my road got blacktop the county did it, not the City. What happen to fair and equal rights?
 
Thank you
 

Aleasha Cordle

 


Monday, October 28, 2013  

General Conway Announces Sentencing of Lawrence County Man On Child Porn Charges;

MeadeMeadeAttorney General Jack Conway today announced the sentencing of a Lawrence County man for possession and distribution of child pornography.

 

The Lawrence County Sheriff's Department arrested 52-year-old Thomas Meade, of Blaine, Ky., last year following his indictment by a Lawrence County grand jury on Dec. 14, 2012. Meade was charged with one count of distribution of child pornography and four counts of possession of child pornography. Meade pleaded guilty to the charges on July 12, 2013 and was sentenced on Oct. 25.
 

Meade was sentenced to five years in prison; however, his sentence was probated for five years. Meade must register as a sex offender for 20 years and successfully complete a sex offender treatment program.

General Conway's Office of Special Prosecutions handled this case at the request of, and in cooperation with, the Lawrence County Commonwealth's Attorney.

"I appreciate the hard work of my Cybercrimes Unit, Office of Special Prosecutions and all of the agencies involved in this case," General Conway said. "Working together, we are helping make the Internet a safer place for Kentucky kids."

Since its creation in June of 2008, General Conway's Cybercrimes Unit has launched approximately 300 child pornography investigations and seized more than 400,000 child pornographic images and videos from the Internet. The unit is also a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

Daniel Kemp
Deputy Communications Director
502-696-5659 (office

UPDATE: Judge/Executive John Osborne has called a special meeting of the fiscal court for Friday, Oct. 5 at 9:30 am to re-evaluate health insurance decision. (See Courthouse section in today's Lazer)

County talks employee health insurance in wake of Obamacare changes; Switch from Humana to Anthem...

Anthem rep. Buddy Smith went over in detail the county's new employee health insurance Policy along with a new life insurance policy as well at Tuesday's meeting.Anthem rep. Buddy Smith went over in detail the county's new employee health insurance Policy along with a new life insurance policy as well at Tuesday's meeting.

Lawrence County magistrates and judge John Osborne hear just over an hour's worth of explaination of the health insurance policy offered by the county beginning Dec. 1 and brought on by ObamaCare.

Osborne introduced Anthem representative Buddy Smith who went over the various policies and what the cost and benefits to both the taxpayers and the employees will be. County employees have until Dec. 1, Smith said, to make a choice on which of three packages they select for the upcoming year. Next year it will be mandatory.

He also mentioned ObamaCare and the requirement that employers report employees who do not carry and health insurance. In Lawrence County about 20 out of 66 county employees do not carry employer health insurance. The county currently pays 70% of the employees premiums.

County clerks office employee pam Taylor is the representative form her office on the county's employees benefits committee.County clerks office employee pam Taylor is the representative form her office on the county's employees benefits committee.Osborne said his recommendation to swith companies came from a committe made up of a worker in each county office that screens proposals for the fiscal court.

"This is simply what you get is what you pay for, higher deductibles always mean a somewhat lower price and lower deductibles have the opposite effect, County Attorney Mike Hogan said.

Early in the discussion the court on motion of Earl Boggs and second by John J. Lemaster voted unanimously to change carriers from Humana to Anthem because of cost differences. Smith said the county stands to save about $5,500 per year and employees also have the opportunity to save money, too. He said he could not predict how many of the 20 non-insured workers will sign up before in becomes mandatory next year nationwide. Some of those non-insured are included on their spouse's plan and do not need it.

"What the court is trying to accomplish is the most insurance at the best deal," Hogan said. "There's no way to predict what is going to happen to the tax base here."

Osboorne told the court that the county's ability to continue paying 70% on employees' insurance will depend on how deeply the county if hurt by the decline in coal severance tax fund and other developments.

 

In other action the county:

 

  • Approved a request by Commonwealth Attorney Anna Melvin for $2,000 to help her pay employee who works in her office.
  • Approved current part-time employee Shane Rickman  to position of operator at the new Lawrence County Recycling Center on WalMart Road across from the County Extension Office. Magistrate Morris Howard voted 'no', after he was told by Osborne that there were no applications taken for the position, Osborne chose one of the current workers instead, he said. The center will replace the one at WalMart which closed last year because of a new company policy.
  • Approved closure of old county road off Hwy 201 returning the property to the landowners who are in a dispute over the property.
  • Approved Deskins Motor Company, Inc. request for Off-Site Vehicle Sale November 7th-10th 2013
  • Discussed a request from Tourism person Jim Downs to adopt resolution naming a portion of Hwy 3 South/Madison Street Fred M. Vinson Boulevard but took no action. One magistrate asked what the road would include and was told the request is:from U.S. 23 (near the bird house0 through town and include the street where the Vinson Memorial Building sits.
  • Voted unanimously to all Invite eligible Electrical Inspectors to submit “Request for Consideration” to be included as approved Lawrence County Electrical Inspector per state requirements.

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