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Circuit Court Docket:

Several guilty pleas in Circuit Court Hearing on September 23; Probation the sentence for most

Melissa Castle, 27 was present on a Felony Probation Violation. The defendant stipulated to a violation, along with a drug court suspension will be sentenced on 10-14-16.

 

Adam FletcherAdam FletcherAdam Fletcher, 34 Pled Guilty to Complicity Receiving Stolen Property, accepted a one year sentence to serve and concurrent with other charges in Martin Co. Defendant will remain on bond until final sentencing on 12-9-16. 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth A. GreenElizabeth A. GreenElizabeth Green, 46 Pled guilty and was sentenced on amended charges of Fraudulent Use of ID Card for Electronic Benefits. Defendant was sentenced to 12 months, probated 24 months with other conditions not mentioned in paperwork.

 

Ashley Maynard, 27 Was present on charges of Complicity Receiving Stolen Property. Case moot.

 

 

 Teri L. Sammons Teri L. SammonsTeri Sammons, 35 Pled guilty on Complicity Receiving Stolen Property receiving 3 years, Pretrial diversion to serve 180 days. Final sentencing to be held on 10-28-16.

 

 

 

 

 

Randall V ThompsonRandall V ThompsonRandall Thompson, 53 Sentenced to 5 years probation on Receiving Stolen Property.

 

 

 

 

 

Bobby L. WellmanBobby L. WellmanBobby Wellman, 33 Sentenced to 3 years, probated over 5 years on Flagrant Non Support while Persistent Felony Offender charge was dismissed. 

 

 

 

 

 

Justin HarlessJustin HarlessJustin Harless, 28 Was present on a Motion For Shock Probation. Motion was denied. Defendant to remain incarcerated. 

 

 

 

 

 

Christopher A. CaldwellChristopher A. CaldwellChristopher Caldwell, 43 Pled guilty to an amended charge of Fraudulent Use Of ID Card of Electronic Benefits. Sentenced to 12 months probation over 24 months. 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilma Shadd Wilma Shadd Wilma Shadd, 64 Pled Guilty pursuant to Alford Plea on the following charges: Trafficking In a Controlled Substance, 2nd degree, 1st offense ( 3 years) 1st Degree Possession of CS/Cocaine, 1st offense ( 3 years) Possession of Drug Paraphernalia ( 12 months) Public Intoxication, Controlled Substance ( 90 days, 5 years Supervised Probation) all counts to run concurrently. Defendant released on Home Incarceration until final sentencing on 10-28-16.

 

 

9. Nathaniel Houston9. Nathaniel HoustonNathaniel Houston, 21 Pled Guilty to an amended charge of Fraudulent Use of Electronic Code for Benefits receiving 12 months probated over 24 months. Defendant to remain on bond until final sentencing.

 

 

 

 

8. Alyssa Roberts8. Alyssa RobertsAlyssa Roberts, 27 Was present with charges of Complicity Manufacturing Methamphetamine. Hearing reset for 10-14-16.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DEMOLITION FIFTY YEARS LATER...

The Unit 2 cooling tower at the Big Sandy Power Plant comes down Saturday as part of the decommissioning and retirement of Unit 2, which closed in 2015.The Unit 2 cooling tower at the Big Sandy Power Plant comes down Saturday as part of the decommissioning and retirement of Unit 2, which closed in 2015.

CLICK HERE OR ON PICTURE TO SEE DRONE VIDEO OF THE BLAST

 

LOUISA, Ky., Sept. 24, 2016 – A cooling tower at the Big Sandy Power Plant that had been idled when EPA guidelines led to the closure of Unit 2 was imploded on Saturday.

The Unit 2 cooling tower, measuring 395 feet in diameter at its base and reaching 370 feet into the sky, came tumbling down at 9 a.m. as Bob Armstrong, a retired 30-year employee of the plant, pushed the button that triggered the blast. Some 500 pounds of explosives were used to bring down the tower.

“It’s a big thrill to be asked to do this,” said Armstrong, 85, of Louisa. “When I was asked if I would like to do this, I said, ‘Lord have mercy, I sure would.’ I was there when it was being built. I saw everything. I’ve been on top of that stack. It’s really something now to see it coming down.”

Kentucky Power contractor Independence Demolition of Independence, Ohio, and explosive demolition specialist Dykon of Tulsa, Okla., led the tower demolition in collaboration with construction trades and employees. Representatives from local, county and state agencies in West Virginia and Kentucky, including law enforcement, highways, 911 emergency services, fish and wildlife, and others, assisted on Saturday.

“We want to thank all the employees and the agencies for their cooperation and assistance,” said Big Sandy Plant Manager Aaron Sink. “The collaboration allowed for a safe, successful event. While today is bittersweet for many employees who enjoyed working at Big Sandy, it also demonstrates our commitment to paving the way for future economic growth in the area. We’re proud to build upon Big Sandy’s legacy in eastern Kentucky.”

BEFORE THE TAKEDOWN... Click on pic for videoBEFORE THE TAKEDOWN... Click on pic for videoBig Sandy’s Unit 2 went online in 1969 and was the first in a series of five 800 MW units installed on the AEP System in a four-year period. Unit 2 was retired from service in May 2015 to comply with new environmental regulations. Unit 2’s cooling tower, a closed cycle cooling system, used water from the Big Sandy River to cool 248,000 gallons of water a minute. By cooling the water, it could be re-circulated and reused in the power generation process. The closed system also meant that heated water was not discharged back into the river where it could disrupt the natural aquatic life.

Big Sandy was the first to incorporate this system into a natural-draft cooling tower in the Western Hemisphere when Unit 1 went online in 1963. Big Sandy continues to use the Unit 1 cooling tower with the successful conversion from a coal-fired unit to a 280 megawatt, natural gas-burning unit in May 2016.

“From a historical perspective, this demolition is a milestone moment for AEP, Kentucky Power and eastern Kentucky,” said Kentucky Power President and COO Greg Pauley. “Unit 2 provided the region with safe, reliable and affordable electricity for nearly 50 years. While this event marks the end of an era, it also further cements Big Sandy’s new role.”

Kentucky Power, with headquarters in Frankfort, Ky., provides service to about 169,000 customers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties. It is a unit of the American Electric Power system, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, serving 5.4 million customers in 11 states.

See more angles of the imploding HERE

 

SEPTEMBER 21. 2016

District 4 Constable Billy Lemaster and his wife attended the court meeting yesterday to ask that Lemaster be allowed to install blue lights on his car to make it easier to 'do his job" Click for videoDistrict 4 Constable Billy Lemaster and his wife attended the court meeting yesterday to ask that Lemaster be allowed to install blue lights on his car to make it easier to 'do his job" Click for video

Click pic for video clips of September meeting

  

LOUISA, Ky. -- Yesterday's Lawrence County Fiscal Court meeting was a smorgasbord of issues including the setting of the new tax rates for property owners. Judge /Executive John Osborne noted that all of the county's taxing districts had decided to accept the state's "compensating" tax rate this year and give taxpayers a slight break -- except the school board.

Osborne said the compensating rate is designed to make sure the government has as much funding in real time as it did the year before and this year Lawrence County's appraisal of property was higher than last, so the rate of taxation dropped from 52 cents on the dollar to 47 meaning the county would opt for the lower compensating rate and still have as much money to work with as it did last year adjusting for inflation. 

So, even the county library which has usually set its rate at the highest possible, accepted the compensating rate. The rates will be formally accepted in a special meeting on Sept. 30 at 10:00 pm at the big courtroom. Sheriff Garrett Roberts said this should allow him to get the tax bills out by the first week of October which will give taxpayers the option of getting a 2% deduction for paying early between Oct. 1 and Nove. 1 and the regular rate until Jan. 1.

Carlie Hillman brought the proposed Library tax rate to the court. She noted the Library tax has not raised in the past three years.Carlie Hillman brought the proposed Library tax rate to the court. She noted the Library tax has not raised in the past three years.But taxes were not the only issue at the meeting, attended by all magistrates, the county judge/Executive, Sheriff, Clerk and County Attorney as District 4 Constable Billy Lemaster approached the court asking for their approval for him to purchase blue lights for his vehicle so that he could make arrests when he needed to.

"I pay for my own gas and insurance (except liability while on the job) and I'm not asking the court for anything except the right to install blue lights," Lemaster said. He explained that he has all the powers that the county sheriff has as a constable but he cannot carry out his duties without a way to stop lawbreakers. He also informed the court, and Sheriff Roberts agreed, that he has arrest powers throughout the county and not just in his district. he can serve warrants, and other legal documents and collect from those who need such work done like banks, savings and loans and others.

Lemaster, who collects no paycheck from the county,  also added that District 1 Constable Paul Wells is already equipped with blue lights and performs some of the duties he is talking about. Wells is a former sheriff's deputy in Lawrence County.

After a lengthy discussion the court unanimously voted to allow Lemaster to install blue lights but did not grant any other funding to him or his office. Magistrate John J. lemaster reminded the court that a lot of counties in more populated areas of Kentucky use Constables much like deputy sheriffs but Roberts said he does not need the assistance of the Constables in Lawrence County. He said it just takes away funds from his office which is paid for by fees. (See Lazer video wrap up of meeting).

Magistrates From L to R Rick Blackburn and Earl Boggs listen to Judge/Executive John Osborne make a point during Tuesday morning's meeting.Magistrates From L to R Rick Blackburn and Earl Boggs listen to Judge/Executive John Osborne make a point during Tuesday morning's meeting.Another large chunk of the hour long meeting centered on a proposed ordinance to stop overweight trucks from damaging county roads at a time when there is little money to repair roads to be had. Even though two of the magistrates are personally involved in the logging and trucking business, the discussion was moderate and no voices were raised.

Magistares Earl Boggs and Morris Howard own and operate heavy trucks and magistrate John J. Lemaster operates heavy equipment so they know first hand the problems of small business and the trucking industry.

After trying to figure out what to do about stopping the damage, the court agreed to do nothing at the meeting and instead tabled the issue until a later time. "We don't want to adopt an ordinance that would put the small local truckers and loggers out of business,we need all the business we can get right now." Howard said.

You can hear and see the discussion on our lazer video wrap up elsewhere on this page.

 In other business the court:

*  Unanimously Accepted Lawrence County Public Library tax rate (Carlie Hillman) The library rate is set at the compensting rate as are all other taxing districts in Lawrence County except the school system.

*  Unanimously Approved 2016 Motor Vehicle & Watercraft Property Tax rate

*  Unanimously voted to allow Clerk Chris Jobe to advertise for bids on 2 Bridges at Little Cat Fork and West Brown Rd.

*  Unanimously Approved the insurance switch from Boyce & Associates to Kaco Benefits Group effective October 1, 2016. County worker committee member Pam Taylor said the policy still includes the family option for employees but the cost has risen significantly. She said if she paid for a family plan out of her check she would have only get $220 left every two weeks.

*  Unanimously voted to Appoint Michelle Miller to Northeast Community Action Agency Bd

Public Comments;

Susie New represented a company that will build several cabins near the beach area at Yatesville Lake in exchange for a free lease of the property.Susie New represented a company that will build several cabins near the beach area at Yatesville Lake in exchange for a free lease of the property.*  The court heard from Susie New concerning the company she works for building cabins at the Yatesville Beach location owned by the county. The court unanimously approved the deal but on the recommendation of county attorney Mike Hogan changed to wording to say they must build at least three cabins of a certain size within the year's lease. If they fail to do so the property, located along the road beside the county beach property, it will revert back to the county. Ms. New said that was no problem because her company has plans for cabins and other structures for the property that, under the deal agreed to at the meeting, allows them to use the property free of charge.

*  Mattie property owner Lloyd Moore appeared at the meeting to ask the court to approve placing milling material on the Mattie Road to repair pot holes and to keep the ditches pulled. Moore said he leased the property for the road to the county almost 40 years ago with the understanding the road would be kept in passable condition. He handed the court a petition with 79 names signed on it asking for proper maintenance of Mattie Road.Osborne reminded Mr. Moore that the county has done considerable work in the sparsley populated area and now has a gravel surface. He said the cost of the milling material is about $10,000 per mile and court cannot afford it at the present time.

*  District 2 Magistrate Rick Blackburn asked the court to consider sidewalks "on the Point Section" so that residents don't have to walk up and down in the middle of the road. The area has grown in recent years and there is a lot of foot traffic, Blackburn said. Residents of the Point section had steadfastly refused to be annexed into the Louisa city limits because they do not want to pay city property taxes so the city cannot build the sidewalks. There was no action taken.

Adjourn

 

  

US Marshals 'Cuffed Task Force' is cleaning up Fort Gay 

Liss Bowen and Julius “Art” Marcum were arrested in Fort Gay by the Wayne Co. Sheriff’s Dept.Liss Bowen and Julius “Art” Marcum were arrested in Fort Gay by the Wayne Co. Sheriff’s Dept.FT. GAY, WVA -- The US Marshals Cuffed Task force is cleaning up Fort Gay with 2 separate sweeps resulting in 10 arrests in the past 2 weeks.

Yesterday, Wednesday the 21st five people were arrested on drug warrants in Wayne Co. including Liss Bowen and Julius “Art” Marcum in Fort Gay after the Wayne Co. Sheriff’s Dept. “Drug Enforcement Unit” made an undercover buy from them.

Both of the suspects are charged with two counts of delivery of a controlled substance.

Three other suspects were arrested in the Crum, Wva area including Gloria Marcum, Steven Sykes and Thelma Munch. Deputies say some of the drugs in these cases include suboxone and oxycodone.

This bust is right on the heels of another drug sweep on the 14th of September where another 5 people were arrested in different parts of Wayne Co. and Huntington involving painkillers, heroin, and crystal meth according to Wayne Co. Sheriff’s Office.

The suspects arrested included two men, both named Michael Newsome in Fort Gay both being charged with delivery of a controlled substance, Diana Salmons arrested in the Fort Gay area was charged with 2 counts of delivery of a controlled substance. The other two subjects were Gary Bragg of Crum WV. and Larry Webb of Huntington. 

Marcum and Bowen both arrested on Wednesday, Sept. 21st on two counts of delivery of a controlled substance.

 

 September 21, 2016

Supt. Dr. Rob Fletcher and BOE chairman Heath Preston listened to questions from parents at the September board meeting held at Fallsburg.Supt. Dr. Rob Fletcher and BOE chairman Heath Preston listened to questions from parents at the September board meeting held at Fallsburg. 

FALLSBURG, Ky. -- The Lawrence Co. Board of Education met for the monthly meeting Monday Sept 19, 2016 at Fallsburg Elementary School as part of the BOE's traveling road show which will bring the meetings to all county schools at least one time each year. 

All members were in attendance.  The minutes were approved by the board, motion by Barbara Robinson and second by Garnet Skaggs.

After the opening prayer, students from FES performed a song using sign language.  The students wanted to learn sign language to assist one of their fellow students. 

Matt Maynard, the new assistant principal of Louisa Middle School was recognized. 

Superintendant Dr. Rob Fletcher then gave a few remarks about upcoming and current events at the schools.

On September 29, 2016 there will be a tax hearing to approve the recommendations from the board. The board elected to not take the compensating tax rate on property this year although every other taxing district in the county did so. 

The compensating rate is calculated to bring in the same amount of actual tax money as the taxing district had last year, and this year the rate was 47 cents per hundred dollars, five percent lower than last year. The board voted unanimopusly to not take that rate but to charge 2% more thus getting about $200,000 more than last year in real money.

There was no mention of what the extra tax money will be used for.

Several concerned parents and teachers then responded during the public comments. 

Sharlene MillsSharlene MillsSharlene Mills, a concerned parent, expressed her feelings about a possible school consolidation. She said the students would not benefit from such a move.  She presented the Board with a signature petition with over 200 signers. 

Board chairman Heath Preston answered saying, "the board wants to be completely transparent and your comments are welcome." He did not respond directly to the consolidation, however. The issue has not come before the BOE officially but there has been considerable discussion in the county about building a news school for Fallsburg and Blaine as well as Louisa East and Louisa West.

All schools mentioned are older structures that are not located near the county's only high school causing students to have long bus rides to and from that facility.. But the state department of education has placed Lawrence County at number 100 in getting funsing for any new school and taxpayers have been angered by increases in property tax already.

Board member Garnett Skaggs, who represents the Blaine area,  also reassured the crowd that no serious communications were taking place at this time about a school consolidation.  Dr. Fletcher stated that  they would only advocate for that resolution after the pros and cons were reviewed and that nothing would be done unless it benefited everyone.

Fallsburg resident Jim Downs asked Fletcher and the BOE about a new flag pole for the school complaining about the condition of the one currently used.Fallsburg resident Jim Downs asked Fletcher and the BOE about a new flag pole for the school complaining about the condition of the one currently used.Jim Downs, a resident of Fallsburg also suggested to the board that the flag pole out in front of the school either be repaired or replaced. 

The following motions were made and approved:

*  Approved minutes from August 15 and September 7, 2016 meetings

*  Approved monthly financial report from Director Edris Humphrey, who is retiring at the end of September.

*  Approved Achievement Gaps Targets

*  Approved 2016-2017 FES student field trips fees , unchanged from last year

*  Approved permission for Fallsburg to apply for Mathematics Achievement Fund (MAF)

*  Approved the working budget

*  Approved a motion by Madeline Roberts, second by Jim See to appoint a new treasurer due to the retirement of Edris Humphrey. Applications are being taken at this time. (See below)

The meeting was then adjourned.

 

Superintendent’s Personnel Action/Update

September 19, 2016

 

Hiring

Kristina Donahoe- LBD Teacher at Louisa Middle School

LaCrissa Keefer- Speech Language Pathologist District-wide

Substitute Teachers

Donna J. West

Substitute Bus Monitor

Savannah Mullins

Re: Request to the Lawrence County Board of Education for Changes regarding Position

Request the following position be changed:

  • Finance Officer (meeting requirements set forth in 702 KAR 3:320):
    • As classified position: From 8 hrs/day for 258 days per year; salary to be set at $45,000 to $60,000 and to be based on credentials established within Lawrence County Schools Pay Scales and Salary Schedules to 8 hrs/day for 240 days per year; salary to be set at $50,000 to $75,000 and to be based on credentials established within Lawrence County Schools Pay Scales and Salary Schedules.
    • As certified position: (no change requested) 235 days per year including 50 extended days; salary based on rank, experience, and extra duty service pay within Lawrence County Schools Pay Scales and Salary Schedules.