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February 27, 2015 

Fled with second suspect in automobile of friend who was in the middle of being taken into custody

by Wade Queen

Suzanna K. MooreJerry W. PrestonJames Neal SiscoThe Johnson County Sheriff's Department and other area law enforcemnt is seeking the whereabouts of a Lawrence County woman along with a Johnson County man after the two took off in the car belonging to a third individual who was being given a field sobriety test by Johnson County deputies.

According to a press release from the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Department, just after midnight on February 23, 2015, Johnson County / Paintsville 911 received a call of a suspicious vehicle identified as a black passenger car in the KY 825 Swamp Branch area. The caller advised that the vehicle was driving slowly in front of homes with the vehicle lights out. The caller also advised the vehicle had left and was on KY 2039 heading towards US 460.

Deputy Byron Fairchild, Deputy Kenneth Prater and Deputy Justin Webb quickly responded. Deputy Byron Fairchild Observed the vehicle on US 460 Speeding 61 MPH in a 45 MPH zone near Paintsville. After stopping the car, deputies made contact with the driver and identified the male driver as Jerry W. Preston of Boonscamp. Preston was found to be driving under the influence of drugs after field sobriety test was conducted, and was also found to be driving on a DUI suspended license. While Deputy Fairchild was communicating with the driver a back seat passenger of the vehicle jumped into the driver’s seat and fled from the traffic stop. The vehicle is a 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue. It is black in color and has a sticker on the front window that says "little man". The vehicle has been entered on a national database as stolen.

Deputies later learned from Preston that there were actually two individuals in his car and they have since identified both suspects as Susanna K, Moore of Lomansville, Ky. in Lawrence County, and James Neal Sisco, 40, of Meally, Ky., which is in Johnson County.

Deputies have obtained warrants for their arrests. Sisco has been charged with Theft by Unlawful Taking Automobile under $10,000 and Fleeing or Evading Police 1st Degree motor vehicle.  Moore has been charged with Theft by Unlawful Taking Automobile under $10,000.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of these individuals please call The Johnson County Sheriffs Dept. @ 606-789-3411. Callers can remain anonymous.

Jerry W. Preston was arrested and Lodged at the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center. He was charged with several offenses, which were

SPEEDING 16 MPH OVER LIMIT, 

OPER MOTOR VEHICLE UNDER/INFLUENCE ALCOHOL/DRUGS/ETC. .08 - 2ND OFFENSE

FAILURE TO PRODUCE INSURANCE CARD

FAILURE OF OWNER TO MAINTAIN REQUIRED INSURANCE/SECURITY, 1ST OFFENSE

NO REGISTRATION RECEIPT

DRUG PARAPHERNALIA - BUY/POSSESSION

DRIVING DUI SUSPENDED LICENSE - 1ST OFF (AGGRAVATING CIRCUMSTANCE)

Both Preston and Sisco have had recent run-ins in with the law enforcemnt with Preston arrested in Johnson County twice just on Jan. 11, 2015 for OPERATING MOTOR VEHICLE UNDER/INFLUENCE ALCOHOL/DRUGS/ETC. .08 - 1ST OFFENSE and on July 22, 2014 for NO REGISTRATION PLATES;NO REGISTRATION RECEIPT;FAILURE TO PRODUCE INSURANCE CARD;OPERATING VEHICLE WITH EXPIRED OPERATORS LICENSE;OPERATING MOTOR VEHICLE UNDER/INFLUENCE ALCOHOL/DRUGS/ETC. .08 - 1ST OFFENSE.

Sisco was arrested in Johnson County in 2008 for 2 counts of TRAFFIC CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE-1ST DEGREE-1ST OFFENSE-DRUG UNSPECIFIED where he was sentenced to 10 years before he was paroled after less than 3 years. He was arrested on April 20, 2012 for OPERATING MOTOR VEH U/INFLU ALC/DRUGS/ETC. .08 - 1ST OFFENSE;LEAVING SCENE OF ACCIDENT/FAIL TO RENDER AID OR ASSISTANCE; DRUG PARAPHERNALIA - BUY/POSSESS.

Sisco was arrested again in Madison County Ky. on March 28, 2013 for PAROLE VIOLATION .

Sisco was arrested in Johnson County on June 25, 2014 for SERVING WARRANT (FOR OTHER POLICE AGENCY);POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA;DRUG PARAPHERNALIA - BUY/POSSESSION;RESISTING ARREST;MENACING.

Sisco was arrested in Leslie County, Ky. on Aug. 27, 2014 for SERVING WARRANT (FOR OTHER POLICE AGENCY);POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA;DRUG PARAPHERNALIA - BUY/POSSESSION.

February 26, 2015

Lawrence County Veterans groups present Fiscal Court with certificate of appreciation....Gas tax stabilization bill adopted

Vets were out in numbers to thank the Lawrence County Fiscal Court for supporting their activities at Tuesday's fiscal court meeting. l to R are John J. Lemaster, Richard Saul, Earl Boggs, Frank Clair, Joe Robinette, Morris Howard, Judge/Exec. John Osborne, Derke Caldwell, Rick Blackburn, Thomas Burgess, Ben Hopkins, and ralph Newsome. 

Louisa, KY -- The Lawrence County Fiscal Court meeting was held Monday, Feb. 24, after being cancelled last Monday due to the weather.  The opening prayer was said by a visiting veteran, and after the Pledge of Allegiance was said, the meeting was called to order by County Judge Executive, John Osborne.

The minutes of the January 20th meeting were approved as was the first reading Budget Amendment #4.  Other general agenda items approved were the Treasurer's Request and Report, and Bills.  The 2013 UnMined Coal Settlement was approved, as was the University of Kentucky Sesquicentennial Anniversary.  

Earl Boggs, John J. Lemaster, and Morris Howard were in a heated discussion concerning a bill currently in from of the state legislature concerning the tax rate on fuel. JJ and morriis 224.2015 for atoryThe Road Fund Stabilization Resolution was the next item on the agenda, and generated a lot of conversation.  It concerns the state gas tax which generates road fund money annually.

The resolution, also known as House Bill 29, calls for the stabilization of the gas tax, ensuring that the tax would not drop below its January 1, 2015 level. By doing so, the road fund money would not drop below the current level but the fuel tax could also not be raised more than $1 dollar per gallon per year.. The Lawrence County Fiscal Court  unanimously voted yes to request the state to pass the Road Fund Stabilization Resolution.

Lawrence Co. State Road supervisor Todd Moran.The court then heard from Todd Moran, Supervisor with District 12 State Highway Dept., who read the 2015-2016 Rural and Secondary Road Presentation from the Kentucky Transportation Dept., which concerns money the county receives for roads each year from the state. Funds for the secondary road program are made available from a portion of the motor fuels tax. The sum is 22.2% of the current tax on all motor fuel sold in Kentucky.

Due to the limitation of funds, many requests cannot be accomplished.  The anticipated allotment for the 2015-16 fiscal year is $1,517,026. The court accepted the presentation. Magistrate John Lemaster commended  Moran and all the state road crew for working through the rough weather. "Our roads were in much better shape than other places," he said.

The Veterans then presented the Lawrence County Fiscal Court with a certificate of appreciation.  Joe Robinette said "This is for all you do in support of the veteran programs and activities, and we appreciate you."

The January 2015 Economic Development Report was read by Coordinator, Catrina Vargo. Some of the things mentioned in the report included the extended college campus proposal which has been submitted. ACTC, MSU, EKU, and most recently, Sullivan University have expressed interest in using the annex and the Methodist Church as a satellite campus.

"We should have an answer next month" she said. Other happenings during January in the Economic Development Dept. included visiting businesses discussing possible expansion leads, working with the tourism commission getting ads ready for new tourism brochures, assisted in work ready application, assisted Lawrence County Health Dept. in acquiring a mini grant for pedestrian walkways, attended AEP's meeting on the Kentucky Economic Advancement Program grant, for which a project will be submitted for the county.

A proclamation was approved proclaiming March as Red Cross month.

Lawrence Co. Attorney Mike Hogan who is also running for Republican nomination for state attorney General in the May election told the court of the many failings of the current system after judge/Exec. John Osborne asked him if there was a way to put a lien on property owned by prisioners at the Big Sandy detention center to offset the skyrocketing costs to the county for their incarceration. Appointments were made for the following boards: Housing Authority-- Steve Wilburn, Board of Ethics--Cathi Blair and  Jim Wilikenson, Cemetery Board-- Mary Ellen Reid, Solid Waste Board-- Neil Wilson and Fred Jones.  Also the court accepted a motion to appoint two people to view closure of a portion of West Clayton Lane. Appointments will be made at a later date.

The court authorized County Clerk, Chris Jobe, to advertise bids on lawn services for Pine Hill Cemetery. 

County Attorney, Mike Hogan, was asked about the issue of medical expenses of inmates at the regional jail by judge/executive John Osborne.. Hogan said "one problem is the jail requires medical clearance before they will accept anybody." He spoke of a recent incident where a pregnant woman who was arrested and taken to jail, but had to be taken to the hospital to be cleared medically.  She refused treatment and was taken back to jail where they wanted to send her to a different doctor.  

Hogan said this is running up unnecessary medical bills for the county but does not know of any easy fix for the problem.

Another issue he mentioned was the collection of fines and whether or not they are being received. Payments of court fees are accrued at a rate of $28 a day, Hogan said, and for those who are not able to pay, it is $10 a day.  The money is collected through the Circuit Court Clerk's Office, but Hogan said he doesn't know if they are all being received.

Judge/Executive John Osborne accepted th glad hand of thanks from one of the veterans who attended the meeting.john and vet sgaking hands"I don't think they even have a record there at the circuit clerk's office on how much each prisoner pays," Hogan said. "We ought to at least be able to keep up with what they owe and try to make them pay what they owe."

Circuit Clerk Jodi Parsley was asked today (Thursday) if her office keeps accurate records on fines and other costs and here is how she responded". 

"Q:  Is it true that you are responsible for the collections of fines and costs after being court ordered by the judge.

Response:  "As the Clerk we receive the money assessed in court, any “jail fee” owed to the county is distributed to the County Treasurer on a monthly basis.   Most people make partial payments to the Clerk’s office and these payment plans are set up by court order only, pursuant to KRS 24A.175.  The Clerk is only responsible for receiving and distributing these monies.  Our records are available for inspection upon request. As Circuit Clerk, I always have the county’s best interest in mind, as well as upholding the laws of the Commonwealth."

Lawrence Circuit Clerk Jodi ParsleyCounty Treasurer Sabrina Cantrell was standing just outside her office next to the courtroom and she was asked by Hogan if she has ever seen any report or records of those who pay and those who don't pay fines and costs and she said it is up to the circuit clerk to send the monies to her office and she records what she gets."

Osborne and several of the magistrates did not seem to be pleased with the situation and agreed to have a meeting to see just how the system works nand see if they can stop the bleeding of money now apparently being lost through the court system..

Former Lawrence County Jailer Phillip Tripletts's budget ran in the red nearly every one of the 12 years he served mostly, he said, because of the medical bills.

The meeting was adjourned.  The next Lawrence County Fiscal Court meeting will be Tuesday, March 17.

The upstairs courtroom where most county meeting are held sprang a couple of leaks during the recent snowstorms.

 

February 23, 2015

Utilities company asks courts to overturn order to refund $41 million to customers...

FRANKFORT, Ky.  – Kentucky Power has filed an appeal in Franklin County Circuit Court challenging a decision by the Kentucky Public Service Commission that deemed about $54 million in fuel costs as unreasonable.

The appeal was filed Feb. 18, 2005. It seeks to reverse the Commission’s order issued Jan. 22, 2015, and also address suggestions that Kentucky Power was misleading in some of its filings with the agency regarding purchase of half interest in the Mitchell Power plant in Moundsville, West Virginia.

“The language in the order was particularly disappointing because it questioned the integrity of the information that we provide the Kentucky Public Service Commission,” said Kentucky Power President and COO Greg Pauley. “Throughout Kentucky Power’s long history in Kentucky, we have always been open, transparent and forthright in our dealings with the Commission. We take an oath of truth that we abide by whether in front of the Commission or in written material we submit and would never intentionally mislead the Commission or any government agency.”

In its Jan. 22 order, the Public Service Commission directed Kentucky Power to refund to customers $13 million in fuel costs collected during the first four months of last year through the Fuel Adjustment Clause (FAC). Those refunds were to be delivered this year through credits on customer bills in February, March, April and May. Kentucky Power also was directed to forego additional collection of an estimated $41 million in fuel costs incurred through May.

The fuel costs disallowed by the Kentucky PSC resulted from having both the Mitchell power plant and Big Sandy No.2 in Louisa, Kentucky, in operation at the same time. Costs of operating both generation units will no longer be an issue after Big Sandy Unit 2 is retired later this year. The Commission last year approved Kentucky Power’s purchase of half the Mitchell plant to meet both customer needs and EPA demands.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission allows Kentucky Power and other electric utilities to pass fuel costs through to customers. This pass through is on a dollar-for-dollar basis and reflects actual fuel and purchased power costs. Kentucky Power does not earn a profit on the FAC. The FAC is reviewed about every six months by the Commission and adjusted accordingly. At least two other electric providers in Kentucky use the same Commission-authorized methodology, which is based on Federal Energy Regulatory Commission guidance.

“By filing this appeal, we will be able to defend and support our position and our right to recover costs that the Commission has allowed us and other Kentucky utilities to recoup for decades,” Pauley said. “The operation of both plants actually allowed Kentucky Power customers to realize $9.9 million in net cost benefits during the cold spells of 2014. Without both generating stations, Kentucky Power would not have been able to generate enough electricity to serve our customers. The Commission affirmed in its order that our purchase of the Mitchell plant represents the lowest reasonable cost alternative for our customers in replacing Big Sandy Unit 2. When faced with making such tough decisions, we always make them with the best interests of our customers in Eastern Kentucky in mind.”

Kentucky Power, with headquarters in Frankfort, Ky., provides service to approximately 172,000 customers in all or part of 20 eastern Kentucky counties. It is a unit of the AEP system, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, with more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.