Senate Turner Named Democratic Caucus Chair

The Senate Democratic Caucus has elected its leadership team has named Senator Johnny Ray Turner as caucus chair for its leadership team. Senator Turner previously served as caucus chair from 2003 to 2015 and replaces Senator Dorsey Ridley of Henderson. Additional members of the leadership team include Senator Morgan McGarvey of Louisville replacing Senator Ray Jones of Pikeville as Senate Democratic floor leader, and Senator Dennis Parrett of Elizabethtown was re-elected as caucus whip. The new leadership team will officially begin their duties when the legislature convenes the 2019 Regular Legislative Session on Tuesday, January 8, 2018 for a brief organizational session, which will conclude Friday, January 11, 2018. Legislators will return to Franfort on Tuesday, February 5 to continue the 2019 Legislative Session.

Governor Bevin Selected to Lead Economic Development Delegation to India

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has selected Governor Matt Bevin to lead an economic development delegation to India in mid-January to attend the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019. This trip will provide the governor the opportunity to discuss and promote Kentucky as a must-see location for corporate investment and job growth. The delegation also includes the U.S.-India Business Council and co-leaders of the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. Narendra Modi, prime minister of India, created the Vibrant Guarat summit in 2003 as a means to re-establish Gurajat as a preferred investment destination within India. Indian companies own, in whole or part, five facilities in Kentucky, which employ over 1,600 people.

Breathitt County Man Arrested Following Internet Crimes Investigation

On December 6, 2018, around 7pm, the Kentucky State Police Electronic Crime Branch arrested 29-year-old Dustin Coomer, of Jackson, on a charge relating to distribution of matter portraying a sex performance by a minor. Coomer was arrested as the result of an undercover Internet Crimes Against Children investigation. The KSP Electronic Crime Branch began the investigation after discovering the suspect was distributing sexually explicit images online. Equipment used to facilitate the crime was seized and taken to KSP’s forensic laboratory for examination. The investigation is ongoing. Coomer was lodged in the Three Forks Regional Jail.

Community Christmas Dinner at First United Methodist Church in Paintsville Saturday, December 15, 2018

Penix Transport, along with First United Methodist Church, invites the public to the annual Community Christmas Dinner. The free dinner will be on Saturday, December 15, 2018 from 1pm to 5pm. At 2pm, Santa Claus will be present to bring a free gift for each child. The Community Christmas Dinner will be held at the First United Methodist Church at 505 Main Street in Paintsville.

Detroit Man Sentenced for Possession of Fentanyl with Intent to Distribute in Lexington

A Detroit man has been sentenced for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl in Kentucky. In April 2018, detectives with the Lexington Police Department executed a search warrant at the residence of 24-year-old Trenton Shell, locating 49 grams of fentanyl. Detectives also located ten grams of fentanyl concealed in Shell’s clothing. The suspect entered a guilty plea on August 31, 2018. On Friday, December 7, 2018, Trenton Shell was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison.

Floyd County Man Killed in Single Vehicle Crash

On Friday, December 7, 2018, around 12pm, Kentucky State Police Post 9 Pikeville received a call of a single vehicle accident on US 23 in Ivel. Upon arrival, Troopers determined a passenger vehicle traveling southbound on US 23 had left the highway, entered the ditch, and struck the embankment. The vehicle then rolled over several times ejecting the operator into the ditch. The driver, identified as 65-year-old Freddy Lyons of Garrett, was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Floyd County Deputy Coroner Chuck Hall. The cause of the accident has not been determined at this time.

Betsy Layne High School Names New Gymnasium as Junior Newsome Arena

Photo: Floyd County Schools

Floyd County Schools Superintendent Danny Adkins has announced the new gymnasium at Betsy Layne High School will be named the Junior Newsome Arena on Monday, December 10, 2018. Superintendent Adkins said the Floyd County team is happy to see the new gymnasium open for the students and that it seemed fitting the gym be named after Coach Newsome, who coached basketball for 24 years with all but one being at Betsy Layne High School. A brief ceremony naming the gymnasium will take place on Monday, December 10, 2018, following the junior varsity game that starts at 6pm. Floyd County Schools extends a special invitation to the assistant coaches who worked with Junior Newsome over the years and all of his former players. Newsome currently serves as a member of the Floyd County Board of Education.

Longest Serving Poll Workers Recognized at State Capitol

On Wednesday, December 5, 2018, In a ceremony the first of its kind, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and bipartisan former Kentucky secretaries of state gathered to recognize hundreds of the Commonwealth’s longest serving poll workers at the State Capitol. Dozens of Kentuckians were honored at the ceremony for having served more than 25 years as a poll worker, including Elizabeth Neal of Powell County who has served since the 1950s. Grimes acknowledged that Kentucky has not been spared from the nationwide trend of poll worker shortages and will ask the General Assembly to allow 16-year-olds to pre-register to vote and to serve as precinct election officials.

Erratic Driving Report in Martin Leads to Traffic Stop, Arrest

On Thursday, December 6, 2018, around 5:30pm, Martin Police Office Jonathan Holbrooks and Chief of Police Kenny Stidham conducted a traffic stop on a 2005 silver Toyota Corolla on KY RT-122 near Advanced Auto Parts in Martin after receiving a call of a vehicle operating erratically on KY-80. Through investigation officers learned the operator, Brittany Patrick, 28, of East Garner, was operating the vehicle under the influence. A search of Patrick’s purse found clonazepam and gabapentin. Patrick was arrested and lodged in the Floyd County Detention Center.