- Public Records
- Contact Us
- Subscribe Now!
- Community Directory
Officials say nothing toxic was released into the community following multiple explosions and a fire at Safeco in Gray last Monday night, but the fire has had a significant impact on the West Knox Fire Department, which is scrambling to replace 12 sets of turnout gear and nine sections of hose.
Chief Daryl Baker said in the course of fighting the fire at the tire recycling center on Ky. 233, turnout gear and nine sections of hose became soaked in oil and diesel fuel.
“We tried to wash them (the gear and hoses) but it won’t come out,” Baker said, noting the cost of replacing the gear and hoses is estimated at $25,000 to $30,000.
The bill Safeco will receive will include the cost to replace the damaged gear and hoses.
“We have 38 volunteers and 12 of them don’t have gear,” Baker said.
After speaking with officials at neighboring Woodbine and Keavy volunteer fire departments, Baker said those departments have agreed to loan West Knox some of the extra gear they have on hand. Baker estimated that could temporarily replace as many as eight sets of gear.
In addition, Baker said he and some of the other firefighters can leave their gear at the station with the trucks for use by the responding firefighters.
However, turnout gear is not one-size-fits-all and a new set takes up to two months to come in after it is ordered.
“It still depends on the size of the gear and the firefighters who need it,” Baker said.
Baker said a new set of turnout gear has a 10-year lifespan, after which it must be replaced.
The department has a rotation process ongoing whereby three sets of gear are replaced, annually.
Baker said members of the community are more than welcome to contribute toward the purchase of the new gear, noting any donations are very much appreciated.
Anyone that like to help may contact the fire department at 528-1700 or come by station one next to the old Lynn Camp School after 6 p.m. on Monday.
“There is no option not to replace it,” Baker said. “We have got to come up with the money.”
Firefighters were called to the scene about 9:20 p.m. following reports of multiple explosions in the area.
Baker said the explosions were propane tanks inside the plant where tires are shredded and oil is extracted from the remains.
Knox County Emergency Management Director Mike Mitchell said there was approximately 300 to 350 gallons of oil at the plant when the explosion occurred.
Firefighters were on scene until after midnight battling the blaze.
No one was injured in the explosion or the fire.
After two weeks of playoff football only two coverage area teams remain – the Corbin Redhounds and the Williamsburg Yellow Jackets.
NOTICE OF INTENTION TO MINE
Pursuant to Application Number 918-0469, Major Revision
In accordance with KRS 350.070 notice is hereby given that Alden Resources LLC 332 West Cumberland Gap Parkway, Suite 100, Corbin, Kentucky 40701 has applied for a major revision to an existing surface coal mining and reclamation operation located 0.67 miles southwest of Gausdale in Whitley County. The major revision will add 3.83 acres of surface disturbance making a total area of 229.52 acres within the revised permit area.
The proposed major revision area is approximately 0.22 miles northeast from KY Highway 11’s junction with KY Highway 92 and located 0.31 miles northeast of the confluence of Buffalo Creek with Poplar Creek.
The proposed major revision is located on the Barbourville and Frakes, KY 7½ minute quadrangle map. The surface area to be affected by the major revision is owned by Brenda Lambdin and Robert Rice.
The major revision proposes to add Haul Road No. 2.
This is the final advertisement of the application. All comments, objections or requests for a permit conference must be received within thirty (30) days of today’s date. The major revision application has been filed for public inspection at the Department for Natural Resources, Middlesboro Regional Office, 1804 East Cumberland Avenue, Middlesboro, Kentucky 40965-1229. Written comments, objections or requests for a permit conference must be filed with the Director, Division of Mine Permits, 300 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601.
NOTICE OF INTENTION TO MINE
Pursuant to Application Number 918-8016, Renewal
In accordance with KRS 350.055, notice is hereby given that ARL Resources, LLC, 332 West Cumberland Gap Parkway, Suite 100, Corbin, Kentucky 40701 has applied for renewal of a permit for a preparation plant coal processing facility affecting 12.2 acres located 1.0 mile south of Emlyn in Whitley County.
The proposed facility is approximately 0.3 mile south from US 25’s junction with Cane Creek Road and located 0.05 mile west of Clear Creek.
The proposed operation is located on the Williamsburg, KY 7½ minute quadrangle map. The surface area is owned by Newco Mining KY, LLC.
This is the final advertisement of the application. All comments, objections or requests for a permit conference must be received within thirty (30) days of today’s date. The application has been filed for public inspection at the Department for Mining Reclamation and Enforcement’s Middlesboro Regional Office, 1804 East Cumberland Avenue, Middlesboro, Kentucky 40965-1229. Written comments, objections or requests for a permit conference must be filed with the Director, Division of Mine Permits, 300 Sower Boulevard, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601.
NOTICE OF INTENTION TO MINE
Pursuant to Application No. 918-0503 NW
In accordance with KRS 350.055 notice is hereby given that JMR Resources, LLC., 320 Catalpa Street, Pineville, KY 40977, has applied for a permit for a surface coal mining and reclamation operation located 0.5 miles southeast of Mountain Ash in Whitley County. The proposed operation will disturb 21.0 surface acres and 24.0 auger acres, and the total area within the permit boundary will be 45.0 acres.
The proposed operation is approximately 0.4 miles southeast from intersection of Mountain Ash Road and Old Mountain Ash Pike and located 0.5 miles east of Clear Fork.
The proposed operation is located on the Williamsburg/Saxton U.S.G.S 7-1/2 minute quadrangle map. The surface area to be disturbed is owned by Barbara and William Jones, Sr. and Jon Betts.
The application has been filed for public inspection at the Department for Surface Mining and Reclamation and Enforcement’s Middlesboro Kentucky Regional Office, 1804 East Cumberland Ave., Middlesboro, KY 40965. Written comments, objections, or requests for a permit conference must be filed with the Director, Division of Permits, 300 Sower Boulevard, 2nd Floor, Frankfort, KY 40601.
After five years on the sidelines, Jason Chappell resigned Monday as head football coach at Whitley County High School.
“He met with the team this morning,” Superintendent John Siler said of Chappell.
Since taking over the program in 2014, Chappell has compiled a record of 29-28, winning the district title in 2016 when the team finished 9-3.
Siler credited Chappell for building up the program, which was coming off of a one-win season and turning out approximately 40 players at the Class 5A school.
“It was just the grind,” Siler said when asked if Chappell offered a reason for the decision, explaining that during the offseason, the coach must still oversee his players in conditioning and weight lifting programs.
Siler said Chappell would remain at the school where he teaches special education.
“We have got some big shoes to fill,” Siler said of finding the next coach for the program adding there is no timeframe for filling the position.
Neither Chappell nor Athletic Director Bryan Stewart could be reached for comment.
Laurel County Sheriff’s deputies are continuing to investigate a shooting early Saturday morning at a veterans club in the Lily community that has the victim at the University of Kentucky Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit.
Deputy Gilbert Acciardo, the department’s public affairs officer, identified the victim as 69-year-old Donnie Mabe.
Deputies were called to investigate after Made walked into the ER at Baptist Health Corbin suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the chest, arms and left thigh.
Acciardo identified the weapon as a Derringer pistol.
Mabe had allegedly been involved in an ongoing dispute with William Helton of Corbin, which turned physical outside the AMVETS Club on U.S. 25.
At some point, Helton produced a Derringer pistol and fired once.
“It was loaded with three balls and buckshot,” Acciardo said of the pistol.
Mabe was abled to make it to his vehicle and drive to the hospital where he walked inside for treatment.
He was later transferred to UK.
UK officials were unable to give an update on Mabe’s condition.
Acciardo said Helton called Laurel dispatch and reported that he thought he had shot someone during a scuffle in the parking lot at AMVETS.
Acciardo said Detective Gary Mehler is continuing the investigation.
No charges have yet been filed.
“We have conflicting accounts of what happened,” Acciardo said adding that the case may be presented directly to the grand jury.
Acciardo said despite the rumors, deputies very rarely receive complaints about the club.
“We haven’t really had any problems that I’m aware of,” Acciardo said explaining that as part of his job he sees every arrest citation.
“I don’t know of any DUI crashes we have worked where the individual said they had been drinking at AMVETS,” he said.
The Whitley County Health Department is looking for a new public health director following a special called meeting Thursday evening where the current director was terminated.
The Whitley County Board of Health met in executive session for over an hour during Thursday’s special meeting to discuss personnel matters, said Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison, who is a board of health member.
“It was lengthy. We discussed quite a bit of things then we came out of executive session and voted in such a manner that our collective statement as a board is the Whitley County Health Department Board has decided to go in a different direction and that Martha Steele is no longer the director of the Whitley County Health Department,” Harrison said.
Harrison said that he couldn’t say why the board decided to go in a different direction.
“It is one of those things we just decided would be best moving in a different direction,” he added.
Tamara Phelps is expected to serve as acting or interim director until a permanent replacement is named.
According to the minutes of the meeting, it began at 7 p.m. at the Whitley County Health Department in Williamsburg.
About 7:25 p.m., the board went into executive session, and returned to regular session about 8:53 p.m.
“Upon return from executive session, the following actions were taken: Martha Steele is no longer the Director of the Whitley County Health Department. The Board is moving in a different direction,” the minutes stated.
Board members present for the meeting, included: Chairman Dr. David Williams, Vice-Chair Don Creech, Jill West, Harrison, Doug Karr, Ramona Davis, Whitley County Judge-Executive Pat White Jr. and Candice Troxell.
Members not present at the meeting were Paul Rains, Dr. Aaron House, veterinarian Dr. Michael Culver and DDM Shera Newcomb, according to the minutes of the meeting.
Harrison said that all the board members, who were in attendance at the meeting, opted to make the change.
Harrison noted that the board also agreed Thursday to being the process of seeking applications and resumes for the public health director’s position.
Harrison is unsure how long the hiring process will take.
The entire board will serve as the interview committee for the finalists.
Both internal and external candidates have been discussed, but Harrison said the board doesn’t have any specific candidates in mind.
“There is not any one person or set standards we are looking for as a board,” Harrison said. “Right now there have been no names mentioned.”
Steele was hired as public health director in November 2014, and replaced Gail Timperio, who retired from the position.
Steele did not respond to two requests for comment about the situation Friday afternoon.
Williams also could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon. A message was left at his home seeking comment.
Steele’s tenure as director hasn’t been without some issues.
In March 2017, the board of health conducted two special called meetings regarding personnel matters over a three-week period.
At the end of the March 2, 2017, three and one-half hour board meeting, which included three hours of meeting in executive session to discuss “personnel” issues, the board ended the meeting taking “no action” regarding Steele’s resignation.
Williams noted after the meeting that Steele was still the director and would be for the foreseeable future.
About 10 employees spoke out during that meeting on Steele’s behalf some of whom noted that Steele upset some other employees by asking them to do their jobs rather than just sitting there drawing a paycheck and doing very little else.
On March 20, 2017, the board of health held a second specially called meeting that lasted for two hours to discuss “personnel matters,” but again took no formal action.
At the time Williams declined to say if the executive session of the March 20, 2017, meeting pertained to the executive session at the March 2, 2017, meeting.
The Arena in Corbin is hosting an auto parts swap meet Friday and Saturday.
The event, which features of variety of vendors offering new and used parts and accessories, opens at 8 a.m.
A national restaurant chain is offering free food to military veterans and active military through Monday.
Huddle House, which has a location on U.S. 25E in north Corbin, is giving a free order of Sweet Cakes to all active duty, retired and veteran military members.
“We believe that an order of our thick, fluffy Sweet Cakes pancakes is a nice way to share a token of appreciation and thank them for their service,” company officials stated in a press release announcing the event.
Military members just need to show a military identification and ask for the pancakes.
“Veterans just need to show proof of service. Even a snapshot photo would work,” company officials said.
The company, founded in 1964, has more than 400 locations across the country.
More information is available online at www.huddlehouse.com.
A Corbin duo is behind bars in the Laurel County Detention Center after the man allegedly fled police on foot and ran into a southern Laurel County motel room where he allegedly hit in a bathroom naked along with a clothed female, according to the Laurel County Sheriff’s Department.
About 12:05 p.m. Monday, Deputy Daniel Grigsby arrested Steven L. Lynch, 23, of Collins Lane, at a location about 10 miles south of London off Ky. 770.
Grigsby was dispatched to a complaint about an intoxicated person allegedly leaving pill bottles in the window at a business there, according to a sheriff’s department release.
When he arrived at the scene, Grigsby observed Lynch walking away from the business, and when Lynch saw the deputy, he fled on foot westbound, according to the release.
Grigsby chased Lynch across the interstate bridge several hundred yards to a motel located off Ky. 770 where Lynch ran into a room.
After Grigsby and other deputies couldn’t get anyone from the room to open the door, management opened it for deputies. They were met by a woman inside the room, who failed to cooperate with deputies, according to the release.
Both the female subject and Lynch were found in the bathroom of the motel room.
While Lynch was completely unclothed, the clothing lying on the floor was the same clothing worn by the suspect that fled Deputy Grigsby, the release stated.
Lynch allegedly briefly struggled with deputies before being taken into custody.
The room was rented to Lynch, who had an outstanding Whitley County bench warrant for his arrest on a charge of failure to appear in district court on a charge of first-degree criminal trespass.
Grigsby also charged Lynch with second-degree fleeing or evading police and resisting arrest in connection with Monday’s incident.
The woman in the motel room, Latasha R. Bryant, 28, of Oak Grove Church Road, was charged with second-degree hindering prosecution or apprehension.
Deputies Jamie Etherton, Joey Robinson and Landry Collett, Detective Gary Mehler and Bailiff Roy Ball assisted with the investigation.
When Paula McNealy crashed her Pontiac Vibe Tuesday morning part of her vehicle went about 10-feet off the roadway and struck a tree. The other part of her vehicle, which she was still inside of at the time, traveled at least 50 feet down a steep embankment before coming to rest.
She was resting her arm on part of a tree limb that had gone through what was left of her vehicle when emergency workers got to her.
“She is lucky. The Lord was riding with her,” said South Whitley Volunteer Fire Department Capt. Ed Leforce.
The accident happened about 10:40 a.m. along US25W near Veach Lane in southern Whitley County.
Whitley County Detention Center Deputy Jailer Matt Leach and his work release crew of
prisoners were the first people to happen upon the accident shortly after it occurred, and rendered aid until fire fighters and rescue personnel could arrive.
“As we were driving through here we saw the debris from the road, and we all stopped to help because it was an emergency situation,” Leach said. “After an impact like that she is very lucky to be alive.”
Leforce said that emergency workers pulled McNealy’s door open by hand, and used a chainsaw to cut some tree limbs out of the way so they could free her and get her up the very steep embankment.
Rescuers were able to place McNealy in a stokes basket and used a rope to help pull her up the embankment with the help of climbing first responders to a pair of waiting Whitley County EMS ambulances.
Many rescue workers then used ropes themselves to assist their climb back up the embankment.
South Whitley Volunteer Fire Department set up an emergency landing zone at Boston Elementary School where an Air Methods emergency medical helicopter landed.
Officials at the scene were uncertain about which hospital she was flown to.
McNealy was the only person in the vehicle at the time of the accident.
Leach said coming across such accidents isn’t something he and his prisoners are used to pulling up on, but it is becoming a more common occurrence.
One week ago, they came upon an accident scene on Highway 26 when a man’s vehicle went over an embankment.
Kentucky State Police are investigating the crash. South Whitley Volunteer Fire Department, the Jellico Rescue Squad, Whitley County EMS, Whitley County Emergency Management Director Danny Moses and Kentucky Emergency Management Region 9 Regional Response Manager Jerry Rains all assisted at the scene.
An Emlyn man and a Williamsburg woman are behind bars after police located suspected methamphetamine in their vehicle Friday afternoon.
Williamsburg Police Officer Justin Taylor charged Desirae Davis, 25, and Travis Lee Angel, 34, with first-degree trafficking in a controlled substance. Angel was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
About 5:26 p.m. Friday, Davis was driving a 2009 red Ford on US25W near Save-A-Lot when Taylor stopped the vehicle and conducted a search of it, according to an arrest citation.
Taylor located a plastic bag with a crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine in the console area, he wrote on Davis’ citation.
The suspected drugs weighed 2.6 grams, according to Angel’s arrest citation.
Police also found a set of digital scales inside the vehicle with a crystal like substance on it believed to be meth, Angel’s citation stated.
Whitley District Judge Fred White entered a not guilty plea on the pair’s behalf during their arraignments Monday afternoon in Whitley District Court.
White appointed the public advocate’s office to represent each defendant, scheduled a Nov. 13 preliminary hearing in their cases, and set a $25,000 cash bond for each defendant, according to court documents.
Williamsburg Police Sgt. Brandon White and Kentucky State Police Trooper Donnie Jones assisted with the investigation.