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20 years ago

(June 9, and June 11, 1993)

An attorney representing the company which did the site preparation work for South Floyd High School called a state Department of Education report on the project inaccurate and one-sided. Phillip Damron, representing Triple B Corporation, which won a civil lawsuit against the school board last year, told Floyd County school board members, Thursday, that the report written by Gary Griesser, associate commissioner for district support services, was “short on brains and long on title.” Griesser was asked by state Education Commissioner Thomas Boysen to prepare a chronological report of the problem-plagued South Floyd High School project which has been active since 1986. Griesser released his report last month to members of the State Board for Elementary and Secondary Education. Griesser’s report blamed much of the problems and delays on the South Floyd project on Triple B, former architect James Ellis and the local board of education…Upon hearing testimony from Kentucky State Police officers Detective Joel Newsome and Trooper Earl Gorrell, Floyd District Judge Danny Caudill found that there was probable cause to hold accused murderer Larry Robinson over for grand jury deliberation without bond. Robinson is accused of deliberately running over and killing William Kent “Bucky” Rose, at Banner, on Saturday, May 29.

Jeannie Jacobs Fouts and her sister, Betty Thomas, pleaded guilty, Monday, in Floyd Circuit Court to charges relating to the theft of items for Fouts’ wedding to Danny Fouts last year. Fouts, 19, of Knott County, and Thomas, 23, of Prestonsburg, pleaded guilty to one count each of misdemeanor theft. They were arrested March 14, 1992, after Prestonsburg Police officers Anthony Castle and Herman Morris discovered approximately $1,500 worth of merchandise, believed to be stolen, in the trunk of the vehicle in which they were passengers.

A fired Floyd County high school principal won a battle to keep his teaching certificate earlier this month when a state hearing officer ruled that the charges against him be dismissed. Lewis G. “Spike” Berkhimer, 47, was accused last year of touching a 15-year-old female student in a sexual way, and of filing a false employment application. Berkhimer, former principal at Wheelwright High School, was suspended from his post after the student accused him on two different occasions of improperly touching her. He was later rehired as principal by former superintendent Ron Hager, but was fired by interim superintendent Eldon Smith, when Hager was ousted by the State Board for Elementary and Secondary Education.

Two well-known Civic activists, and one of Floyd County’s leading employers, were recognized for special awards, Thursday, during the annual meeting of the Floyd County Chamber of Commerce. Sheriff Paul Hunt Thompson, who has spearheaded efforts to construct a new state prison at Wheelwright, and who has directed a popular drug abuse awareness program for county school children, was named Floyd Countian of the Year by the Chamber. O. Sam Blankenship, executive officer for Bank Josephine in Prestonsburg and a leader in area economic development efforts, was selected Floyd County Businessperson of the Year. Worldwide Equipment, one of the county’s top three manufacturers, was named Floyd County Business of the Year.

According to a press release issued Monday, by the Kentucky State Police, 19-year-old Shawn Patrick Prater was a passenger in a vehicle driven south on U.S. 23, near Betsy Layne by his brother-in-law, Billy Ray Craft, who was following a vehicle occupied by Darnell Williams, 32; William Blackburn, 24; and Jerry Michael Martin, 22, all of Grethel. KSP Detective Joel Newsome said Tuesday, that Craft was allegedly pursuing the three men after an incident in which he found them in a small marijuana patch near his home. Martin allegedly fired a slug from a 12-gauge shotgun into the passenger side of the Craft vehicle, Newsome said, striking Prater in the left side of his chest. Prater was pronounced dead at the scene. All three men are currently charged with capital murder.

117 Allen Central High School seniors will receive their diplomas on Wednesday, June 23, in the high school gym.

The graduating class of 1993, will be the last to “walk the aisle” at Wheelwright High School. On Friday, June 18, at 7 p.m., in the school gym, 143 seniors will be granted their diplomas.

Floyd Superintendent Steve Towler doesn’t seem to be too disappointed about being passed over for the job of superintendent of the Russell Independent school system. He said he’s glad it’s over with, and he’s not overly disappointed. He’s accepted it. Ronnie Back, an assistant superintendent in the Russell district had been offered the job.

Former Governor Julian Carroll and Eastern Kentucky Racing Incorporated, haven’t closed the betting window on live racing at Eastern Kentucky in 1993—yet. Carroll is wagering that, with a little luck, the once adversarial Kentucky Racing Commission will decide to conduct its annual end-of-season celebration at Kentucky Downs itself, this year. Carroll had met with racing commissioner Nate Sholer prior to Wednesday’s commission meeting at Churchill Downs in Louisville. Sholer suggested that the commission might be persusaded to hold its Final Fairgrounds race meet at Kentucky Downs, thus making the facility eligible for intertrack wagering dates later this year.

Despite previous allegations of double-dealing and mishandling, Tuesday’s marathon recanvass of the ballots cast in the May 25 primary revealed no major changes in the election’s outcome, Floyd County Clerk Carla “Robinson” Boyd said this week. The recanvass was requested in May by out-going Commonwealth’s Attorney Jerry Patton; county judge/executive candidate Dale McKinney and jailer candidate Junior Joseph, after multiple mechanical malfunctions at polling places around the county prompted cries of fraud and negligence.

Three Floyd County school administrators have filed a lawsuit against the board of education to prevent the implementation of central office reorganization plan. The administrators are also asking the state’s attorney general to declare void, actions taken by the board to approve the plan which, they claim, was discussed during three “illegal” closed sessions.

Martin City Council agreed, Wednesday, to ask Our Lady of the Way Hospital representatives to repair damages to a city street after several residents raised concerns about the hospital’s expansion project. Rita Laferty and Beecher Scutchfield alleged that engineering plans were in error, and hospital officials had deceived the council and citizens about the design of the project.

Proceedings continued, Thursday, in the apparently drug-related death of an Auxier teen. Darrell Williams, 32; William Blackburn, 24; and Jerry Michael Martin, 22, all of Grethel, were arrested near Mud Creek, early Tuesday morning, less than an hour after 19-year-old Shawn Patrick Prater died of a gunshot wound to the chest.

There died: Bertha Click Flanery, 85, of Martin, Saturday, at her residence; Henry Hamilton, 70, of McDowell, Saturday, in the Veterans Hospital, Lexington; Shawn Patrick Prater, 19, of Auxier, Sunday, at US 23, Stanville; Anna “Alice” Harris, 87, of Prestonsburg, Thursday, at her residence; Mary (Stacy) Lowe, 88, of Prestonsburg, Sunday; Ernest Gibson, 77, of Lackey, Monday, at Highlands Regional Medical Center; Leona Sturgill, 87, of Thealka, Thursday, at Paul B. Hall Regional Medical Center, Paintsville; Martha Shepherd Nelson, 81, of David, Saturday, at the Good Samaritan Hospital, Lexington; Paul David Wiley, 47, of Meally, Thursday, at his residence; Emogene O. Hamilton, 68, of Langley, Sunday, at the McDowell Appalachian Regional Hospital; Herman Tackett, 49, of Banner, Monday, at the Veterans Hospital, Lexington; Eulah Osborne, 90, of Wheelwright, Monday; Connie McFarlan Conn, 43, of David, Friday, at Highlands Regional Medical Center; William “Bill” Edward Elliott, 54, of Topeka, Kansas, May 15, at Nashville Memorial Hospital; Madeline Stumbo Schmitz, 60, of Lexington, formerly of McDowell, Friday, at her residence; Dolores Ilene Conn, 60, of Leesburg, Florida, formerly of Betsy Layne, May 28; Arlene Meade Akers, 43, of Martin, Monday, at her residence; Lora Vanderpool, 74, of Jackson, Michigan, formerly of Hueysville, Wednesday, at Foot Hospital, Jackson, Michigan.

30 years ago

(Wednesday, June 1, 1983)

Voting machines were held under seal, and really widened the lead of Carla Robinson Boyd over Thomas Lafferty Jr., and Benny Ray Bailey over Ray Turner.

John M. Stumbo left the Floyd County Board of Education where he was a member for 31 years. Stumbo is the new judge-executive, after Barkley Sturgill resigned as acting judge-executive.

A judge rejected the motion of a new trial for William “Oakie” Bevins.

Alvis Randall Frasure, 38, of Martin, was jailed for the murder of Larry W. Wilson, 31, at the home of Wilson’s ex-wife.

The nomination of John M. Stumbo as the Democratic candidate for judge-executive in November election is challenged.

There died: Ota McIntosh Anderson, 73, of Prestonsburg, Friday, in Lexington; Nellie Martin Shelton, 65, of Drift, Monday, at McDowell Appalachian Regional Hospital; Pearlie Moore, 61, of Martin, Sunday, at her home; William (Bill) Dye, 71, of Hi Hat, Thursday, at McDowell Appalachian Regional Hospital; Greeley Waddles, 77 of Bypro, Thursday, at McDowell Appalachian Regional Hospital; Janie Akers, 95, of Banner, Tuesday, at the home of her daughter; Clark Jones, 63, of Estill, Tuesday, at McDowell Appalachian Regional Hospital.

40 years ago

(June 13, 1973)

The village of Emma will soon see the beginning of a modern highway-type bridge, to take the place of the 45-year-old “swinging bridge” which spans the Big Sandy there, to connect the town with US 23.

Congressman Carl D. Perkins announced in Washington, last week, that the House Education and Labor Committee, which he heads, will hold hearings in this county, June 22, and possibly on the following day, to hear the testimony of black lung applicants who have been denied benefits by the Social Security Administration.

Retirement of Dr. Russell L. Hall, as health officer heading both the Floyd and Martin county Health Departments, became effective May 10.

A single car accident, early Sunday morning, near Bonanza, claimed the life of the vehicle’s only occupant, 22-year-old Billy Monroe Howell, of Abbott Creek.

Miki Jane Little, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Little, of Melvin, will represent Floyd County in the Miss Kentucky Pageant, to be held July 12-14 in Louisville.

Timmy Crawford, son of Mr. and Mrs. Manis Crawford, of Melvin, and Mike Armour, son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Armour, of Wheelwright, will attend the 30th annual convention of Key Club International in Chicago, July 1-4.

There died: Mrs. Hattie R. Reynolds, 73, of Dayton, O., formerly of Pike County, Sunday, in a Dayton hospital.

50 years ago

(May 30, 1963)

Kentucky’s spirited Democratic gubernatorial campaign ended Tuesday in dramatic fashion—in the defeat of veteran A. B. “Happy” Chandler by a comparative newcomer, Edward T. (Ned) Breathitt Jr.

In local elections, the race for Circuit Clerk was the most spinetingling, as Frank DeRossett, a newcomer to Floyd politics, edged out David Hereford by only five votes.

Adrian Allen Dingus, 24, of Martin, and Clarence A. (Alf) Click, 53, of Langley, were killed and two others were seriously injured shortly after midnight, Saturday, when one automobile struck a bridge at Martin and careened out of control into another.

A series of natural causes, dry weather, freeze, frost, then rain, has cut delivery of strawberries to the processing plant here to as low as 100 crates per day for several days, according to the management.

Born: to Mr. and Mrs. John G. Heinze, of Prestonsburg, a daughter, Lisa Allen, May 22, at the Paintsville Hospital.

There died: Mrs. Mollie Woods, 70, last Thursday, at her home at Allen; Mrs. Kitty Swiger, 38, of Printer, last Thursday, at Methodist Hospital, Pikeville; Arthur Lee Hall, 40, of Wayland, Sunday, at Our Lady of the Way Hospital, Martin; Ezra Crisp, 57, of Dana, last Thursday; Eddie B. Newsom, 39, of Weeksbury, May 13, at Louisville.

60 years ago

(May 28, 1953)

Construction of the McDowell Hospital of the United Mine Workers Welfare Fund, is expected soon, as work is scheduled to begin in a few weeks on the Pikeville UMWA hospital.

The City of Prestonsburg has purchased an 8-acre tract in the Mayo Addition for a future site of the city water plant and a municipal swimming pool.

Two prominent Prestonsburg men—Atty. Edward L. Allen, 63, and Dr. Marvin S. Ransdell, 66—have died within the week. Mr. Allen died here last Friday; Dr. Ransdell at a Louisville hospital.

The Princess Elkhorn Coal Company awarded scholarships to five graduating seniors, four going to Prestonsburg High School students: Bonnie Jean Wells, Lowell Hager, Joe Jack Arnett and Mazie Frances Brown.

Robert Hayes, 40, of Allen, suffered third degree burns in an explosion at Price, last Thursday.

A labor dispute idled 500 miners at David this week.

There died: Mrs. Della Hopkins McCown, 54, of Melvin, Monday, at Lackey; Mrs. Belle Burchett Richmond, 89, Tuesday, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Mary R. May; James Sparks, 62, of Wayland, Saturday, at Lackey; Tony Slone, 63, May 18, at the home, at Allen, of his daughter, Mrs. Virgil Smith; Mrs. Hester Ann Stephens, 82, May 22, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Fanny Jarrell.

70 years ago

(May 27, 1943)

The War Labor Board decision, made Monday, opens the way to a wage increase of $1 a day for miners.

Two of 10 Kentuckians listed Monday, as killed in action, are Floyd Countians—Pvt. Robert Mosley, of Minnie, and Pvt. John H. Young, of Wayland, both victims of the fighting in North Africa. Pfc. Fred Williams, of Wayland, is now listed as a prisoner of war, taken at the fall of Bataan.

William Albert Burke, 83, was killed at Auxier, Friday, by a passenger train.

Contract for resurfacing 11.4 miles of the Right Beaver highway from Martin to Lackey, was awarded, Monday, to the Gay-Coleman Company.

Avery Goble, 22, was fatally injured, Tuesday, when thrown from a motor in a mine of the Inland Steel Co., Wheelwright.

Aviation Cadet Paul Hayes, 20, of Fed, was commissioned a second lieutenant, May 20, at graduation exercises of the AAF Technical Command School at Yale University.

There died: Mary Cole, 67, Saturday, on Mud Creek, minutes after the close of the funeral of a relative, which she attended; Mrs. Perry Crider, 60, last Thursday, at her home on Buffalo; John L. Hager, 74, brother of Mrs. William Greenwade, of Prestonsburg, at Greenup; G. W. Greer, 77, nationally known dealer in roots and herbs, at Pikeville, Friday; Mrs. Virginia Johns Smith, 46, of Betsy Layne, Tuesday, at a Pikeville hospital.

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