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— For the first time in about two years, residents of Holbrooktown, located between Mayking and Seco, will soon have a bridge leading across the what is now a rain-depleted North Fork of the Kentucky River to their homes. Since the old bridge was declared unsafe and closed, property owners have been forced to access the community by way of […]

Judge sets aside man’s guilty plea in sex abuse case

Letcher District Judge Kevin Mullins has set aside the guilty plea of a Camp Branch man accused of misdemeanor sexual abuse and amended the charge against him to a felony. Glen Evan Gross Jr., 30, of 5033 Highway 931N, had already been sentenced in the crime, which family members and the prosecutor now say involved a 14-year-old girl, and should […]

McConnell reaffirms support for prison

Saying he is a “longtime advocate” of the continuing effort to build a federal prison at Roxana, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell has pledged to help protect the $510 million in funding that has been awarded for the project. In a letter to Letcher County Planning Commission Chairman Elwood Cornett, McConnell wrote, “As you know, I am a longtime advocate for […]

Man sentenced to 140 months in federal case

A Millstone man arrested in March on federal firearms and drug charges was sentenced to 140 months in prison. Charles “Bud” Perry Jr., 56, pleaded guilty in June to distributing cocaine and possession of an illegal firearm and was sentenced earlier this month. According to the 21-page criminal complaint filed at the time of his arrest, Perry on multiple occasions […]

Rainfall (less than 1/3 of an inch) did little to fix drought

Rain Sunday night through Tuesday was far below the forecast possibility, and wasn’t enough to lift a ban on outdoor burning in Letcher County and most of eastern Kentucky. According to Kentucky Mesonet at Western Kentucky University, the state’s official source for precipitation and climate data, Letcher County received barely more than a third of an inch of rain since […]

Police accuse boss of sticking co-worker with insulin needle, say act was a felony

Police arrested a nurse/supervisor at Letcher Manor Nursing Home early Saturday morning and charged him with assault for allegedly sticking another employee with an insulin needle intentionally. Police said they do not know if the needle was clean or dirty, or if it contained any drug. The victim was kept in Whitesburg Hospital for observation because of the lack of […]

The time and temp is … extraordinary

A showing of 93° F is not that unusual on this sign in downtown Whitesburg until you realize the reading was made at 6:36 p.m. on Monday, just as September — the driest month ever recorded in eastern Kentucky since the National Weather Service opened its Jackson office in 1981 — was fading into October. Jackson weather officials say eastern […]

Letcher Fire Dept. was paying interest rate of 38 percent; court votes to help

The Letcher County Fiscal Court voted unanimously to co-sign a note for over $320,000 to save the Letcher Fire Department and Ambulance Service after learning the agency was paying 38 percent interest on a loan acquired by the former chief. The vote came last Thursday at a special meeting called for the purpose of addressing the issue. A group of […]

New Jenkins overlook named in honor of late trooper

The new overlook on US 23 near Pound Gap got a new name last week. It will now be called the Combs Overlook, named for well-known Kentucky State Police Trooper Bennett David Combs, of Ice, who died in August 2014 after a long illness. He was 55. A parade of friends and relatives stepped to the podium at the overlook […]

Local AirBnB rentals helping to make up lost tax revenues

AirBnB rentals helping local tourism

Tax revenue lost by the closing of one of the only two motels in Letcher County appears to have been largely offset by the growth in tourism and Airbnb rentals. According to figures provided by the county, motel tax receipts for the fiscal year that ended June 30 were down less than $800 from the previous year, despite the closing […]

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