The area's leading online source for news!
Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

In God We Trust - Established 2008


May 21, 2018

"West Virginia Wilder" will be completion of 'Buckwild', producer says

The executive producers of MTV's reality series "Buckwild" are returning to West Virginia to shoot a new series in Charleston and Morgantown called "West Virginia Wilder." Morgantown native and executive producer J.P. Williams says it will be similar to "Buckwild" but will be funnier and have a stronger female cast, Max Garland reports for the Charleston Gazette-Mail.

"I think this show will be a completion of what we got started," Williams told Garland. "There’s a lot I’m excited about, frankly."

"Buckwild" ran for one season and scored well with the coveted age 12 to 34 demographic, but was canceled after one of its stars, Shain Gandee, was killed in an all-terrain vehicle accident in 2013.

Some West Virginians, such U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, disliked "Buckwild", saying it played to negative stereotypes, but Williams said his shows are about "laughing with — not at," which he says is a "huge distinction that needs to be made," Garland reports.

The new show may not be on MTV; the show's producers say they're considering multiple offers on broadcast rights and will announce a decision soon.

Written by Heather Chapman Posted 5/21/2018 


May 21, 2018


LAWRENCE COUNTY – Sunday, May 20, 2018 – A two-week shoulder stabilization project starts today, Monday, May 21, on KY 3 in Lawrence County. The work zone is at mile point 21.26.

For the next two weeks traffic will be one lane in the work zone. Work hours will be from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. Motorists will experience minor delays due to traffic taking turns in the open lane. “This section of roadway was damaged during the February 9-12 flood event,” said Tim Spencer, engineer at the Paintsville Section Office. “We ask people to be patient with this temporary inconvenience. The roadway will be safer and easier to drive once this work is completed.”

Spring and summer maintenance and construction season is under way. Work zones will appear more often on D12’s roadways throughout the coming months. Motorists are advised to slow down and follow directional signs and flaggers as soon as they realize they are coming upon a work zone. “We depend on drivers to help us make sure everyone travels safely through the work zones,” Spencer said. “Highway safety is a partnership. Remember: buckle up, phone down. Be safe out there!”


Date changed for new bridge construction on Mattie Road in Lawrence County

LAWRENCE COUNTY – Monday, May 21, 2018 – County Road 1202 (Mattie Road) will close for 15 calendar days starting May 29, weather permitting, for installation of the aluminum box culvert. Motorists will need to use a detour during this time. This job was originally scheduled for Tuesday, May 22, but was rescheduled due to Election Day.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is building the county a new bridge on CR 1202, over the Right Fork of Little Blaine Creek, 0.38 miles west of Ash Branch Road (CR 1161). Mountain Enterprises was awarded the low bid contract in the amount of $453,863.51.

The contractor has been on site doing grade and drain work in preparation for installation of the box culvert bridge. The contract calls for the road to be closed for 15 calendar days to finish installation and paving. Work to finish the project can be done afterwards with the roadway open to traffic.

Once it is built, the bridge becomes the property of the Lawrence County Fiscal Court, which will be responsible for maintenance of the structure.

May 20, 2018


Accusing state officials of "a brazen violation of federal law," a group of grandparents and other relatives raising children removed from homes because of abuse or neglect have filed a lawsuit seeking foster payments they say they are entitled to under a court ruling last year.

State policy requires state social service officials to try to place such children with relatives before placing them in foster care with strangers.State policy requires state social service officials to try to place such children with relatives before placing them in foster care with strangers.

"They're not in it for the money, but they need help," said Lexington lawyer Richard Dawahare, who filed the lawsuit Thursday on behalf of 14 adults and 21 children. "They need help raising these kids."

A spokesman for the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which oversees foster care, said it has not yet been served with a copy of the lawsuit.

But spokesman Doug Hogan said the agency is "confident" in its interpretation of the court ruling and said any attempt to "broaden the scope" of the order is not consistent with the language of the ruling.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Lexington comes eight months after a federal court ruling that said Kentucky must pay relatives providing free foster care the same as it does licensed foster families who take in children placed with them by the cabinet.

It also comes as the number of children removed from homes continues to climb, fueled by the state's ongoing drug addiction epidemic, primarily with heroin but also from methamphetamine and narcotic painkillers. State records show that as of this month, nearly 9,300 children are in state care, an unprecedented number.

State policy requires state social service officials to try to place such children with relatives before placing them in foster care with strangers.

The ruling requiring foster payments to relatives became final in October after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the state's appeal of the original case, also brought by Dawahare.

Cabinet officials said earlier this year they would begin making payments of about $750 per month per child but Dawahare said the process has been excruciatingly slow — likening it to dragging a mule — and officials routinely deny people he believes are entitled to payments.

"They're just looking for any way they can to not have to pay so they can save money," Dawahare said.

Kimberly Guffy, a Logan County grandmother caring for two young children, is one of the plaintiffs in the case.

She said state officials offered to make foster payments for one of her grandchildren but refused payments for the other child, claiming they weren't responsible because the child hadn't been in foster care before being placed by the state in Guffy's home.

"It's disappointing that further litigation is needed to convince the cabinet to comply with federal law," Guffy said. "They have successfully bent the rules to this point. We shall see if they continue to be successful. What's right is right. "

Dawahare said the state has used similar reasoning for denying the payments to the other plaintiffs in his case — insisting that the child must have been in foster care before going to the relative's home. The state has been refusing payments to relatives if social service officials place the child directly with the relatives.

Dawahare said that's a misinterpretation of the federal appeals court ruling that decided the case.

"The cabinet's violation of federal law is an egregious denial of federal rights to some of our most vulnerable citizens," his lawsuit said.

Under the ruling, if a child has been removed from the parents and placed in the care of the state, the state must pay relatives if it places the child with them for temporary care— regardless of whether the child has first gone through the foster care system, Dawahare said.

He said the plaintiffs in his lawsuit represent only a handful of the many relatives, often on fixed incomes and desperate for help, who have called him to report the state refused their claims.

"They know they should get paid," he said. "They can’t understand why they seem to fulfill every requirement and yet the cabinet refuses to give them money."

Holly Brooks Dillon, of Owensboro, another one of the plaintiffs, said she has been raising two granddaughters for 17 months after they were removed from their parents because of drug abuse. The state has refused her application for foster payments, saying she's not eligible because the girls didn't go through foster care before coming to her home.

"I think it's awesome that he's filing a lawsuit," she said of Dawahare. "I want to see something happen on it not just for me, but for other families."

Paula Grant, a disabled grandmother in Columbia, said she has been providing temporary care for three grandchildren for five years, yet the state recently refused her request for foster payments because the children had been placed directly in her home.

"I can't get no help. I've talked to every human being I can possibly talk to," she said. "If I could get some relief, some help with the children it would sure be greatly appreciated. I'm not taking care of them for money, that’s not my motive."

By Deborah Yetter
Louisville Courier Journal