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Fifty-five Individuals Charged; Major, Long-Term Undercover Operation Takes More Than One Hundred Guns and a Half-Million Dollars In Drugs Off of the Streets of Huntington


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Special Agent in Charge Paul J. Vido and Huntington Police Department Chief W.H. SkipHolbrook, along with several members from the law enforcement community joined today to announce a major, long-term undercover law enforcement effort targeting the Fairfield West area of Huntington.

A total of 55 defendants have been charged with federal crimes including illegal firearm possession, drug trafficking and other offenses. Arrest warrants have been issued for each individual involved in the criminal activity.

The criminal probe began in April 2010, targeting numerous traffickers of stolen firearms and individuals who participated in illegal drug transactions in and around Huntington. The investigation, conducted by federal and local agents, resulted in the seizure of illegal drugs with a street value of over $500,000 and more than 100 firearms.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin stated, When I took office the middle of last year, I made fighting violent drug crime in Huntington my top priority. This operation, charging 55 defendants, underscores the substantial ongoing effort that we are making to help the citizens of Fairfield West and the city of Huntington take back their streets.

More than 200 federal, state and local agents took part in the firearms and narcotics take-down effort. The defendants include drug traffickers, members and associates of drug trafficking organizations, convicted felons, as well as several local gang members.

Because of the hard work and dedication of the undercover agents, 110 firearms and over one half million dollars of illegal drugs were taken off the streets of Huntington, ATF Special Agent in Charge Paul J. Vido said. Today’s enforcement actions proved that ATF will do everything in our power to protect our neighborhoods and communities. Criminals beware and be prepared to face the consequences.

Huntington Police Department Chief W.H. Skip Holbrook stated, This operation is a testament to how much can be accomplished in a coordinated effort. This operation deals a major blow to the criminal element here in Huntington. This is a great day for the citizens of Fairfield West, the city of Huntington and this region as a whole.

R. Booth Goodwin II, United States Attorney

Contact: Melvin Smith



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The first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kentucky Speedway now has title sponsor and a name - the Quaker State 400. The announcement that Quaker State will sponsor the July 9 race was made Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"It's a relief," Kentucky Speedway general manager Mark Simendinger said. "But it's also got us excited because of who the company is. They bring a lot to the table. As sports marketers, you love to have a relationship with somebody that's got a lot of capacity and touches a lot of consumers."

Kentucky Speedway is the first new venue brought onto the Cup Series schedule in a decade and the search for a title sponsor for the inaugural race focused on national companies, Simendinger said.

Quaker State agreed to a multi-year deal.

"It's a great market for us and our brands," said Steve Reindl, Quaker State's general manager of business and consumer sales.

While financial terms were not disclosed, an industry expert estimated last week the entitlement for the inaugural race could command between $1 million and $2 million.

"They obviously get mentioned in all the media that the event buys to promote the race - radio ads, print ads, TV ads," said William Chipps, senior editor of IEG Sponsorship Report.

Beyond the media exposure, race sponsors also can benefit from fan loyalty, he said.

"Fans recognize that without a sponsor's involvement their favorite driver may not be able to race on a Saturday or Sunday," Chipps said. "

Quaker State is not new to NASCAR.

It has a longstanding technical partnership with powerhouse Hendrick Motorsports. The team fields cars in the Cup Series for reigning five-time champion Jimmie Johnson, four-time champion Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Mark Martin.

Martin has 40 career victories in NASCAR's top division. Quaker State will be the primary sponsor on his No. 5 Chevrolet for the 400-mile race at Kentucky Speedway and a handful of others.

"I think it's a great sign of the times for NASCAR to have Quaker State upping their involvement in the sport," Martin said. "It's exciting to see what I consider the recovery that we're experiencing in the sport."

The race at Kentucky Speedway will cap a tripleheader NASCAR weekend that includes a 225-mile Camping World Truck Series race July 7 and a 300-mile Nationwide Series race July 8.

It is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. on July 9 and is expected to draw more than 100,000 fans with many more watching the live telecast on TNT or listening on the radio.

"There's no doubt in my mind, knowing the kind of exposure that we're going to get, for a company like Quaker State to be on for the inaugural year is a huge, huge benefit and it's something that they see as a huge asset," Simendinger said. "They know how much exposure is going to be on this race. Not only regionally, but nationally."

Speedway Motorsports Inc. is spending $82 million on a massive expansion and renovation project to get the facility ready.

The project includes construction of two 19,000-seat grandstand towers that will increase the grandstand seating capacity to roughly 106,000, the relocation of pit road closer to the grandstands and the expansion of camping areas in the infield and outside the track.

Ticket sales for the Quaker State 400 have been strong, Simendinger said, and all of the existing luxury suites already have been sold. The track is working on a plan to install temporary suites to meet the demand.

"It's going to sell out," Simendinger said. "Just the way the numbers are going right now, it's going to sell out."

Posted by By Kevin Kelly

The Kentucky Enquirer

E-readers, audio books, online reading and other technology-based literature hasn’t caught on with everyone. But the number of readers using such methods is increasing, and Hardin County Public Library is responding.

The branch in Elizabethtown hosted a free presentation Saturday to show patrons how to download e-Books, audio books and other forms of media onto e-readers and iPods.

Lisa Huffer, bookmobile librarian and unofficial library system techie, said digital items offer alternative reading options to technology-savvy patrons.

“I don’t really think it will take the place of books,” she said. “It just encourages (readers) to use other media.”

The Hardin County library system is part of a consortium, called Kentucky Libraries Unbound, that collectively purchases digital materials. Then, they can provide online access to e-books, audio books, music and other media to check out for free, much like a traditional library.

Users can connect to the service by clicking the Kentucky Libraries Unbound icon at the bottom of the library system’s home page, www.hcpl

Library Director Rene Hutcheson said the service was slow to grow in popularity since it began about five years ago, but the number of users has increased in recent years. More readers are using technology to find answers for research and as a way to simplify leisure reading, she said.

“We are proud to provide services and resources in whatever format is easier for our patrons,” she said. “The trick is staying informed of current advances and having them in place so the staff can assist people with their new gadgets.”

Most digital downloads are audio books, followed by printed e-books, then e-videos and e-music, Hutcheson said.

There was a rush of use after Christmas, when some patrons received e-readers as gifts, she said.

Circulation hit 13,334 items in January and 12,405 in February. 
That’s up from just over 6,000 at the same time last year, which increased every month to more than 9,000 items checked out in November.

Even announced for the first time last summer that quarterly sales for e-books had outstripped traditional book sales for that quarter.

Elizabethtown resident Linda Dillard said she downloads items from the services and often checks out audio books to listen to during her drive to and from work at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.

“If I don’t get to listen to them, then I just don’t get to stay up on what’s going on in the world of literature,” she said. “It’s a wonderful service.”

Hutcheson said library system officials are considering buying e-books in addition to being a member of the consortium.

The library also uses advancing technology to introduce readers to new ways to explore books.

There is an online book club in which members receive via e-mail five-minute sections from a chapter of a book. By the end of the week, they have had the opportunity to read a few chapters. Then, they’ll receive segments from a new book the following Monday.

Hutcheson said that option is popular with teenagers. Club members accessed those books 3,360 times last month, she said.

Long-standing technology options also are seeing increased use.

Hutcheson said more patrons come into the library with laptops to use wireless Internet access every day — and some users sit in their cars and access the technology.

Rineyville resident Theresa Peters said she logs on through the library’s Internet access almost every day when she’s waiting between runs as a bus monitor for Hardin County Schools. She does not have Internet access at home.

She researches books she might recommend to her son and researches items she repairs and builds at home.

“I learned to take my steering column apart on the Internet,” she said.

By Amber Coulter
The News-Enterprise