Archive for April, 2014

Black Bear Festival Updates

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

The KY Black Bear Festival Held on May 9 & 10 in Downtown Cumberland KY

Live Music all day with featured artist on Friday Night the Contemporary Christian Band “All Things New” and opening for them our own Jessica Bush

Saturday’s featured artists will begin with a fun filled family show from the Renfro Valley Review! Cody Mc Carver( formerly with Confederate Railroad), The Tri-Cities own Brooklyhn Woods will open for our final concert, “Natalie Stovall and The Drive” a country music band coming up very quickly in the charts as well as their upcoming debut on the Grand Ole Opry.  We want everyone to come out and enjoy everything from great food, car shows, corn hole tournaments,5-K Runs, arts & craft vendors,  to carnival rides!  Our special guests this year will be Tim Smith and Tyler Wood from the Discovery Channel Moonshiners.  They will be available for autographs on Saturday from 4-8 p.m.  So come on out to Cumberland and enjoy the Kentucky Black Bear Festival.  Check out our website


Kentucky Black Bear Festival Music Schedule:

12:00 Recorded
1:00 Recorded
2:00-3:00 Deric Jeffers
3:00-4:00 – Sunrise Ridge Bluegrass- Sean Stanford 634-2233
4:00-5:00 – Jerry Haynes 273-0199
5:00-6:00 – Over Drive (Joey Jones)
6:00-7:00 – Adam Hill and Driven
7:00-7:30 – Jessica Bush
8:00-10:00- All Things New
Saturday May 10

10:00- Recorded
11:00- 11:30 – Dance Recital
12:00 – 1:00 – Big Daddy & the Heat- Deaton
1:00 – 2:00 – Wolf Creek Grass
2:00 – 3:00 Sound Check for Natalie Stoval
3:00 – 4:00 – Triple X
4:00 – 5:30 – Renfro Valley
6:00 – 7:00 – Cody Mc Carver
7:00 – Removal of Instruments
7:30 – 8:00 Brooklyhn Woods
8:00 -10:00 – Natalie Stoval & the Drive


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SKCTC Workshops/News

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College and working in conjunction with its Workforce Solutions component, will offer the Intro to iPad workshop. The event will be held Thursday, March 27 from 1-3 p.m. in Chrisman Hall, room 111, located on the SKCTC Cumberland campus. Under the direction of Josh Howard and priced at $15 per participant, the session has been designed to maximize the skillset and provide in-depth instruction as to the operation of the Apple apparatus. Participants will learn about the unique functions and various features  of the iPad, along with the examination of a variety of applications and how to download these applications. Additionally, participants will learn different exploring methods and how to use the iPad in casual and professional environments.  For further information, contact Tessa Roark, SKCTC Cumberland, phone 589-3047 or

The Southeast Choir, under the direction of Professor Ann Schertz, will present two concerts as the group performs poignant and stirring tunes from the Broadway hit and Academy Award-winning film, Les Miserables. The concerts will be Saturday, May 3 at 7 p.m. in the Godbey Appalachian Center on the Cumberland campus of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College and on Sunday, May 4 at 3 p.m. at the SKCTC Harlan campus.  The choir will be accompanied by Clara Atkins Pope. The concerts are free and open to the public, and for more information contact Ms. Schertz at 589-3153.

Steve Miller is honored to be playing a key role as an instructor while the growth of the Funeral Service Program at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College continues at a quick pace. The program began accepting students a year ago and is the only one of its kind within Kentucky. It features a two-year curriculum leading to the Associate’s Degree, and excitement for the future of the ground-breaking program is profound, offering a curriculum overseen by Denise Shumate, long-time professor and administrator. Currently, Miller and Shumate are working with 14 students with 10 on track to graduate in May. Students enrolled in the SKCTC program range in ages 18 to 45, and the program is rapidly becoming a popular curriculum at the college. The Funeral Service Program is the only such program within Kentucky, with the closest being offered in Cincinnati and Jeffersonville, Indiana.  Miller, who was reared in Southern Illinois, worked 17 years in the coal mining industry, laboring in a slope mine near his home in El Dorado. He also drove a truck for several years before acting on a long-time yearning to attend  mortuary school. He parked the 18-wheeler and enrolled at the John A. Gupton School or Mortuary Science in Nashville graduating in 1994. He would also attend and graduate from Southeastern Illinois College. He holds a Master’s Degree from Tusculum College in Tennessee. Over the past 12 years, he worked for several mortuaries in Indiana and Tennessee before finding his way to Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College where he is a member of the fledgling program. “I love my job at Southeast,” he said. “I’m so proud to be working with Denise Shumate as we develop the program and train a new generation of morticians. Teaching is something I have wanted to do for the past decade, and I jumped at the chance to come to Harlan County and to Southeast where we are working hard to make the program succeed — to be effective.” The program at Southeast is a two-year endeavor where students are required to earn a total of 68 credits. Those who wish to be considered for entry into the program are required to submit an official application to SKCTC, official high school transcript as well as transcripts of all post-secondary education along with ACT or SAT or ASSET or COMPASS tests results.  Applicants are also required to have a pre-admission conference with the faculty.  Miller noted the objectives of the program are to instill in the student the highest ethical, professional and technical standards required for entry into the profession. The course has been designed to make the student aware of federal, state and local regulatory guidelines that govern practices in the funeral services profession. As the program moves forward, Miller is excited when he discusses the features of a newly-completed facility to be utilized in the students’ education. The site, located on the lower level of Falkenstine Hall, features a preparation room with state-of-the-art equipment, including two embalming tables and two Dodge embalming machines. The site also features a rail body lift structure as well as a revolutionary air ventilation system. Construction of the teaching space is basically completed and will soon be in use upon inspection by state agencies. Additionally, there is a funeral merchandising room on the premises. “Students will be pleased with the top-of-the-line facilities as we work to train individuals who will soon become leaders within the funeral industry,” he said. “The program at Southeast is developing and is a workable option for many who wish to serve as funeral service personnel within their communities, and for those who want to offer an important and a caring service to families who are distraught and likely to be in a most vulnerable condition.” Prospective students wishing to pursue a career in the SKCTC Funeral Service Program are requested to contact Ms. Shumate, director of the program, or Mr. Miller, by phoning (606)248-3141 or at or


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KSP News

Friday, April 25th, 2014

KSP will partner with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in a collaborative effort to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from home medicine cabinets. Citizens are invited to bring unused or outdated prescription medications to post locations to be properly disposed of. This is the eighth national DEA ‘Take Back’ initiative the agency has participated in. POST 10 3319 US 421 South  Harlan, KY 40831 Phone: (606) 573-3131; POST 13 100 Justice Drive Hazard, KY 41701 Phone: (606) 435-6069.

The Kentucky State Police is putting the spotlight on its Canine Section in the latest KSP-TV episode.  The YouTube video explores the role of the canine unit and the training and care required for these four-legged creatures. KSP spokesman Sgt. Michael Webb says the Canine Section is attached to the Special Operations Branch and includes 16 KSP troopers, 3 CVE officers and 24 dogs. “The Canine Section adds a unique tool to investigations,” says Webb. “We capitalize on the dogs’ abilities to track and aid when apprehending suspects and their keen sense for drug and explosives detection.” Webb says the video gives the agency an opportunity to showcase the Canine Section and educate the public on the role of the canine in law enforcement. To view the KSP-TV Canine Section episode, follow this link: KSP-TV consists of short videos in documentary style format that highlight the inner workings of the agency, giving the public an opportunity at a unique look inside of the agency.

Kentucky highway fatalities dropped to a 64-year low in 2013; a 14 percent reduction in deaths over 2012. The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) today released final statistics for 2013. There were 638 fatalities last year, a dramatic improvement from 746 fatalities in 2012.   “The good news is that 108 fewer lives were lost,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “The bad news is that 638 people lost loved ones on Kentucky  roadways – a number that is unacceptable, as one fatality is too many.” Gov. Beshear’s Executive Committee on Highway Safety has a strategic highway safety plan titled “Toward Zero Deaths,” which focuses on four critical elements: engineering, education, enforcement and emergency response. Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock, the governor’s designated highway safety representative and chair of the committee, said the data-driven, comprehensive plan includes collaboration from stakeholders at every level — federal, state, local and private — to identify safety needs and guide investment decisions.  “If our effort results in just one life being saved, it will have been worth it,” said Secretary Hancock. “However, as our plan indicates, we will not rest until the number is zero.” Of the 638 fatalities last year, 483 were in motor vehicles. Of those killed, 245 were not buckled up and 138 of fatalities involved drugs or alcohol. Motorcyclists accounted for 79 fatalities, with 53 not wearing helmets.

“While the fatality decrease is an improvement, the numbers indicate many motorists still do not realize the responsibility that comes with a license,” said KOHS Director Bill Bell. “We hope by combining our educational efforts with state and local law enforcement and other safety partners, we will continue to raise public awareness of laws and safe driving practices.” The KOHS offers various highway safety educational programs to the public, distributes federal highway safety grants to state and local highway safety agencies, and promotes the national “Click It or Ticket” seat belt campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” impaired driving campaign and the new “U Text.  U Drive.  U Pay” texting while driving campaign.   “We’re heading in the right direction, but we need the public’s help,” said Bell.  “Everyone must take responsibility and follow all traffic laws, such as wearing a seat belt, driving sober, not texting while driving and obeying the speed limit. ”For more information,

The Kentucky State Police Trooper Island raffle features a vehicle ready for work or play this year. Newly re-designed and re-engineered for 2014, the GMC Sierra 1500 SLE pickup includes an Iridium Metallic exterior and Jet Black interior; a four-door, air conditioned crew cab with heated, leather front seats; a 5.3L V8 EcoTec3 engine with 355 horsepower; a six-speed automatic transmission with 4-wheel drive; electric power steering and a five-year/100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty (Visit for a full list of features and equipment). Tickets are $10 each. For a chance to put this truck to work in your family or business fleet, contact any Kentucky State Trooper, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer or any of the 16 KSP posts located throughout the state. Only 20,000 tickets will be sold. The winning ticket will be drawn on August 24th at the Kentucky State Fair. Ticket holders do not have to be present at the drawing to win. Raffle winner is responsible for all tax and license fees.

Trooper Island is a free summer camp for underprivileged boys and girls age 10-12 operated by the Kentucky State Police on Dale Hollow Lake in Clinton County. It is financed entirely by donations, no public funds are used. Each year, the camp hosts approximately 700 children, providing good food, fresh air, recreation, guidance and structured, esteem-building activities designed to build good citizenship and positive relationships with law enforcement officers. Visit for more information. (Charitable gaming license #0000633.)

Kentucky State Police, Post 10 Harlan, would like to make citizens aware of a current scam going on in Post 10’s coverage area. Harlan County citizens have been receiving phone calls from people that say they are with the U.S. Government Grants Department. The individuals calling want citizens to send money to them in order to receive the grant. They are asking for checking account numbers and credit card information. If anyone contacts you by phone, mail, or e-mail that you don’t know – simply ignore them. These scammers usual prey on the elderly and extort money from them. You can contact Post 10 Harlan for any questions or complaints about scammers.

– The Kentucky State Police is warning cell phone users to be aware of a new scam called “The One-Ring Scam.”  Better Business Bureaus (BBB) across the country are seeing a rash of reports of ‘ring and runs’ on cell phones where returning a missed call from an unknown number may cost you.  KSP spokesman Sgt. Michael Webb says scammers profit from individuals who are curious enough to return that missed call.

“A computer program originating outside the U.S. dials American customers and lets the phone ring one or two times before hanging up,” says Webb. “This is enough time to register on a phone’s missed-calls screen, but typically not enough time for a user to actually answer.”  “Many people who receive a missed call will return the call and that is when their account is charged approximately $20 for the call and $9 for every additional minute.” BBB experts say this is called ‘phone cramming,’ when automated dialers send out thousands of calls to random numbers. Most of the area codes are from the Caribbean Islands, but BBB says there is no way for them to really know where the calls are coming from. Webb advises citizens to refrain from returning calls they do not recognize. “We are encouraging people to review their cell phone statements and contact their cellular carrier immediately if they notice unauthorized charges,” adds Webb.  The following is a list of area codes the BBB said is connected with the scam:

Dominican Republic – 809

Jamaica – 876

British Virgin Islands – 284

Grenada – 473

Aruba – 297

Antigua – 268

The Kentucky State Police, Post 10, Harlan, which provides coverage for Harlan, Bell and Knox counties, will be conducting periodic traffic safety checkpoints at locations approved by the Kentucky State Police Policy and Procedures Manual. These checkpoints will be conducted in an effort to enforce the traffic laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Special attention will be paid to occupant protection (seatbelt adherence), sobriety, insurance and registration violations.


KSP Commissioner’s Blog “Did You Know?”

Link to Blog:

Blog Entry Date: January 16, 2014

Did you know that the year-end traffic fatality count for Kentucky in 2013 was one of the lowest in recent history?  Although 639 people lost their lives on our roadways last year, it was the fewest number of deaths our state has experienced since 1947.  This reduction is even more amazing when you look at the increased number of vehicles on our roadways and the number of miles driven each year.  Amazingly, over twenty-one billionvehicle miles were driven through the Commonwealth last year.  There are numerous reasons for the drastic reduction in traffic deaths in Kentucky:

  • First and foremost is the increased usage in vehicle restraints.  In 1995, vehicle occupants in Kentucky were wearing their seatbelts about 54% of the time as compared to a usage rate of nearly 85% in 2013.  Combined with advancements in shoulder restraint devices, this has significantly increased the survivability rate for those involved in a crash.  Nearly half of the people killed in Kentucky are not seat belted which validates national research that you are fifty percent more likely to survive a crash if you are properly restrained in your vehicle.
  • Child Safety seat usage by parents has increased significantly because of statutory requirements and increased education by law enforcement and health care professionals.  Nearly 98% of the children under 40 inches in height we see riding in a vehicle today are in a federally approved child safety seat.  Although we desperately need a new booster seat law governing older children, we have seen a drastic reduction in child deaths because of child safety seats.
  • Because of increased enforcement, stronger statutes, and better community awareness, our impaired driving fatality rate has been nearly cut in half over the past two decades.  The overall number of crashes involving an impaired driver has been reduced nearly 25% in the past fifteen years.
  • The teenage crash rate has also plummeted thanks to educational/training programs like the mandatory Graduated Licensing Program, “Alive at 25” and the “Drive To Stay Alive” program hosted by the Kentucky State Police each year.
  • Vehicles today are safer than they have ever been.  Various safety advancements coupled with a better ‘crush factor’ give motorists a higher chance of survival by ‘riding down’ the crash versus coming to an abrupt stop.
  • Improved highway engineering and the addition of crossover barriers on interstates have contributed greatly to the number of survivors who make it home after a crash that otherwise would have been a head-on collision.

Despite the recent reductions, there is much left to do.  Although we have seen a significant drop in fatalities involving a drunken driver, there still were 148 people who lost their lives because of these irresponsible criminals.  Although our seatbelt usage rate continues to climb, statistics show that the night time usage rate amongst 21-35 year olds is extremely low.  What can you do to make our roads safer?

  • First and foremost is to make sure that EVERYONE in your vehicle is properly restrained…….every trip…..every time.
  • Drive defensively and always obey the posted speed limits.
  • Drive sober or make plans to designate a sober driver well before you go out for the evening.  For more information, go to our website and sign up to “HERO” in our designated driver campaign.
  • Report an impaired or erratic driver to our toll free number, 1-800-222-5555.
  • Avoid unnecessary and dangerous distractions like texting.  Twenty percent of ALL crashes that take place in the Commonwealth are attributed to a distracted driver.

As we enter into 2014, the Kentucky State Police and our partners continue efforts to reduce traffic fatalities.  However, history has shown us that the goal of zero deaths in our state is impossible without the help and cooperation of our motoring citizens.


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