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Former Floyd County Educator Sentenced on Sexual Assault Charges

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WMDJ) – A former Floyd County School District employee has been sentenced to serve three years and six months in prison on sexual assault charges.


April Bradford, 51 of Weeksbury, pleaded guilty in November to sexually assaulting two students between 1997 and 2007. Floyd County Circuit Judge Johnny Ray Harris handed down sentencing Thursday.


An investigation began in 2022 by Kentucky State Police followed by an announced indictment from Attorney General Daniel Cameron.


Bradford originally pled “not guilty” to the charges in July 2022 related to testimony given by two victims, Jessica Hensley and Mary Prater, who were minors during the time of the incidents.


Bradford worked in the Floyd County School System for over 20 years as a teacher, coach and administrator and was serving as assistant principal at South Floyd Elementary at the time of her indictment.


Floyd County Schools released a statement today saying, “Upon first notice of this matter the district took immediate steps to ensure that students were safe, and the employee was placed into a position where she would not be working with, or around, district students. The district takes allegations of wrongdoing very seriously and has cooperated with law enforcement throughout the investigation of these claims while balancing the safety and wellbeing of our students with the legal rights of the employee.”


Judge Harris ruled that Bradford must serve 85% of her sentence before being eligible for parole. She was also added to sex offender registry.

McConnell Stepping Down as Senate Minority Leader

WASHINGTON – Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell announced that he is stepping down as Senate minority leader on Wednesday.


McConnell is the longest-serving Senate leader in history, holding the position for nearly two decades.


McConnell, who celebrated his 82nd birthday last week, says he plans to serve out his Senate term, which ends in January 2027. A spokesperson for McConnell says his decision to step aside as minority leader is unrelated to recent health issues. McConnell suffered a concussion last year and has had two public episodes where he briefly froze while speaking.

Two Crew Members Injured During Train Accident in Floyd County

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WMDJ) – A train accident Saturday night in Floyd County left two crew members injured.


According to officials, a CSX train was traveling around 35 mph just before 7 p.m. Saturday evening when the locomotive struck a large tree limb in the Watergap area.


CSX dispatch in Jacksonville, Florida contacted Prestonsburg ECC informing officials of the accident. Prestonsburg Fire Department responded to the scene and transported two crew members to a local hospital for non-life threating injuries.

Broadcast Fees Raised for 58th District Basketball Tournament

STORY UPDATE: WMDJ and the Floyd County School System has agreed to terms to live stream the 58th District Tournament. All games can been seen on our Facebook page live and also heard on 100.1 FM, and the new WMDJ Mobile App.




If you are expecting to watch your child or grandchild play in next week’s 58th District Tournament at the Prestonsburg Fieldhouse, WMDJ would like to apologize in advance, as we will not be able to provide live streaming coverage to social media for the event.


Prestonsburg High School Principal Ricky Thacker and Floyd County Schools Superintendent Anna Shepherd made the decision to raise the fee for live streaming 500% from last year.


That’s an increase from $500 to $3,000.00 to provide live stream service for 6 district tournament games.


Outside of the 57th District Tournament at Martin County High School which does not permit any live streaming, NO other district in the 15th Region charges a fee to media for live streaming. Matter of fact, no district in the 14th Region charges a fee for district tournament live streaming.


Only Floyd County Schools and the 58th District require a fee.

During COVID, we made the decision to expand our coverage of high school sports to provide live streaming via Facebook. Since then, we have provided live stream service of the 58th District Tournament for past two years. During that time, according to public records submitted to the KHSAA, the 58th District Tournament schools have seen their profits increase and attendance increase.


2020 Net Profit: $5,526.16     Attendance at Prestonsburg High: 1,766

2021 Net Profit: $8,662.84     Attendance at Betsy Layne High: 2,029

2022 Net Profit: $12,353.42   Attendance at Floyd Central High: 2,242

2023 Net Profit: $13,382.09   Attendance at Lawrence Co. High: 2,409


Profits made by schools in the 58th District last season were the highest in six years and despite live streaming, so is attendance, thus the narrative of “having the game on Facebook” is hurting the tournament is frankly false.


A decision was made today by Principal Thacker and Superintendent Shepherd to reduce the fee to a 250% increase over last year. We feel that because profits and attendance are up, the fee should remain the same, yet we’re at an impasse.


For over 40 years, WMDJ has strived in being a community partner with our local schools. We’ve always felt that putting our most precious natural resource, our children, is a top priority.


WMDJ will provide radio coverage of each game and audio streaming on and via the WMDJ Mobile App. Thank you for your understanding.

Big Sandy RECC Parts Ways with CEO Amidst Lawsuit

PAINTSVILLE, Ky. (WMDJ) – In the wake of a bombshell lawsuit last week, Big Sandy RECC has let go of CEO Bruce Aaron Davis.


Interim manager Jeff Prater says Davis is no longer working for the electric company.


Three women filed a lawsuit in Johnson County circuit court last week accusing Davis of sexual harassment.

Search for Missing Knott County Man Continues

KNOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WMDJ) – Kentucky State Police are still investigating a missing person’s case in Knott County.


Richie Slone, 56 of Littcarr, was last seen back in December, walking near his home along KY Route 160 in Knott County.


Trooper Matt Gayheart says KSP continues to investigate all tips and leads, yet all efforts in locating Slone have been unsuccessful. Foul play is not suspected but has not been ruled out at this point.


Slone is described as a white male, standing 5’8 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds. He has blue eyes with partially gray hair.


If you have information, you’re asked to contact KSP at (606) 435-6069.

Wanted Johnson County Man Arrested Following Chase

FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WMDJ) – A Johnson County man was captured yesterday following a high-speed chase and manhunt in the Prestonsburg area.


On Tuesday afternoon, Prestonsburg City Police attempted to pull over Thomas Price, who had recently evaded authorities in Johnson County and was believed to be armed and dangerous. Price led police on a chase along KY Route 114 to U.S. 23 and the Abbott Creek area, where later he was able to escape on foot after abandoning his vehicle.


At 6:30 p.m. Prestonsburg/Floyd County ECC received a 911 call that Price was trying to enter people’s homes asking to use the phone. He was able to force entry into an elderly disabled woman’s home and attempted to hide when patrolman Keegan Williams, Chris Allen, Chief of Police Ross Shurtleff and Sheriff’s Deputy Kris Hall arrived and following a brief struggle, arrested Rice.


He was wanted for multiple violent felonies as well as being a persistent felony offender. Rice now faces additional charges and is currently lodged in the Floyd County Detention Center.

Gov. Beshear Still Pushing for Teacher Raises

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WMDJ) – Gov. Andy Beshear is still pushing the General Assembly to consider an 11% increase for educators in the state.


Over the weekend, Gov. Beshear used social media saying, “In many Kentucky counties, especially rural ones, public schools are the biggest employers. Just imagine what would happen in these communities if we finally gave our educators the 11% raise they deserve."


The last time Kentucky teachers got a state-mandated dedicated raise above two percent was in 2008.


The General Assembly has left it up to local districts to use existing dollars to fund increases for employee pay. The proposed state budget does not include funding for across-the-board salary increases.


In data released at the end of 2023, Kentucky teachers earnred about $9,736 less than they did 16 years ago when factoring in inflation.

Bridge Closure in Floyd County Beginning Feb. 19th

FLOYD COUNTY, KY. (WMDJ) - The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet advises motorists of a bridge closure along KY 1210 in Floyd County for repairs.


The bridge is located on KY Route 1210 at the intersection of KY Route 404 near David, mile point 7.73 (7.7 miles East of KY Route 80).


Crews will repair a hole in the concrete bridge deck. Due to the type of repairs and narrow widths, KYTC will close the bridge beginning Monday, Feb. 19 at 8 a.m. Work is expected to take approximately two weeks to complete.


Motorists must use an alternate route during this time. Please watch for signage and slow down when encountering a work zone. Schedules are subject to change based on weather conditions.

Build Your Future with BSCTC's Construction Technology Program

Prestonsburg, Ky. (WMDJ) - Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) has a Construction Technology program that prepares students for entry-level positions in the construction industry.


Combining classroom lectures with hands-on experience in the lab and on-site projects, students gain practical skills essential for success in the field. Additionally, the program is an excellent foundation for students interested in pursuing careers in construction management, civil engineering, or architectural design.


A highlight of the program is the annual construction project known as the "Mayo Home." Students apply their classroom knowledge each year by constructing a home from start to finish. Proceeds from the Mayo Home fund and sale the following year's project creating a sustainable learning and community contribution cycle.


"This learning approach allows students to apply what they have learned practically," says Adam McGinnis, Assistant Professor-Construction Technology. "We are excited to see our students develop valuable skills and positively impact the community."


For more information about the Construction Technology program at BSCTC, please get in touch with Adam at (606)-788-2832. 

KSP Charges Magoffin Co. Man With Child Sexual Exploitation Offenses

SALYERSVILLE, Ky. (WMDJ) — A Magoffin County man has been arrested following an undercover investigation by the Kentucky State Police Electronic Crime Branch.


Kent Simpkins, 42, of Salyersville, was arrested Monday after investigators discovered him uploading sexually explicit images of juveniles to an online social media account.


Officials executed a search warrant at his residence and confiscated equipment used to facilitate the crime.


Simpkins is currently charged with three counts of possessing matter portraying a minor under the age of 12 in a sexual performance and one count of distribution of matter portraying a minor under the age of 12 in a sexual performance. These charges are Class-C felonies punishable by five to ten years in prison. Simpkins was also charged with two counts of possessing matter portraying a minor over the age of 12 but under the age of 18 in a sexual performance and one count of sexual crimes against an animal. These charges are Class-D felonies punishable by one to five years in prison. Simpkins was lodged in the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center.


The Kentucky Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force is comprised of more than twenty-six local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies. The mission of the ICAC Task Force, created by the United States Department of Justice and administrated by the Kentucky State Police, is to assist state and local law enforcement agencies in developing a response to cyber enticement and child sexual abuse material investigations. This support encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, prevention and community education. The ICAC program was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the internet, the proliferation of child sexual abuse material, and the heightened online activity of predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims.

Floyd County Fugitive Arrested on Drug Charges

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WMDJ) – Prestonsburg City Police have arrested a fugitive who’s been on the run from officials over the past several weeks.


Officers executed a search warrant at a home near Brandy Keg on Lake Road on Friday, February 9th and discovered a significant quantity of methamphetamine and fentanyl.


Landon Frazier, 43, was arrested on three counts of fleeing police, wanton endangerment of a police officer, drug possession and other charges. Frazier was the target of investigators for operating a drug trafficking scheme.


Authorities also arrested Brenda Fugate, 42 of Prestonsburg; Wendy Hicks, 50 of McDowell and Hillary Hall, 38 of Harold on drug possession charges.


All were lodged in the Floyd County Detention Center.

Winter Weather Advisory for Central Kentucky Monday

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WMDJ) – A heavy, narrow band of wet snow is forecast for parts of Central Kentucky tonight. Forecasters have projected 1 – 3 inches of snow throughout the areas of Danville, Richmond, Lexington, Mt. Sterling and Morehead.


A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for parts of Central Kentucky.


Here locally, the National Weather Service has projected mostly a rain event for the Big Sandy Valley with a change to snow possible late tonight with little or no accumulation expected.

EKU Explores Chartering Osteopathic Medicine Program

RICHMOND, Ky. (WMDJ) – Eastern Kentucky University is exploring the potential of creating a College of Osteopathic Medicine.


Rep. David Meade, R-Stanford, has sponsored House Bill 407, which would give EKU the ability to add “doctor of osteopathic medicine degrees required for professional practice and licensure in medicine.”


HB 407 was filed on January 30th then sent to the House Education Committee.


The university is initiating a feasibility study with a target date of October 2024 to make an official decision on the creation of the medical school. There is not a program for osteopathic medicine offered at a public university in Kentucky, although the University of Pikeville has successfully offered a similar program for decades.


No School in Floyd County: Friday, February 9th Due to Illness

FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WMDJ) - Floyd County Schools will be closed on Friday, February 9th, 2024. 


The decision to cancel classes comes one day after Betsy Layne High School was unable to operate due to a lack of teachers or available substitute teachers to fill positions.


Widespread illness is to blame for the closing. Type B "flu" has been very prevalent along with similar viruses among schools since late last week. 


Reportedly attendance figures were at 84% system-wide on Thursday with one school under 80% attendance.

One Person Rescued After Mobile Home Collapse in Knott County

KNOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WMDJ) – Officials rescued one person in Knott County after a mobile home collapsed. 


First responders with Hindman Fire & Rescue were called to the community of Carrie after 911 received a call of a building collapse with possible entrapment on Tuesday afternoon around 3:30 p.m.


Responders used two hydraulic spreaders, stabilization cribbing and other tools to safely free one person, who was trapped by debris.


No one was seriously injured.

Floyd County K9 Receives Protective Vest Donation

FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WMDJ) - The Floyd County Sheriff’s Officer K9 Unit has received a donation of body armor from a nationwide non-profit organization.


K9 Bear received a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. The vest is embroidered with the sentiment, “In memory of K9 Drago, Floyd County, KY - EOW 6/30/22”.


Established in 2009, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a charity whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States.


Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 5,289 vests to K9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations.

Head-On Collision Kills One Person on U.S. 23

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ky. (WMDJ) – One person has died after a head-on collision on U.S. 23 in Lawrence County.


The crash happened early Tuesday morning at the intersection of U.S. 23 and KY Route 645 at Ulysses.


James Sisco, 49, was traveling south on U.S. 23 when he crossed the centerline and struck a semi-truck traveling in the northbound lane.


Sisco was pronounced dead at the scene, according to KSP.

Death Investigation Continues in Floyd County

DRIFT, Ky. (WMDJ) – Kentucky State Police continues to conduct a death investigation after a deceased male was located in the Drift community of Floyd County.


KSP received a call on Tuesday, January 02, 2024 at 9:57 p.m. where the caller advised a possible deceased male had been located.


James Osborne, 64, of Minnie, was located outside his vehicle along Drift Hollow Road. Osborne’s body was sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.


Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact the KSP Pikeville Post at 606-433-7711.


The ongoing investigation is being conducted by Detective Mahala Lewis. Detective Lewis was assisted on scene by Kentucky State Police Post 9 personnel.

Pike County Man Dies in Single Vehicle Accident

STOPOVER, Ky. (WMDJ) – One person is dead following a single vehicle collision over the weekend in Pike County.


Kentucky State Police Pikeville Post received a call at 6:25 p.m. Sunday reporting a single vehicle collision had occurred on State Highway 194 E in the Stopover community


Billy McFarland, 52,of Mouthcard, was operating a 2013 Dodge Ram, when his vehicle exited the roadway and went over an embankment. McFarland was pronounced deceased on scene by the Pike County Coroner’s Office.


Trooper Chase Maynard is investigating the collision and was assisted on scene by Kentucky State Police Post 9 personnel, Phelps Volunteer Fire Department, and Lifeguard Ambulance Service.

Spread Love this Valentine's Day with a KSP Teddy Bear

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WMDJ) - The Kentucky State Police is announcing the Trooper Teddy Bear Valentine’s Day sale, offering the public an exclusive opportunity to spread love while supporting the agency’s outreach program. Starting today through Feb. 14, customers can purchase the heartwarming bears at a special price of $20, down from the regular price of $25.


All proceeds allow troopers to provide teddy bears to children who have been in traumatic situations, such as car crashes, child sexual abuse cases or fighting a terminal illness. 


“Trooper Teddy Bears have become a staple in the agency’s community outreach as we work to connect with our most vulnerable population – our children,” said KSP Commissioner Phillip Burnett Jr. “We hope people embrace the spirit of Valentine’s Day by purchasing a bear and contributing to this meaningful program.”


Trooper Teddy Bears can be purchased online or at any KSP Post. When purchasing online, customers can select to pick it up at their local KSP Post free of charge or have it shipped to their home for an additional fee. 


The Trooper Teddy Project relies solely on donations and the sale of bears to sustain it, with 100% of the proceeds being used to purchase additional bears to distribute to children in need. To purchase a bear or make a tax-deductible contribution visit the Trooper Teddy website.


The Trooper Teddy Project came to life in December 1989 after Kentucky First Lady Martha Wilkinson hosted a fundraiser at Red Mile Gaming & Racing, raising enough funds to purchase 2,000 bears. The first allotment of bears included a personal note from Mrs. Wilkerson. 

Tip-Line Leads to Arrest in Goose Creek

FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WMDJ) – A Floyd County man has been arrested after deputies received a tip to drug trafficking in the Goose Creek area.


Gary Combs, 36 of Eastern, was arrested late Wednesday night and charged with multiple counts including drug trafficking in Heroin, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, escape in the 3rd degree and tampering with physical evidence.


Combs has been lodged in the Floyd County Detention Center.


Deputies were assisted by officers with the Martin City Police Department.

KSP Searching for Floyd County Man

FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WMDJ) – Kentucky State Police are searching for a Floyd County man wanted for several outstanding charges and failure to appear in court.


Troopers are searching for Jody D. Spriggs, 39 of Drift. He is slender build, standing 5’9” tall with blue eyes.


If you have any information on the whereabouts of Spriggs, please contact KSP Post 9 in Pikeville at (606) 433-7711.

Deputies Arrest Floyd County Man on Theft Charges

FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WMDJ) – A Floyd County man has been arrested after deputies with the Floyd County Sheriff’s office received tips leading to the return of stolen property in the David community.


Cory Pitts has been arrested and faces several charges of theft. He was lodged in the Floyd County Detention Center.


Deputies have recovered thousands of dollars in stolen property, including a side-by-side, pressure washers, fishing and camping equipment and tools.

Officials are still searching for more leads with additional arrest are pending.

Floyd County Sheriffs Office Investigating Thefts

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WMDJ) – The Floyd County Sheriff’s office is asking for the public’s help involving numerous thefts recently.


Deputies are working several thefts in the Maytown and David communities and are asking anyone with any information that could assist in these crimes to contact their office.


Sheriff John Hunt says you can always remain anonymous by using the anonymous tip line at (606) 949-2020. You can also Text-A-Tip , which goes directly to deputies in-car computers, by texting (606) 477-8477 or simply call dispatch at 886-6171.


2024-02 | 2024-01




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