Pike Co. Woman Charged After 3-Hour-Long Police Chase

A Pike County woman faces a long list of charges after a nearly 3-hour long police chase.

Friday morning, officials in Prestonburg were told to be on the lookout for a stolen SUV. The car, driven by Heather Ratliff of Pikeville, took off heading south on U.S. 23.

The chase continued into Pike County and eventually West Virginia, where police were able to stop the car. In all, the chase spanned nearly 80 miles and three hours.

Beshear, AG Cameron Spar Over Mask Mandate

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has asked a county judge to rule on the legality of the governor’s recent executive order requiring masks in public.

Cameron said Friday that his office filed a motion in Scott County Circuit Court asking Judge Brian Privett if an executive order requiring public mask wearing complies with a restraining order issued by that court. Privett issued the two-page temporary restraining order on Thursday that the judge said blocks Gov. Andy Beshear from issuing future executive orders related to the pandemic, unless the governor first meets a list of requirements described in the order.

The governor said the ruling would be appealed and likely end up before the state Supreme Court.

Bill to Block No-knock Warrants Announced

A bill to ban no-knock search warrants was announced Thursday by Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers. He said the bill is being drafted for the upcoming regular session of state lawmakers. Following with the death of Breonna Taylor at the hands of three Louisville police officers, the issue has gained national attention. Stivers says that after talking with members of law enforcement the practice should be banned.

Judge Issues Restraining Order

A Kentucky circuit court judge has issued a temporary restraining order against future executive orders from the governor that are related to COVID-19. The order comes on the heels of a lawsuit from the state’s agriculture commissioner and the owner of an orchard and cider mill. Governor Andy Beshear is upset with the order saying it means more than 500 businesses don’t have to follow any rules now. He calls it dangerous and devastating.

Thursday Saw New COVID-19 Cases

Local health departments continued to report new cases of COVID-19. Along with the new cases of the virus, the Cumberland Valley District Health Department reported the fourth death attributed to the disease in Clay County. The death was a 68-year-old man. Across the state there have been at least 18,245 Kentuckians who have been sickened by COVID-19, with 612 people losing their lives. More than 440-thousand tests have been administered in the state.

Additional CARES Act Funding

The governor has announced an additional $36.2 million from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act that will be used to fund for 61 of Kentucky’s local and regional health departments. This follows $10 million that was announced in May, and will be used to reimburse costs incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among those expenses are emergency operations, community-based surveillance and reporting, and other expenses.

Mask Mandate Begins Friday

Beginning at 5 p.m. today, mask wearing in Kentucky will be mandatory in public places all across the state. Governor Andy Beshear made the announcement Thursday night following the third straight day that the state recorded confirmed COVID-19 cases above the 300 mark. The mandate will be in place for at least the next 30 days and will be enforced by local health departments. The governor is hopeful that this mandate will allow the economy to remain open.

Knott County Schools Reopening Plans

Knott County Schools have detailed their plan for reopening for the Fall semester. In a Facebook post Wednesday, they announced that the school district would reopen on Monday, August 24th. For parents who have concerns about their students attending in-person classes, a virtual learning environment will be available. Online students who do not have a computer will have the option of receiving one from the district.

Two Arrested on Drug Charges

Following a traffic stop on Tuesday night, two people are facing drug charges. London Police stopped the pair for not having a visible registration plate. A search of the vehicle located a hidden plastic bag of meth. Following the traffic stop, police obtained a search warrant for a hotel where Joseph McNally and Derhonda Newberry were staying. Police found more drugs in the hotel room along with other related items. The pair are facing multiple charges including drug possession.

Horse Owner & Breeder Banned From Race Course

Keeneland Race Course has banned prominent horse owner and breeder Tom VanMeter from the premises. The move comes after VanMeter allegedly made a racist post on social media. VanMeter issued a statement say he was wrong and disgusted by his actions. CEO of the National Throroughbred Racing Association Alex Waldrop says that his organization will not longer accept financial contributions from VanMeter.