December 7, 2010,
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O'Cull family hopeful for full
recovery after accident - Officials submit monthly reports - Meth
lab discoveries at an all time high - Incidence of fires
increases around holidays - Vanceburg
man hurt in Bath Co. crash
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family hopeful for full recovery after accident
family of a young man seriously injured in an auto accident on November 28
remains hopeful as he continues to make progress in recovering in the trauma
unit at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington.
O’Cull, 24, was traveling to Morehead State University on Sunday evening,
November 28, where he was taking classes. He was involved in an accident at
Cranston on Ky. Rt. 377 in Rowan County.
and the driver of the other vehicle were airlifted to the UK Medical Center. A
passenger in the other vehicle was pronounced dead at St. Claire Medical Center
secondary accident resulted as a third vehicle struck one of the vehicles
involved in the initial crash and resulted in minor injuries to the driver.
O’Cull’s mother, Jill O’Cull, said Lance had spent the Thanksgiving
holiday with family and had left her home near Vanceburg around 6:30 p.m. Sunday
to return to Morehead.
father, John O’Cull, said Friday that his son suffered multiple broken bones,
some internal injuries including a lacerated liver, and injuries to his brain.
He said Lance had undergone multiple surgeries for the injuries and was showing
O’Cull said the extent of injuries to Lance’s brain won’t be completely
known for a while. He said a neurologist at the medical center said his son’s
brain suffered a diffuse axonal injury.
O’Cull said Lance was under the care of eight doctors for the first several
hours after arriving at the medical center. Since that time many other doctors
at the medical center have assisted with his care.
O’Cull said Lance has been in a coma since the accident, partly due to
medication to keep him rested while his body heals.
O’Cull said some people who suffer this type of brain injury awake after days
or weeks, others come out of it in months and a few will remain comatose
said they remain hopeful of a favorable recovery following a visit to the
hospital by family friend Brandon Hughes. Hughes had suffered a similar injury
as the result of an auto accident a few years ago. He spent 21 days in a coma
and then spent several weeks in rehabilitation.
O’Cull said Hughes is now wrapping up his masters degree and plans to be a
said other good news from doctors was that Lance’s spinal cord doesn’t
appear to have any injury. Doctors decreased sedatives and checked response to
pain and loud noise. “He responds by moving his arms and legs,” John
O’Cull said. “And that’s great.”
added that on Wednesday doctors disconnected a respirator and Lance was able to
breathe on his own for about an hour-and-a-half. On Thursday the time off the
respirator was four hours. Doctors turned off the respirator on Friday and Lance
has been breathing on his own since then.
O’Cull said doctors had given Lance 12 pints of blood and plasma in the
initial hours after he arrived at the medical center. He said the medical care
Lance has been given has been excellent and the most advanced available.
O’Cull family and close friends have been at the medical center since Sunday
evening when they received word of the accident.
In addition to John O’Cull and
Jill O’Cull, other family members keeping vigil at the medical center include
Lance’s sister, Chelcee O’Cull; brother, Brock O’Cull; step-mom, Eugena
O’Cull; and grandparents, Betty Secrest and John F. and Marlene O’Cull.
O’Cull said John Northcutt, the coroner in Rowan County, is a friend and was
at the scene of the accident when he noticed a ball glove on which Lance had
written his name, then spotted a receipt in the vehicle made out to John
called John O’Cull and broke the news to him about the accident.
thing that has been constant since that time is the outpouring of love and
prayers from the community,” John O’Cull said.
last week he released this statement from the family:
"Our Thanksgiving weekend ended
with a horrible MVA that claimed the life of a beautiful young lady; this makes
us very sad. Two young men were injured; one was our son, Lance. We have been
blessed by wonderful response of emergency response team and helicopter crew.
Lance has received outstanding care at UK Medical Center. The outpouring of love
and support of friends that surround our family has lifted our spirits during
difficult hours. Thanks to all who have prayed to God and asked Him to help
Lance. Please continue to pray as we trust In God's miraculous power to heal and
A spokesman with the
Morehead Post of the Kentucky State Police said the accident happened about 7:10
p.m. November 28.
O'Cull was seriously injured in an auto accident on November 28.
The spokesman said KSP
received the report of a multi-vehicle fatality accident from Morehead
Police Department Dispatch. Trooper David Zimmerman, Trooper Jason Brown and
Sgt. Rob Conn responded to the scene along with Det. Toby Gardner, an
accident reconstruction specialist.
The spokesman said Justin
A. Robinson, 25, of Olive Hill was northbound on Ky. Rt. 377 in a 2006
Chevrolet Malibu when he crossed the center line and struck a southbound
2002 Chrysler sedan operated by Lance O’Cull, 24, of Vanceburg.
The spokesman said after
striking O’Cull’s vehicle, the Malibu came to rest in the northbound
lane facing southbound.
He said a 1998 Oldsmobile
sedan, operated by Anna M. Richmond, 18, of Vanceburg, was traveling north
and collided with the Malibu causing the vehicle to turn back northbound and
come to rest on the northbound shoulder. The Richmond vehicle continued
traveling northbound across the southbound lane, coming to rest in a
The spokesman said a
passenger in the Malibu, Karie L. Huynh, 21, of Olive Hill suffered fatal
injuries and was pronounced dead at St. Claire Medical Center in Morehead by
Rowan County Coroner John Northcutt.
Robinson and O’Cull
were airlifted from the scene and flown to the University of Kentucky
Richmond was taken to St.
Claire Medical Center where she was treated and later released.
Detective Toby Gardner is
continuing the investigation into the accident.
John O’Cull said the accident happened at the
crest of a rise in the roadway and investigators believe he had little time
to react to the oncoming vehicle.
He said Lance is very spiritual and had recently
committed an hour per day to Bible study. He is also quite athletic and had
qualified to compete in the Boston Marathon and on Thanksgiving Day ran
seven miles prior to the family dinner. Lance also enjoyed kayaking and
biking, something John and he would do together.
John O’Cull said Lance was taking courses at
Morehead State University leaning toward the medical field, although he was
undecided about a future career.
He said during the Thanksgiving break, Lance and
a friend had looked at an apartment to share in Lexington. Lance had been
working part-time with the Nunn Center for Oral History at UK and was
planning to take some courses there next semester while continuing to work
for the Nunn Center.
Lance, a 2004 graduate of Lewis County High
School, already earned a bachelor’s degree in history and classical
languages from University of Louisville and a master’s degree in finance
and international relations from the UK Patterson School of Diplomacy. He
has traveled extensively and is known as a voracious reader.
“He would pick up dollar books at yard sales
and read about any subject,” John O’Cull said.
“The support and prayers we’ve received,
it’s just phenomenal,” he said. “I can’t express how grateful we are
for the support we’ve received. I’ve felt God has been with us.”
Chelcee O’Cull is keeping a blog with regular
updates on Lance’s improvements. She welcomes anyone to visit at www.livethelion.blogspot.com.
“Lance is someone who loves life,” Jill
O’Cull said. “We feel he’s going to be OK.”
“Prayers are still needed as we get through
this time in our lives,” John O’Cull said. “We are so grateful for
everything and every prayer.”
remain optimistic and put our trust in the hands of God.”
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submit monthly reports to magistrates
By Dennis Brown
County officials presented their monthly activity reports during the November
meeting of Lewis County Fiscal Court.
Bill Lewis filed his department’s report for activities from October 11, 2010,
to November 8, 2010:
Subpoenas Served 61
Domestic Related Calls 104
Civil Summons Served 29
Felony Arrests 20
Misdemeanor Arrests 11
Accident Investigations 8
Juvenile Investigations 14
Criminal Summons 12
Prisoners Transp. to Secure Facility 410
Juveniles Transported 637
DVOs and EPOs 12
Court Bailiff Hours 450
Prescription Deliveries 1
Auto Inspections 70
Funeral Escorts 8
Stolen Property Recovered
Chevy Suburban $2,000
Honda ATV 8,200
County Emergency Management Director Carl Chaney reported the following
Performed all routine administrative/office tasks as required by KyEM.
Turned in all monthly reports for KyEM.
Working with FEMA public assistance.
Attended a Hazardous Materials meeting in Fleming County.
Met with a FEMA representative at Morehead.
Taught Hazardous Materials Class at Maysville for two days.
Working on FEMA paperwork for May and July flooding.
Responded to a dump truck accident with possible diesel spill.
Provided dispatch coverage.
Working on 911 issues.
Working of Flood Plain issues.
Lewis County E-911 Dispatch Center received a total of 336 calls for service for
the following agencies:
Sheriff’s Department 147
Vanceburg Police Department 68
Traffic Stops 31
Injury Accidents 8
Non-injury Accidents 17
Department calls including fires, traffic accidents and EMS assistance:
Lewis Co. FD 4
Camp Dix FD 2
Garrison FD 7
Vanceburg FD 4
Firebrick FD 2
Black Oak FD 1
Kinniconick FD 2
Tollesboro FD 15
Med Corp Ambulance 82
Emergency Medical Assistance 2
Non-CAD Events 520
Supervisor Dane Howard reported that nearly 1,819 tons of gravel and nearly
234 tons of asphalt had been hauled over the previous month.
roads included Elk Lick, Black Lick, Paint Lick, Burnt Cabin, Stamper
Branch, Golden Ridge, Emerson area, Camp Dix area, Straight Fork and
Blankenship Cemetery Road.
reported that pipe had been installed or repaired at Garden Branch, Rose
Mountain Road, Holly Road and Cabin Creek. Ditching/road widening was
performed on Esham Fork.
were repaired at Buck Lick, Toller Hollow, Meadowbrook, Bradford Lane, River
View, Fannin Lane, Sand Branch, Tar Fork, Beechy Road, Little Sulphur Road
and Evans Lane approach.
cutting/mowing/tree and debris removal projects were completed for Waring
Cemetery, Amish House Lane and Firebrick Indian Run.
and other road repairs were made on Old Trace Ridge, Toller Hollow, Elk
Lick, Holly Road, Fingerboard Road, Evans Lane entrance, Rock Run Road and
Heddleston Church Road.
redecking/repairs were made on Aills Road.
County Jailer Tim Underwood filed the following activity report for
September 1– 30, 2010:
State Inmates CC/CD/CI 24
Served Out 0
County Inmates 52
Inmates Booked In 61
Average Daily Jail Population 68
Booking, Housing, Medical, Damaged Property
Telephone Commission $N/A
Class D/CC/CI Pay for April $11,658.48
Somerset Food in October $7,580.52
GPS System $985.00
300 Miles during the month to Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center and
Larue County Detention Center.
reported that 18 Class D inmates participated in the work program totaling
1,280 man hours. The agencies they assisted included The Lewis County
Courthouse, Justice Center, Sheriff’s Department, City of Vanceburg, Solid
Waste Program, Clean Highways Program, Garrison Little League, Garrison Boat
Docks, Tollesboro Little League, Lewis County Historical Society, Lewis
County Board of Education, Corps of Engineers, Helen Rayburn Library, and
the Black Oak, Tollesboro and Camp Dix Fire Departments.
said 162 bags of waste were picked up in various locations for the Clean
reported the commissary account at the jail totaled $15,285.40 and the
inmate account had a balance of $2,264.56.
Lewis County Animal Shelter reported 11 total animals picked-up and 28
dropped off; 7 adopted; 22 put down or died; and 56 calls received.
Donations amounted to $140 for the month.
Treasurer Kathy Dillow reported the total of all county funds for the month
of October had a beginning balance of $653,405.877 and an ending balance of
$536,565.25. Receipts for the month totaled $433.892.74 while disbursements
next regular meeting of Lewis County Fiscal Court will be at 9:30 a.m.
December 13, 2010, in the third floor courtroom of the Lewis County
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discoveries at an all time high
Bill Estep, Lexington Herald-Leader
Kentucky is on track to record more than 1,000 illegal methamphetamine
labs in 2010, despite years of escalating efforts to control production and
abuse of the highly addictive drug.
That would be the most labs ever found in the state.
That record is certain to help drive debate in the 2011 legislative session
about a proposal to require a prescription for the cold and allergy drug that
addicts and traffickers use to make meth.
"That's going to probably be a very controversial bill if the
pharmaceutical companies are not happy with it," said the sponsor, state
Rep. Linda Belcher, a Democrat from Bullitt County.
That's probably a given, Belcher said.
Police found 111 meth labs in October, the most ever in any single month,
Kentucky State Police reported Wednesday.
As of November 23, police had found 919 meth labs in the state.
That's already more than the 741 found last year — which was a record — and
this year's final number will likely top 1,000, state police said.
The number of labs is up because people have found ways to evade restrictions on
purchases of an ingredient needed to make meth, and because they have found
simpler ways to convert that ingredient to meth in small, homemade labs, police
The ingredient at issue is pseudoephedrine, a decongestant found in some
over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines.
Meth "cookers" amass piles of pills that contain the drug, then use a
chemical process that involves toxic substances such as drain cleaner to convert
the pseudoephedrine to meth in labs often fashioned from plastic bottles.
Each small lab doesn't produce much meth, so cookers create more labs, said
Tommy Loving, director of the Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force.
There are limits on how much pseudoephedrine a person can buy in a month, and
Kentucky has an electronic tracking system that pharmacists have used to block
thousands of attempts to buy more than the legal limit.
However, that system has not driven down the number of meth labs in the state.
Meth makers are increasingly circumventing the limits with a tactic called
"smurfing" — getting a number of people to buy their limit of pills
containing pseudoephedrine and turn them over to the cooker.
The smurfers get paid in cash or meth.
The National Methamphetamine and Pharmaceuticals Initiative, made up of police
and prosecutors, says smurfing is at "epidemic proportions" across the
The tactic is helping drive the spike in meth labs in Kentucky, Loving said.
"That's not going to stop until we eliminate smurfing," Loving said.
The best way to do that is to require a prescription for medication containing
pseudoephedrine, Loving said.
and other supporters of that move point to Oregon as an example.
Oregon was the first state to require a prescription for pseudoephedrine,
beginning in 2006.
This year, Mississippi became the second state with a similar requirement.
Oregon had far more meth labs than Kentucky at one point — 587 to 175 in 2001,
But the rule requiring a prescription for products containing pseudoephedrine
has wiped out meth labs in Oregon, said Rob Bovett, a prosecutor there who wrote
the state's law.
Only five small meth labs have been found in Oregon this year, Bovett said.
There has been a corresponding, significant drop in abuse of meth and in crime,
"We're seeing meth driven down, down, down," Bovett said.
Police would like to cut the number of meth labs in Kentucky not only because
they feed drug abuse, but because the labs can blow up or expose children,
cookers and police to noxious fumes, and because used-up labs are hazardous
waste, costly to clean up.
A prescription was required for pseudoephedrine before 1976, when Congress
changed the law.
However, the Consumer Products Healthcare Association, which represents makers
of over-the-counter medications, opposes requiring prescriptions for
Among other things, the industry group argues that requiring prescriptions would
mean inconvenience and higher costs because people would have to get
prescriptions from doctors for common cold and allergy medicines such as
The association spent $307,777 on lobbying in the 2010 legislative session in
Kentucky against bills that would have placed additional restrictions on
That was more than any other group spent during the session.
Belcher, who sponsored a bill the association lobbied against, said she got
calls from people who said they'd been told she was trying to get rid of all
cold and allergy medicine. That was not correct, she said.
In reality, the bill she has pre-filed for the 2011 session would require a
prescription for pills containing the drug. A prescription would not be needed
for gel caps, because those can't be converted to meth, Belcher said.
Belcher said she doesn't think requiring a prescription for the pills would
cause a big problem for consumers.
The Oregon Alliance for Drug Endangered Children says Oregon's law did not cause
major inconvenience for consumers or drive up state Medicaid costs. Many people
simply switched to cold and allergy medicine without pseudoephedrine, according
to the alliance.
Even if there is some inconvenience, however, it would be worth it to combat the
harm meth does to addicts and families and the costs it imposes on taxpayers,
"I think we may have to deal with a small amount of inconvenience to get
rid of this problem," Belcher said. "It's a horrible drug."
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of fires increases around holidays
it may seem Scrooge-like to think about fire hazards during the holidays, many
of the activities people engage in – cooking, entertaining, and decorating –
all present increased fire risks. According to the nonprofit National Fire
Protection Association (NFPA), candles and Christmas trees play a role in these
the vast majority of holiday fires are preventable, notes Lorraine Carli,
NFPA’s vice president of communications.
no one needs to abandon their holiday traditions and activities,” says Carli.
“But by understanding where potential hazards exist, and making some minor
adjustments, people can greatly increase their homes’ and loved ones’
safety, and enjoy the season as planned.”
offers the following information and advice to ensure a festive and safe holiday
Cooking equipment fires are the leading cause of U.S. home fires and fire
injuries, and the third leading cause of home fire deaths. In 2008, relative to
an average day, the number of home cooking equipment fires was 55% higher on
Christmas Eve and 68% higher on Christmas Day.
in the kitchen while you’re frying, grilling or broiling food.
cooking fires involve the stovetop. Keep anything that can catch fire away from
it, and turn off the stove when you leave the kitchen, even if it’s for a
short period of time.
you’re simmering, boiling, baking or roasting food, check it regularly and use
a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
homes with children, create a “kid-free zone” of at least three feet around
the stove and areas where hot food and drinks are prepared or carried.
Trees: U.S. fire departments annually respond to roughly 260 home structure
fires that began with Christmas trees. One third of them are caused by
electrical problems, and one in five resulted from a heat source that’s too
close to the tree.
you have an artificial tree, be sure it’s labeled, certified or identified by
the manufacturer as fire-retardant.
you choose a fresh tree, make sure the green needles don’t fall off when
touched; before placing it in the stand, cut 1-2” from the base of the trunk.
Add water to the tree stand, and be sure to water it daily.
sure the tree is not blocking an exit, and is at least three feet away from any
heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles and heat vents or lights.
lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory, and make sure
you know whether they are designed for indoor or outdoor use.
any string of lights with worn or broken cords, or loose bulb connections.
Connect no more than three strands of mini-string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs
for screw-in bulbs.
use lit candles to decorate the tree. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for
the number of LED strands to connect.
turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving the room or going to bed.
Christmas, get rid of the tree. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not
be left in the home or garage, or placed outside the home.
outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent hazards and make
them last longer.
December is the peak month for home candle fires, with Christmas Eve and
Christmas Day representing two of the five top days for associated fires. NFPA
statistics show that more than half of all candle fires start when placing them
too close to things that can burn.
using flameless candles, which look and smell like real candles. If you do use
traditional candles, keep them at least 12” away from anything that can burn,
and remember to blow them out when you leave the room or go to bed.
candle holders that are sturdy, won’t tip over and are placed on uncluttered
using candles in the bedroom where two of five U.S. candle fires begin or other
areas where people may fall asleep.
leave a child alone in a room with a burning candle.
additional resources and information about holiday fire safety, including audio
clips, videos and safety sheets, visit NFPA’s website at http://www.nfpa.org/holiday.
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Vanceburg man injured in
Bath Co. crash
people, including one from Lewis County, were injured last week in an accident
on Ky. Rt. 826 in Bath County, according to police.
Kentucky State Police spokesman said Kyle King, 20, of Olive Hill was traveling
west on Ky. Rt. 826 at 11:30 p.m. on November 30 in a 1997 Ford Ranger when he
approached the intersection of Ky. Rt. 826 and US 60, continued through the
intersection and went into a ditch.
people in the vehicle were injured including King, Jennifer Bashford, 24, of
Salt Lick, and Josh Crawford, 20, of Vanceburg. Bethany Crouch, 20, of Salt
Lick, reportedly refused treatment at the scene.
spokesman said King and Crawford were transported to the University of Kentucky
Medical Center by ambulance for non-life threatening injuries. Bashford was
treated and released from St. Claire Regional Medical Center in Morehead.
was cited to court for several traffic violations, according to reports.
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