Kentucky man masterminded delivery of illegal recruits to school, lawsuit alleges

A civil lawsuit filed in Pike Circuit Court by the former assistant principal and boys basketball coach of Pike Central High School has revealed details of alleged recruiting being orchestrated by a local business owner. The filing has helped to shed light on allegations of recruiting and placement of high school basketball players by Kentucky BCI Basketball owner David Clevenger, of Brushy Road in Varney. For this story, the News-Express attempted to reach Clevenger at a number provided for Kentucky BCI Basketball without success. Additionally, school officials were not made available to speak with the News-Express due to the ongoing whistleblower lawsuit. According to the lawsuit filed by Keith May, former assistant principal and basketball coach for the Pike Central Hawks, his reporting of violations to his superiors led, first, to his not being retained as the basketball coach and, then, him not being retained as assistant principal for the high school. May was the boys’ basketball coach at Pike Central for two seasons, 2014-15 and 2015-16, before the hiring of now-head coach Ryan Whitaker in the summer of 2016. May served as assistant principal at the school through the 2016-17 school year and was informed he would not be retained in May 2017. He now serves as an Algebra teacher at Belfry High School. In his complaint, May, through local attorney Larry Webster, alleged that, while assistant principal, he “observed, brought to the attention of co-employees, and to the superintendent of schools, various violations of the Bylaws of KHSAA including Bylaws relative to improper games, dead period violations, eligibility rules for players, recruiting violations, school attendance policy violations and other violations of the regulations of the KHSAA.” KHSAA officials said no action has been taken because no official complaint of allegations has been received, with the exception of one sworn statement by one third-party parent of a Floyd County Continue Reading

Tech, transports drag on Wall Street; Dow hits record

By Lewis Krauskopf (Reuters) - A swoon in technology and transportation shares led the S&P 500 slightly lower on Thursday on a day full of corporate earnings reports, but the Dow industrials set a record closing high, helped by a jump in Verizon. The Dow Jones Transport Average , often looked at as a gauge of the economy's health, closed down 3.1 percent, dragged lower after a worrisome outlook from package delivery company United Parcel Service . The transports fell to their lowest point in nearly two months as UPS rival FedEx also declined. The S&P 500 technology sector was the worst performing major group, falling 0.8 percent even as Facebook shares gained 2.9 percent after the social media company's results. Tech has been the best-performing sector this year, leading the S&P 500's 10.6 percent run in 2017. After the bell, shares fell 2.7 percent after the e-commerce company's results. Amazon is the last of the high-flying companies known as "FANG" stocks to report this quarter. Wall Street's main stock indexes had tallied intraday record highs earlier in the session. "The general sentiment of the market coming into the day was that transportation stocks are telling us something that we're not paying attention to," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York. "You've got a general feeling a lot of good news is priced in to this market," Hogan said. "That holds with technology. The problem with momentum stocks, once they start heading in a direction they get there violently, and that's what we're seeing today." The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 85.54 points, or 0.39 percent, to 21,796.55, the S&P 500 lost 2.41 points, or 0.10 percent, to 2,475.42 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 40.56 points, or 0.63 percent, to 6,382.19. "The overall weakness in technology to me is a little bit of a surprise. We have seen some decent reports," said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment Continue Reading

U.S. Postal Service to deliver record 420 million packages this holiday season

More people than ever will ship gifts through the mail this year, but they're just not sending Christmas cards the way they used to. That's the U.S. Postal Service's take on the 2013 holiday season, when an estimated 15 billion pieces of mail are expected to be delivered nationwide, officials said Wednesday. The Postal Service figures it will deliver a record 420 million packages between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve, a 12% increase over last year. Much of the rise is because of the growth of online shopping, officials said. But holiday letter deliveries are down 20% from what they were 10 years ago, U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said at the James A. Farley Post Office in midtown. The Postal Service expects to hire 8,000 to 10,000 seasonal workers to help deliver all the gifts, Donahoe said. "Just like Santa Claus, we spend all year getting ready for it," Donahoe said. The Postal Service upgraded its Priority Mail service in July and now offers free insurance, day-specific delivery and no-cost tracking. The yuletide deadline for Priority Mail Express is Dec. 23, but waiting until the last minute to send presents could cost you, Donahoe warned. "The procrastinators will have to pay a little bit more," he said. "But we'll get it delivered by Christmas." Members of the group The Broadway Boys helped unveil the Postal Service's holiday Gingerbread Houses stamps with a performances of "Winter Wonderland" and other classic tunes at the news conference. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Snowstorm dumps up to 30 inches, largely misses metro areas in Northeast

Winter Storm Stella wreaked havoc on the Northeast on Tuesday as airlines canceled most flights in and out of New York and Boston, Amtrak suspended service between the two cities and three governors declared states of emergency.Four deaths were attributed to the storm, The Weather Channel reported. Two people died in the Midwest, a 16-year-old died in a crash in Gilford, N.H., and a public works employee in Longmeadow, Mass., died after a plow train crashed into the truck he was driving, according to The Weather Channel. The victims in the Midwest were two Milwaukee men, 64 and 76, who died while shoveling snow, the news organization reported.The storm brought less snow than feared to the major metro areas of Washington, Philadelphia and New York, but enough fell for a modest amount of sledding and snowman-building. Sleet and freezing rain fell on top of the snow in the Washington area, adding a crusty layer and creating an icy mess on roadways.In interior sections of the Northeast, the storm delivered as promised: Heavy snow fell from the mountains of Pennsylvania to central New England, the National Weather Service said. The storm was expected to wind down overnight, and all weather warnings will likely be dropped by Wednesday morning.The highest totals from the storm as of Tuesday afternoon included the 30 inches that fell in Damascus, Pa., in the northeastern portion of the state, the Weather Channel reported. Both Scranton, Pa., and Binghamton, N.Y., picked up over 20 inches, the weather service said.One of the highest wind gusts measured 72 mph in Wellfleet, Mass., on Cape Cod, the weather service said.In Rochester, N.Y., emergency crews rescued the driver of a vehicle that plunged 175 feet into the Genesee River gorge amid snow-covered and slippery roads. The unidentified driver survived the fall and was taken to an area hospital for evaluation. READ MORE:In D.C., the U.S. House canceled Tuesday votes and won't Continue Reading

Giant Hurricane Irma was no match for nation’s smallest post office, in Ochopee

The smallest post office in the United States survived one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded. Hurricane Irma, which swept through Southwest Florida on Sept. 10, was no match for the 61-square-foot post office in Ochopee, which resumed operations five days later."It lost power temporarily and that was it," said Enola Rice, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service.Shannon Mitchell, the post office's clerk, runs the operation at 38000 U.S. 41 E.Like many others in the area, she lost her home to the ferocious storm."It is a total loss," Rice said. "The water was up to her windowsill."Since the stom, Mitchell has stayed with neighbors but reopened the post office Friday. More: How NBC-2 meteorologist Robert Van Winkle tracked Hurricane Irma with precision More: Editorial: Courtesy is word to remember as Irma recovery begins Ochopee has one 131-mile mail route that serves more than 900 residents. The mail route covers deliveries in three counties — Monroe, Miami-Dade and Collier — and includes delivery on the Miccosukee Indian Reservation.The small building used to be a storage shed for irrigation pipes for a nearby tomato farm, but it was turned into a post office after a fire destroyed the Ochopee general store and post office in 1953.Now it's a tourist destination, with people traveling to see the nation's smallest post office and send a piece of mail from USPS site 1842US.Its hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and noon to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays.  Continue Reading

What’s hAPPening in Middletown: Crime

What's Happening is a column about Middletown that is updated throughout the week. It spotlights upcoming events, meetings or locals making news. Have tips or suggestions? Email Russ Zimmer at [email protected] ​• 5/9/2017: Crime continued to trend downward in 2016, the seventh straight year of decline, according to an announcement from the township police department.In 2016, a total of 453 index crimes were reported. That's 13 percent fewer than the previous year and nearly half as many as logged in 2010, the year when crime last peaked — for lack of a better word — in Middletown.Index crimes are what the FBI collects to measure crime in a given jurisdiction. The offenses included are: murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. MIDDLETOWN: Two locations test high for lead in township schools• 4/14/2017: The township committee meets on Monday and will consider a handful of measures on how to spend your taxdollars:What else is happening next week?• 3/31/2017: The plan to build a new, modern town hall is expected to get a another boost on Monday when the township committee takes up a proposal to request the planning board investigate whether the existing complex as an area in need of redevelopment. This is a necessary step that governments must take before engaging in a project like a new town hall.Here's a review of what you may have missed in Middletown this week:• 3/27/2017:  The Middletown Board of Education meets at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the library at Middletown Town High School North, their first meeting since introducing a budget that would raise the typical homeowners taxes by $217 annually.• 3/10/2017: Next week's township planning board meeting, during which the debate on the Village 35 project was to continue, has been canceled, according to the Continue Reading

Washington must move swiftly and surely to get the ailing Postal Service on the right track

The Postal Service teeters on the brink of financial collapse. It hasn't got the money to pay a $5.5 billion health insurance bill, is nearing its $15 billion borrowing limit and expects to lose $10 billion this year. Washington must engineer a radical overhaul that preserves as much service as possible while enabling the agency to achieve efficiencies and ease its workforce toward more sustainable compensation and benefits. The business model that once seemed to make the post office impervious to change is no more. A rising Internet is grabbing customers by the millions, and a falling economy is savaging demand. As recently as 2006, the service made $900 million in profits, delivering a record 220 billion pieces of mail. Last year, it lost $8.5 billion as volume dived to 170 billion pieces. Although the service has tried to keep up with the times by automating, computerizing and downsizing, the future is still bleaker. There are only two choices: dramatically raise rates or slash expenses, the vast majority of which are devoted to personnel. First, Congress must authorize the service to cut flab, boost productivity and eliminate unaffordable work rules. Drastic steps like eliminating Saturday deliveries must be put on the table only as a last resort. What the government has on its hands here is an operation that took for granted its ability to finance enviable pension and health benefits, including for retirees, only to be ushered into a tough new world. Working for the post office will never be the same, and Washington must see to it that the service adjusts as humanely as can be done. But adjust it must - because the bills are already in the mail. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Summer already? A week-by-week movie guide of the season of sequels, superheroes and silly stuff

FAST FIVE (April 29)Bottom line: Will this franchise ever run out of gas? Maybe not, if the producers are wise enough to keep upgrading with stars like Johnson. E.W.THOR (May 6)Bottom line: The pop mythology comes courtesy of director Kenneth Branagh, who isn't that insane a choice when you combine his "Henry V" with his "Frankenstein." If that's some-JUMPING THE BROOM (May 6)Bottom line: When you get a proposal from a cast that also includes Mike Epps, Tasha Smith, Meagan Good and Julie Bowen, you defi nitely say, "I do." E.W.Chris Hemsworth forges ahead in 'Thor.'SOMETHING BORROWED May 6Bottom line: Before "Sex and the City" afi cionados get excited about this chick fl ick, they should note that director Luke Greenfi eld previously made Rob Schneider's "The Animal" and the teens-meet-a-porn star lark "The Girl Next Door." Apparently, Greenfi eld got a tour of rom-com duty to pay for his crimes. J.N.THE BEAVER May 6Bottom line: Director Jodie Foster, who co-stars as Gibson's wife, has been working on this project for years. But now it bears a much heavier burden than when they both began. E.W.EVERYTHING MUST GO May 6Bottom line: Ferrell does down-and-out well (remember him in "Wedding Crashers"? Ah, that one people saw!), but will he click in a film based on a short story by Raymond Carver? J.N.THERE BE DRAGONS May 6Bottom line: "The Da Vinci Code: The Early Years," kinda? J.N.BRIDESMAIDS May 13Bottom line: Apologies to Will and Kate, but this is surely the most fun to be had at a wedding this year. And you don't even have to squeeze yourself into taffeta. E.W.Bottom line: Paul Bettany — who played a similar role in "Legion" — is the title character. See, werewolves never have to worry about guys like this. J.N.Bottom line: Gordon-Levitt is about to erase any lingering images from "(500) Days of Summer." We're having a harder time buying Natalie Portman as a nerdy supermarket cashier. E.W.PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES May 20Bottom line: Continue Reading

iPhone lost in the mail; why was Jackson woman charged $225 for it?

How did a missing iPhone lead to a $225 charge on Jackson resident Kathy Brady's AT&T Wireless bill?If you've ever had to mail a cellphone back to a company, you've probably wondered what happens if the package gets lost.Brady knows. She had to ship a replacement iPhone back to Asurion, the cellphone insurance company, after she no longer needed it. It never arrived and her  AT&T Wireless account was charged for the cost of the phone: $225."They don't care how it got lost," Brady said. "They just don't have it."After Press on Your Side got involved, Asurion credited $225 to her account.Here's what happened.In May, Brady discovered that her husband's iPhone 6 had water damage. it wouldn't work and there were some signs of moisture behind the screen. More: AT&T gives customers weapon against robocalls More: Here's how to protect your mobile phone She called Asurion right away, filed a claim and was on her way to receiving a replacement iPhone. Meanwhile, she put the damaged phone in some rice to try to dry it out. To her surprise, it worked. A few days later, the old phone was fine.Brady contacted Asurion to report that she didn't need a replacement. Just send it back, she was told. The company sent her a return label to attach to the phone's box when it arrived.So Brady brought the unopened box to AT&T Wireless at the Freehold Raceway Mall. "They said no, we can't take it. You have to bring it to the post office," she said. They helped her put the label on the box and get it ready.She dropped it off at the post office in Jackson and received a tracking number. The next day, the tracking report showed the phone was accepted by Asurion's shipping partner. "That was the last it was ever seen," Brady said in a note to Press on Your Side. "No record of it from there."A charge for $225, the cost of the phone, appeared on her AT&T bill. She filed a search request with the U.S. Postal Continue Reading

Holiday charity drives: Oliver hopes to collect 5,000 turkeys

Food, clothing, toys and supplies are at the top of the wish lists for a host of Delaware charity drives.Here are the ones we know about through Oct. 20.If you or an organization you are involved with would like to be included in this list, which will run weekly in The News Journal and on, please email details of the drive and contact telephone numbers to [email protected]’ Place annual holiday food drive. The long-term facility for the homeless, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, will conduct its annual drive from Nov. 1 through Jan. 2. They welcome company or group drives. Items may be dropped off any time during the day before 9 p.m. They are seeking: canned goods, flour, sugar, cereals, cooking oil, pancake mix, syrup, coffee, condiments, rice, spaghetti, black pepper, turmeric, garlic powder, cornmeal, tuna fish, dressings, jelly, peanut butter, stuffing, baked beans and soups. For more information, call (302) 764-4713.Diamond State-St. Vincent DePaul Society Christmas Food Drive. The Diamond State Classic Foundation and St. Vincent DePaul Society collect food during the Diamond State Classic High School Girl’s Basketball Tournament. Food can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Elizabeth’s gym on Dec. 27 through Dec. 30 at the High School Girl’s Basketball Tournament. For info, contact John Gretchen (302) 442-0302 or [email protected] READ: Vo-tech students learn dental skills by helping fellow students READ: She got help; now she helps others recover New Castle County Police Community Service Unit’s 5th Annual Winter Coat & Canned Food Drive. On Dec. 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the unit will collect coats at the Garfield Park PAL at 26 Karlyn Drive in New Castle. Collection bins also will be located in the lobby of NCCPD located at 3601 N. Dupont Highway, New Castle, starting Nov. 6. For more information, contact the unit at (302) 395-8050.35th Continue Reading