- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 6, 2014
5 charged in cockfighting case in eastern Kentucky

McDOWELL, Ky. (AP) - Three Kentuckians and two Virginia residents have been charged in federal court with conducting cockfights that drew people from eight states to a pit in eastern Kentucky.

The five were charged with conspiring to operate an illegal gambling enterprise and illegally conduct cockfights at the Big Blue Sportsmen’s Club in McDowell, Kentucky, U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Heaphy of the Western District of Virginia said in a news release Monday.

Charged are 51-year-old Walter Dale Stumbo, 51-year-old Sonya Stumbo and 25-year-old Joshua Stumbo of Floyd County, Kentucky; and 57-year-old Wesley Dean Robinson and 33-year-old Jonathan Robinson of Wise County, Virginia. They were arrested Saturday morning and appeared in court Monday, according to prosecutors.

No attorneys were listed in online records for the Stumbos. Attorneys listed for the Robinsons did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment Monday night.

“It is alleged that on fight weekends at Big Blue, spectators and handlers traveled from Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and Georgia,” the release said. “The complaint further alleges that entrance fees at Big Blue were $250 per entry with approximately 100 total entries per derby.”

All five were released on bond Monday. The Stumbos, who appeared Monday in federal court in Pikeville, were directed to appear Tuesday in Abingdon, Virginia, Heaphy’s release said.

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State auctions Richie Farmer’s guns, knives

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - State officials were surprised Monday to find more than 400 people showed up to bid on 29 knives and guns that led to the imprisonment of former Kentucky agriculture commissioner and basketball star Richie Farmer whose jersey hangs in Rupp Arena.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources made more than $21,000 for charity by auctioning off 16 knives and 13 rifles that once belonged to Farmer. The former Republican agriculture commissioner and University of Kentucky shooting guard pleaded guilty to government corruption charges last year and is serving a 27-month sentence in federal prison.

The Case knives were Kentucky blue and had Farmer’s name engraved on the blade. The Remington rifles had the words “Kentucky Proud” engraved beneath the scope. The guns included Farmer’s personal rifle, whose serial number ended in 32 - Farmer’s number when he played for Rick Pinto as a member of the Kentucky basketball team nicknamed “The Unforgettables” for their gutsy play that restored the Kentucky basketball program to prominence.

As agriculture commissioner, Farmer used state money to purchase the guns and knives while attending the Southern Association of State Departments of Agriculture conference in 2008. The items were supposed to be gifts for staff members, but Farmer ended up keeping many for himself. The guns and knives ended up being part of the federal corruption investigation.

The knives, which cost about $80 each, sold for between $400 and $500 at auction. The rifles, which cost about $500 each, sold for between $1,000 and $1,300. Farmer’s personal rifle sold for $1,400.

“I’m going to put them in the safe. Make it a family heirloom, I guess,” said 40-year-old Matt Grosser, a furniture store owner from Russell Springs who bought two rifles while wearing a University of Kentucky hat.

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Track reports strong wagering on Derby Day racing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - All-sources wagering on this year’s Kentucky Derby race card tied an all-time record while on-track wagering showed a double-digit surge as the world’s most famous horse race proved a financial winner once again for the parent company of Churchill Downs racetrack.

Oaks Day wagering the day before the Derby provided a strong two-day performance for the famed track in Louisville, Kentucky. Wagering from all-sources came in close to all-time records for both the full Kentucky Oaks race card and on the Oaks race itself, the company said.

Churchill Downs Inc. Chairman and CEO Robert L. Evans predicted stronger profit growth from Derby week compared to a year ago.

“Kentucky Oaks and Derby week continue to be significant drivers of the company’s growth performance,” Evans said.

The performance reaffirmed the Derby’s status as a “high-quality and growing annuity” for the Louisville-based company, according to an investors’ note Monday by Wells Fargo Securities analysts Cameron McKnight and Rich Cummings.

California Chrome won the Run for the Roses on Saturday. The race drew a crowd of 164,906, the second-largest in the Derby’s 140-year history.

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More than 20 taken to hospital after bus crash

SALYERSVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A crash involving a school bus in eastern Kentucky has led to more than 20 children being taken to a hospital.

Magoffin County Schools Superintendent Stanley Holbrook told the Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/1nf1ELFhttp://bit.ly/1nf1ELF ) that all the students, the bus driver and a monitor had been released early Monday afternoon after being examined at the hospital. Holbrook says the driver of a car involved was also released.

Salyersville Fire Chief Paul Howard says the car crashed into the rear of the bus, which had stopped to pick up a child, around 7:15 a.m. EDT Monday. The bus was carrying more than 40 children, ranging from 5 years old to high school seniors.

Holbrook said the students complained of neck or back pain but none suffered traumatic injuries.

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Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.comhttp://www.kentucky.com

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