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School tax ruling overturned
By Elaine Belcher
Staff Writer

In a decision handed down last Friday, the Kentucky Court of Appeals overturned the decision of the Johnson County Circuit Court to invalidate a petition against raising the Johnson County School District’s tax rate.
The Johnson County Board of Education initially proposed raising real estate tax to 52.6 cents per $100 and motor vehicle taxes to 52.5 cents per $100 to support the district improving technology, purchasing textbooks and providing for future renovation back in September of 2014.

Johnson Central High School wins first place at SkillsUSA Quiz Bowl National Championship
Johnson Central H.S. was crowned SkillsUSA Quiz Bowl National Champions on Saturday. Pictured left to right: Mandy Wright, Sahara LeForce, Michael Hamilton, Alec Salyer and Trevor Blevins.

By Elaine Belcher
Staff Writer

Johnson Central High School brings home honors as they were crowned 52nd SkillsUSA Quiz Bowl National Champions in Louisville on June 25. The JCHS Quiz Bowl team composed of Sara McCoart, Hillary Slone, Trevor Blevins, Michael Hamilton, Sahara LaForce and Alec Salyer, with Slone, McCoart and Mandy Wright as alternates.
Sponsors Todd Conley and Marc Shepherd accompanied students to the annual National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC). The conference featured a showcase of career and technical education students. More than 16,000 people, including students, teachers and business partners participated in the weeklong event.

Crace severs jury trial from Mayor Porter’s case
By Elaine Belcher
Staff Writer

Judge Danny C. Reeves, federal court judge has agreed with prosecuting attorneys to sever Eulas Crace from the jury trial of he and Robert Porter, mayor of Paintsville.
Crace and Porter have been charged in federal court with, “… providing disguised personal payments to Porter in exchange for Porter’s preference in financial exchanges, such as contracts, that benefited Crace’s business,” according to documents presented by prosecutor Kerry B. Harvey, United States Attorney.

Local man arrested for shooting at wife
Charles Blankenship

By Elaine Belcher
Staff Writer

Charles Blankenship, 24, of Thealka, was arrested Friday night after an argument with his wife. Johnson County Sheriff’s Office reports that he came home high on methamphetamines and after an argument with his wife, he shot at her three times before she and the children could escape the house without harm.
When officers arrived, Blankenship refused to exit the home. Deputies contacted the county attorney for an arrest warrant. Kentucky State Police also arrived to assist with the arrest.
“We turned the hallway by the kitchen and saw him sitting there by a 9 millimeter handgun. He refused to do anything we told him, refused to move and would not put his hands up,” said Byron Fairchild, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. “We could not really see what he was doing really.”

Fugitive accidentally released from BSRDC caught
Staff Report

Thanks to tips from the public, the fugitive who impersonated another inmate being released and escaped the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center on Tuesday has been caught.
David Smallwood was arrested at the El Rancho Apartments in Paintsville at about 10 p.m. Thursday night after tips were called into the Paintsville Police Department. Deputy Chief Mike Rowe, Det. Jonathan Holbrook, and Patrolman Zachary Stapleton investigated the tip.

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