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Highland’s Regional Medical Center birth announcements
May 4
A son, Hunter Gage Samons to Dana Conn and Jamie Samons of Banner.
May 20
A son, Brantley Thomas Jude to Jessica Gipson and Thomas Jude of Louisa.
May 31
A son, Keegan Malikah Bowen to Cheyenne McDaniel and Zachary Bowen of Paintsville.
A son, Jaxson Tate Blevins to Leslie Blevins of Paintsville.
A son, Remington Austin Maynard to Sabra Hinkle and Brett Maynard of Louisa.
A daughter, Miaya Lynn Carroll Kestner to Cheyene and James Kestner of Hagerhill.
June 1
A son, Corbin Ray Lemaster to Stephen and Jessica Lemaster of Salyersville.
A son, Paxten Leo Goode, to Flora Jo Combs and Wiley Duran Goode of Salyersville.
A son, Braxton Blake Burnett to Tessa and Christopher Burnett of Grayson.
June 4
A daughter, Hannah Jo Charles to Keitha and Ryan Charles of Pikeville.
June 5
A daughter, Hasley Nichole Hughes to Adam and Brandy Hughes of Martin.
A daughter, Emily Lynn Rose Staton to Jessica Scott and Christopher Staton of Lovely.
June 6
A daughter, Rebekah Rae-Lynn Hancock to John and Haley Hancock of Martin.
A daughter, Aubrey Paige Rose to Brittany Lawson of Banner.
A son, Huston Eli Meek to Tiffany and Huston Meek of Wittensville.
June 7
A son, Kolton Bryce Howell to Stephanie Martin and Nathan Howell of Drift.
A daughter, Alexis Rose Curtis to Elizabeth and Johnnie Curtis of Sitka.
June 8
A daughter, Mary Edna Blevins-Moore to Jane Denise Blevins of Debord.
A son, Jeremiah Daniel Jayden Holland to Wanda Gail and Jeremiah John Holland of Salyersville.
A son, Kyler Allen Duran Moon to Rosaleina Herald and Austin Moon of Thelma.
June 9
A daughter, Lilliann Mae Justice to Jasmine Ray and Doff Randall Justice of Lackey.
A son, Braxton Daniel Slone to Cearra Webb and Joseph Slone of Beauty.
A son, Gatlin Nicholas Bingham to Cady and Harold Bingham of Auxier.
June 11
A daughter, Anna Grace Collins to Jessica and Johnathan Collins of Sitka.
June 13
A daughter, Alivia Brooke Gilliam to Cherokee and Mark Gilliam of Wheelright.
June 14
A son, Jeremiah DeWayne Junior Slone to Samantha Collins and Jeremiah Slone of Topmost.
A son, Nehemiah Layne Skaggs to Apryl Rashell Skaggs of Flat Gap.
June 15
A daughter, Emmalee Elizabeth Damron to Katelyn Brooke Yates and Harold Damron of Printer.
A daughter, Jaiden Alexa Robbins to Dakota Alexandra McKenzie and Eric Wayne Robbins of Paintsville.
June 16
A son, Dawsyn Ray Collins to Keysha and Bill Collins of Dana.
June 20
A son, Jonathan Ryder May to Kimberly and Jonathan May of Banner.
A daughter, Rikka Danielle Pack to Cody and Tracey Pack of Salyersville.
June 21
A son, Ryder Raylen-Jace Carroll to Kierstin Carroll of Minnie.
A son, Travis Bruce Trey Mollette to Hannah Mollett and Travis Mollett of Boonscamp.
June 22
A son, Elijah Wyatt Justice to Valeria Francis and Bobby Randall Justice of Emma.
A son, Brantley Paul Michael Trusty to Kanesha Benton and Paul Trusty of Salyersville.
June 26
A son, Blake Lemaster to Courtnie Lynn Doughty and Donald Lee Lemaster of Tomahawk.
June 27
A son, Levi David Maynard to Sara Rose and Clifford Maynard of Staffordsville.
A son, Roy Edward Wells to Rebecca Ann and David Rolland Wells, Jr. of Hagerhill.
June 28
A daughter, Hensley Willa Reed to Veronica Brooke and Jesse Lee Reed of Inez.
June 29
A daughter, Victoria Rose Ryan to Jamie and Christopher Ryan of Banner.
A son, Brantley Maddox Martin to Ashley Marie Moore of Drift.
June 30
A daughter, Summer Hope Lynn Poston to Ellisha Ann Fogel of Drift.

In search of the gypsy moth
A female gypsy moth lays eggs on a tree. These egg masses, which contain hundreds of eggs, can also be laid on vehicles and other items and be transported elsewhere by humans. When hatched, the larvae feed on tree leaves, killing the tree.

State entomologists seek to stop invasive pests

By Mary Meadows
Appalachian Newspapers

For the past several weeks, officials with the Kentucky State Entomology Office have been setting insect traps in Floyd, Pike, Johnson, Perry and other Eastern Kentucky counties.
The bright-orange traps, attached to trees, are being used to attract gypsy moths, a destructive, exotic pest that has invaded surrounding states like West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio and Indiana.
The moth was accidentally introduced in Massachusetts in the 1800s, and, by 1987, had spread all over the northern states. It feeds on hundreds of kinds of trees, including oak (its favorite), poplar, apple, birch, willow and other types of trees that are prevalent in Eastern Kentucky.
State officials report that this insect has been discovered in Kentucky, but has not yet established itself here. An establishment, however, is expected because the moth is already living nearby.
Officials with the state entomologist’s office, based at the University of Kentucky, set 8,100 traps throughout the state in search of gypsy moths. The traps contain a synthetic female gypsy moth sex pheromone to attract male gypsy moths.
It’s a project the office has undertaken since 1983, and, since then, officials there have discovered and eradicated three gypsy moth infestations by using mass trapping techniques and pesticides.
Carl Harper, a nursery inspector for that office, said he’s been working hard to keep the gypsy moth out of the state because it can devastate oaks, a tree that dominates Kentucky forests.
“When this pest does come in, hopefully I’m retired by then,” he joked.
The moth, which is white or brownish and has a fuzzy face, looks innocent enough. Like other moths, it begins life as an egg, then grows into a colorful caterpillar that feeds on tree leaves. But a gypsy moth infestation can destroy hundreds of trees at a time. Since 1970, the gypsy moth has defoliated 75 million acres of trees in America.
Female European gypsy moths — the kind found in surrounding states — don’t fly, but they can lay eggs on cars, recreational vehicles, firewood and household goods and those eggs can be transported to other areas by humans. Their egg masses are brownish in color — camouflaged on the side of a tree — and they contain hundreds of eggs. When those caterpillars come out of the egg mass, they start “blooming,” Harper calls it, meaning they transport themselves from tree to tree with silken strings that are similar to a spider’s web.
Noting that the insect has the potential of changing forests throughout the state, Harper encourages residents to take precautions.
“The most important thing is being cognizant that it can happen and knowing that these pest can be carried by us,” he said. “So, don’t bring your firewood when you go camping. Ideally, it’s best to buy it locally. The other thing is to check your vehicle, especially campers and vehicles that have been sitting in one place for a long time…Know your surroundings and try to do a quick check to see if there are egg masses that have been laid on your vehicle and could be carried to another place.”
And when it comes to finding a gypsy moth or its egg mass, Harper is not a bit shy about saying what should be done with them.
“Take a hammer, thumb, whatever you can to mash it, squish it and scrape it off there,” he said about the egg masses.
When asked what people should do if they find a gypsy moth, he said, “Kill it. Don’t even give it a second chance. No parole or anything. End its life right there because it’s a very destructive pest.”
Kentucky is one of about a dozen states that participates in the Slow the Spread program, which is conducted in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service to minimize the rate at which gypsy moths spread. The state is also affiliated with other programs to slow the spread of this moth and other invasive species.
Harper said the gypsy moth traps will remain in place in Eastern Kentucky counties through August, when he and his team will remove them and send any “positive” insect traps to a lab which will administer a DNA to determine whether the moths are Asian, European or a hybrid. Knowing the insect’s origin, if it is found in this state, helps officials know what steps to take to eradicate it.
The gypsy moth is one of several “Pests of Concern” on the state entomologist website, and it’s not the only insect state entomologists are tracking locally.
Harper said funnel traps have also been set in Floyd, Johnson and Martin counties for another invasive insect, the walnut twig beetle.
That pest has not been spotted in Kentucky, but it, too, has been found in neighboring states, including Knoxville, Tennessee, and officials expect it to migrate to this region.
This invasive pest causes the Thousand Cankers Disease, which kills walnuts trees. The disease, caused by the walnut twig beetle and a fungus, primarily affects black walnut. Walnut twig beetles tunnel into the trees and introduce the fungus, which then kills the area of the tree under the bark. These dead areas, called cankers, can restrict the movement of water and nutrients inside trees, killing them.
Another invasive pest of concern in local forests is the Asian longhorned beetle, which is native to China and Korea and, Harper says, has infested Ohio. The adult beetles have black bodies with white spots and long antennae protruding from their face.
Adult female Asian longhorned beetles lay eggs under the bark of hardwood trees. Those eggs hatch in two weeks and the larvae bore into the tree and feed on it. The larvae stay in the tree over the winter months, continuing to feed. It can take about three or four years after infestation for trees to start showing problems. The trees do not recover and they don’t regenerate.
Two other invasive pests on the “Pest of Concern” list, the emerald ash borer and the hemlock woolly adelgid, are already prominent in Eastern Kentucky.
The emerald ash borer, a small, bright green beetle, has killed more than 15 million ash trees since it was discovered in Michigan in 2002. The beetles emerge from May through July and females lay eggs on ash tree bark. When the eggs hatch, the larvae tunnel into the tree and cut off the flow of nutrients. Ash trees attacked by this beetle die in between one and three years.
Humans can transport these invasive beetles in ash products that include logs, wood chips, nursery stock and firewood.
The emerald ash borer was found in Floyd and Pike counties from 2009 through 2015, and the entire state is under a federal quarantine to restrict movement of ash products to prevent the spread of this beetle.
The hemlock woolly adelgid, a native of Asia, was first reported in the eastern U.S. in 1951 and had established itself in 16 states by 2005. It was found in Kentucky the following year near the boundaries of Harlan and Letcher counties and has also been located since that time in nearly every other eastern Kentucky county.
This insect, which covers itself in wool-like filaments that can be found on the underside of hemlock trees, kills hemlock trees within three and 10 years.
“They’re not native, so trees have no resistance against them, and that’s why they’re able to damage and eventually kill either the ash or hemlock trees,” said Abe Neilsen, a forest health specialist with the Kentucky Division of Forestry.
He said about two-thirds of the state is currently infested with the emerald ash borer, and this insect could eradicate ash trees in the state.
Neilsen also talked about other invasive species that cause problems in Kentucky, including kudzu, an invasive vine-like plant that is prominent in Eastern Kentucky, the autumn olive, a tree that was frequently used to re-forest strip mines and has since invaded other areas, and the “Tree of Heaven,” an invasive tree that blooms pink flowers in the summer.
When these invasive plants take root, they crowd out other native plants and damage the health of forests in the state.
Neilsen recommends that landowners contact the regional forestry field office and request a field survey of their property to determine whether invasive plant species are a problem and learn what can be done to stop it.
“We have foresters and rangers that work in each county in the state,” he said. “Foresters can come out and help landowners with a management plan. They can learn more about the problems they have and get advice on how to deal with them. Also, if you have a lot of ash trees on your property and you want to know what to do…they can help with that.”
That service is provided free of charge by the Division of Forestry, and it’s similar to another free service the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife offers landowners who want to get an assessment about the health of animals living on their property.
To request help from a forester, call the department’s Morehead office at, (606) 783-8625.
To learn more about the invasive insects highlighted in this story, visit the state entomologist office online at,

7-26-2017 Obituaries
Harold D. Green

Harold Douglas Green, age 79 of Sitka, passed away Thursday, July 20, 2017 at his residence. Born June 12, 1938 in Johnson County. He was the son of the late Jimmy and Carmen Rice Green. In addition to his parents he is preceded in death by two brothers: Wendell Green and Roger Green; and one sister: Sandra Gayle Green.
He is survived by his loving wife, Shirley Simpson Green; two sons: Tim (Kathy) Green of Sitka, Mike (Rosemary) Green of Cynthiana; one daughter: Robin Shepherd of Sitka; one sister: Wilma Joy Burchett of Sitka; seven grandchildren: Bryce Shepherd, Lauren Shepherd, Travis Green, Jason Green, Jessica Green, Daniel Green, Ryne Green; one great grandchild: Natalie Rose Green. Harold was a proud veteran serving in the United States Army.
Funeral services were held 2:00 p.m. Sunday, July 23, 2017 in the chapel of the Phelps & Son Funeral Home with burial to follow in the Green Family Cemetery at Sitka. Roger Ross officiated. Friends visited the funeral home from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. on Saturday. Funeral arrangements were by the Phelps & Son Funeral Home, Paintsville.

James E. Collins

James E. Collins, 88 ,of Circleville, Ohio passed away July 22, 2017 surrounded by his family. He was born on November 20, 1928 in Riceville, the son of Johnnie and Nola (Spradlin) Collins. He graduated from Jennycreek High School in (1946), Pikeville College (1952), and Morehead State University. He began his teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse for eight years in Kentucky. From there he taught and was principal of Adelphi Elementary School and retired from Zane Trace Elementary School in 1985. He also worked as a TV repairman and loved a good game of Rook. He enjoyed hunting and fishing in his spare time, but most of all cherished time with his family. He was preceded in death by his parents; the love of his life, Nevaleen (Litteral) Collins; sister, Emma Harris; sons-in-law, Douglas Radabaugh and Bill Evans.
He is survived by his children, James Collins (Elaine Meyer), Janet (Ted) Daniel, Joni Debra (Larry) Young, Jackie Radabaugh (Randy Redman), Jill Evans (Bill), Tina Palmer, and Julia (Todd) Long; grandchildren, Jeff (Misty) Collins, Jamey Collins, Audrey (Nelson) Karshner, Brandy (Andy) Palmer, Andrew Daniel, Benjamin Daniel, Katie (Rob) DeLille, Darci (Kory) Valentine, Paige (Jed) Combs, Frank Palmer, Joni Palmer, Alexis Long, Landon Long and Luke Long; great grandchildren, Justus Collins, Ali Collins, Aaron Collins, Jaidee Collins, Madalynn Karshner, Haden Karshner, Jude Palmer, Hank Palmer, Rhett Karshner, Nevalene Palmer, Tennyson Palmer, Joshua Palmer, Landrie Valentine, Dean Palmer, Olivia DeLille, Bailey Kasler and Luke Kasler; nephew, John David Hughes; great niece and nephew, Emily and Josh Hughes; brother, Hubert (Bea) Collins of Wittensville; sister, Carole (Ray) Magnifico; special friends, Darmis Litteral, Powell (Jr.) Collins, Glenna Issac, Chuck (and the late Vera) Holland, Gary Stump, Doug Holbrook and Pete Dunkle. Funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Thursday July 27, 2017 at the Wellman Funeral Home, Circleville, with Chaplain Jim Ferrell officiating. Burial will be in Forest Cemetery. Friends may call from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. The family would like to thank Berger Hospice Staff. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Lung Association, Breast Cancer or Berger Hospice. Online condolences may be made to
This is a paid obituary.

Irene Van Hoose Castle
1932 – 2017

Graveside services will be held Friday, July 28 at 2 p.m. in the Turner Branch Cemetery, Steep Hill Road, for Irene Van Hoose Castle, 85, of Urbana, Ohio, who passed away Sunday, July 23 in the Springfield Regional Medical Center in Springfield, Ohio.
Burial will follow at the same location.
Local arrangements under the care of the Jones-Preston Funeral Home of Paintsville.

Lewis “Junior” Blevins

Funeral services were held Tuesday, July 25 for Lewis “Junior” Blevins, 82, of Paintsville, who passed away Saturday, July 22 at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, W.Va.
Burial followed in the Highland Memorial Park Cemetery in Staffordsville.
Arrangements under the care of Jones-Preston Funeral Home.

Barbara Sue Hicks Williams
October 21, 1962 –
July 19, 2017

Funeral services were held Sunday, July 23 in the Jones-Preston Funeral Home Chapel for Barbara Sue Hicks, 54, of Allen, who passed away Wednesday, July 19 at Cabell Huntington Hospital.
Burial followed at the Johnson County Memorial Cemetery at Staffordsville.
Arrangements under the care of Jones-Preston Funeral Home of Paintsville.

Betty Jean Thompson
April 29, 1941 –
July 23, 2017

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, July 26 at 11 a.m. at the Preston Funeral Home Chapel for Betty Jean Thompson, 76, of Fort Gay, W.Va., who passed away Sunday, July 23 at Cabell Huntington Hospital.
Burial will follow in the family cemetery in Fort Gay.
Arrangements under the care of Preston Funeral Home.

Eugene Short
October 16, 1931 –
July 21, 2017

Funeral services were held Monday, July 24 at the Meally Church of Christ for Eugene Short, 85, of Flat Gap, who passed away Friday, July 21 at his residence.
Burial followed at the Lakeview Memorial Cemetery in Staffordsville.
Arrangements under the care of Preston Funeral Home of Paintsville.

Third-place finish at state

THE JOHNSON COUNTY 10 U All-Star Team earned a third-place finish in the 2017 Cal Ripken 10U All-Star Tournament in Verona. Johnson County defeated South Lexington 10-9 and downed East Jessamine 3-2 in pool play, before knocking off Northern Kentucky 13-12. The team was defeated by Lake Cumberland in the semi-final round. Members included Logan Morrow, Brayden Shepherd, Dalton Matney, Maddox Salisbury, Dalton Boner, Crayson Lafferty, Brady Adkins, Gabe Conley, Tristen Jenkins, Levi Pennington, Riley Jayne. The team was coached by Jim Matney, Jason Shepherd, Jason Pennington, and Nathan Salisbury.

Tyler Childers takes regional musical styling global
By Waylon Whitson
Staff Writer

A Lawrence County native has been making waves since graduating from Paintsville High School in 2009 and performing his music nationwide. Tyler Childers is now starting to branch out beyond the United States.
Childers is gearing up to release his new album, “Purgatory,” on Aug. 4, and the album is anticipated by the music industry and fans from around the world. Rolling Stone Magazine said that Childers had an, “Untouchable, ragged Kentucky soul,” in a recent review of a preview track from the upcoming debut album.

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