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From Paint Creek to Normandy — and back again
Approaching his 90th birthday this coming weekend, Elwood Ramey took a few minutes this past Wednesday to review memorabilia from his days as a World War II machinegunner. Pictured with him are his daughter, Charlotte, and son, Don.

it would be expected that the memories of one about to celebrate their 90th birthday would many and varied, filled with the usual childhood days of school and pranks and followed by adulthood reminisces of romance, work and family.
Elwood Ramey, of Paintsville, has many such memories — and more. A decorated veteran of World War II, Ramey was among the men that charged the beaches of Normandy on the never-to-be-forgotten D-Day in June 1944.
He recalls the oily film of the water’s surface — “it was all mixed in, gas and oil ... and dead bodies laying all in the water,” he added.
A member of the Fifth Infantry Division ETO (European Theater of Operations) “Red Diamonds,” Ramey also recalls being left alone to man an outpost overlooking a German camp. “I was tired and my commanding officer told me to go on and sleep awhile. Well, I did, and when I woke up, the others had all pulled out,” he said.


Lawnmower talk gets cut at Utilities meeting
The Paintsville Utilities Commission continued its discussion on purchasing a mower at its regularly scheduled meeting held Monday, April 7.
The commission held a special-called meeting in March to open bids for the new mower. After some discussion about which mower to choose, the commission decided they wanted to see how each of the mowers would perform on the terrain.
Concerned citizens came to the April meeting to voice their concerns over the commission purchasing a mower.
William Stumbo said he wanted to know if Utilities was putting money toward the purchase of a mower and if so, then shouldn’t they put money toward fixing the water lines in his area, instead. Stumbo said people in his area complain about low water pressure.
Angela Pelphrey said that she had called the golf course to ask who owned the property. She said that the Paul B. Hall Foundation owned the course, but the city collects the fees. She also said the person who answered the phone at the golf course laughed at her when she asked about the city purchasing the mower for the course since they collected the fees.
“It should be up to the city, not the Utilities Commission,” said Pelphrey.
Commission member Mitch Kinner made the initial motion to purchase the mower from Wolf Creek Company, in the amount of $36,716.60. The motion was seconded by L.B. Lemaster.


Local schools receive KEDC readiness grant
ASHLAND — Local schools will benefit from a grant for “College and Career Readiness” that was proposed by the Kentucky Educational Development Corporation (KEDC) and approved on April 6 by the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) with the U.S. Department of Labor, as announced on Monday.
Schools in Johnson and Lawrence counties will benefit from the grant funds, as will schools in Lee, Garrard, Casey, Middlesboro Independent, Pulaski, and Knox.
“We are ecstatic about the opportunity this grant affords us,” said KEDC CEO Nancy Hutchinson. “The Youth Career Connect program is designed to assist high school students to smoothly transition into the world of work. Our KEDC Board of Directors, comprised of over 60 local superintendents, commits itself to the long-term economic and social well-being of our Commonwealth.”


Deputy arrests two for DUI, no license
Bert Be tley

Jack Chandler

Deputy Byron Fairchild of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office reports having been kept busy this past Sunday with getting drunk drivers off the county roads.
According to his reports, Fairchild observed a 1999 blue Ford F-150 swerving across the roadway and sporadically hitting its brakes at approximately 4:30 a.m. on U.S. 23. Fairchild pulled the vehicle over and performed field sobriety tests, determining that the driver of the vehicle, Bert Bentley, 48, of Inez, was intoxicated.
Additionally, it was discovered that Bentley was operating on a suspended driver’s license. Bentley was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, failure to wear a seat belt, no registration receipt, failure to produce an insurance card, and operating on a suspended driver’s license.


Pike County oil spill unlikely to affect Johnson County
An oil spill originating in Pike County will unlikely affect Johnson County, according to Eric Ratliff, general manager, Paintsville Utilities.
“It will all be over by tomorrow,” Ratliff said late Thursday afternoon.
The spill of approximately 4,200 gallons of crude oil most likely occurred late Wednesday night, according to local officials, but wasn’t discovered until approximately 9:30 Thursday morning.
Pike County Emergency Management Director Doug Tackett said the spill occurred on Harmon’s Branch, in Pike County, after a storage container was damaged by a rock slide.



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