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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.

Grand jury indicts 16

By Elaine Belcher
Staff Writer

The Johnson County Circuit Court held grand juries on Wednesday, indicting 16 people on felony charges.
Starting the day was Tommy Castle, 29, of Paintsville, who was indicted on two charges of theft by unlawful taking or dispossession. Castle is accused of breaking into two cars and stealing a gun from each car, then either giving or selling the weapons to two other people. The penalty for each charge is 1-5 years in jail and a fine of no more than $10,000.

New volunteers members sought for area fire houses
By Elaine Belcher
Staff Writer

When a fire or emergency breaks out and someone calls 911, who do you think will respond? Chances are, when the fire department shows up, you’re going to recognize a few faces from around the neighborhood. Volunteer fire departments are the primary way for emergency services to reach out to help in eastern Kentucky.
“We’re always on the lookout for more volunteers,” said Paul Daniel, Johnson County Fiscal Court Commissioner and volunteer fire fighter for Oil Springs. “Young people who are energetic, mentally and emotionally mature and have a good head on their shoulders. Most of all, they should be responsible.”

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