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Scooter collides with automobile
By Patrick Ross
Staff Writer

Paintsville police are investigating an accident that happened Monday night on Kentucky Route 321 at the Walmart intersection. According to police reports, Devan Maynard, 20, of Wittensville, was operating a motorized scooter when he crossed the road against a red light into oncoming traffic where he then moved into the path of a moving vehicle.
Paintsville police report that Maynard was driving under the influence.

Grand jury indicts 17 Incest, theft, drugs, assault among charges

By Kathy J. Prater
Associate Editor

A Johnson County grand jury handed down indictments against 17 individuals on Wednesday, with charges including incest, theft, assault and illegal drug handling.
Johnny E. Blair, 38, of Denver, was indicted on three counts of incest. The grand jury found cause to believe that Blair, on Oct. 20, allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse on two separate occasions with the same minor, and also allegedly engaged in “deviant sexual intercourse” with the same minor, knowing the minor (under the age of 18) to be his descendant.
Blair faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.
Ruthie M. Spears, 36, of Prestonsburg, was indicted on charges of two counts of third degree assault, escape, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and criminal mischief.

Van Lear man charged with rape of minor
By Kathy J. Prater
Associate Editor

A Johnson County man well known for his involvement in local Civil War-era reenactments has been charged with first degree rape of a minor by a Laurel County court.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Laurel County, Gregory Swartz, 37, of Van Lear, allegedly forced a 15-year old female to remove her clothes and then allegedly engaged in forcible sexual intercourse with the minor while holding a pillow over her face to prevent her from yelling out.

Elementary teacher arrested on meth charges
Timothy Baldwin

By Kathy J. Prater
Associate Editor

A Johnson County special education teacher was arrested Monday on charges of manufacturing methamphetamine.
According to reports, Timothy M. Baldwin, a teacher with Central Elementary School, was discovered, along with another male -- Michael C. Peters -- inside a car parked at Thealka Park that contained several items of drug paraphernalia, methamphetamine precursors, and two active “shake and bake” meth labs. Many of the items were found inside a back pack inside the car, though the shake and bake meth labs were sitting on the dashboard of the car, as reported by Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy Tim Clark and District 2 Constable Bob Hyden.

Lawsuit filled over taxes
By Kathy J. Prater
Associate Editor

County taxpayers already uncertain about how much school tax they will pay this year will have to wait a while longer for that answer while paperwork regarding a citizen petition is reviewed by the Johnson Circuit Court.
Johnson County Schools Supt. Tom Salyer said this week that board members have questions regarding the petition’s legal validity. “We’re just asking the court to determine if the petition is valid with through a review of the submitted petition. We’re just looking to see if it ‘meets the letter of the law,’ so to say,” he said.
In September, the county school board approved an increase in the school tax rate from 38.1 percent to 45.3 percent.

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