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Marijuana grower found guilty of possession; not guilty of trafficking
By Kathy J. Prater
Associate Editor

Circuit Court Judge John David Preston ruled a mistrial Tuesday of the penalty phase of a case involving the cultivation and possession of marijuana plants.
State police say Larry Conley, 49, of Van Lear, was in possession of approximately 155 marijuana plants when they searched his home in March. Authorities say they discovered the plants growing in the basement through the use of rather sophisticated hydroponic (irrigation) and lighting equipment.
Assistant Commonwealth Attorney Tony Skeans said Tuesday that police also discovered approximately three pounds of processed marijuana in the home.

Inmates help clean up Johnson County
Wednesday’s PRIDE Clean Up Crew was comprised of the Paintsville Street and Sanitation Dept., the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center, members of law enforcement. Together they gathered nearly 100 bags of trash.

By Sarah Hill
Staff Writer

Spring cleaning is sweeping through Johnson County. Whether it is volunteers cleaning up the roadsides on Earth Day, tomorrow’s clean up day on the Dawkins Trail, or the free large trash disposal in the month of May, Johnson County is getting ready for outdoor fun.
Members of the Paintsville Street Department and the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center gathered behind Paintsville City Hall on Wednesday morning to join in on the annual PRIDE spring clean-up.

County receives funding for food and shelter services
PAINTSVILLE - Johnson County has been awarded $12,804 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county. The funds were made available through the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program.
The selection was made by a national board chaired by FEMA and consists of representatives from American Red Cross, Catholic Charities USA, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, The Salvation Army, The Jewish Federations of North America, and United Way Worldwide.

Ward pleads guilty to amended charges

By Kathy J. Prater
Associate Editor

A man who his victim’s family knew as “Matt,” pleaded guilty to an amended charge of second degree manslaughter in Knott County Circuit Court yesterday.
Gary Ward, 38, of Meally, also pleaded guilty to charges of tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse.
Ward was arrested in September 2013 and charged with the murder of Christina Barnett, 34, of Sitka.

Indictments handed down by grand jury

By Kathy Prater
Associate Editor

A Johnson County grand jury handed down 17 indictments against 15 individuals Wednesday.
The majority of charges were related to drug trafficking offenses.
Those indicted include: Timothy M. Baldwin, 34, of Paintsville, and Michael Peters, 39, also of Paintsville, on charges both of manufacturing methamphetamine, first offense, complicity, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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