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Special Olympics 2015 Track & Field events held
Marlana Vanhoose, center, of Johnson County, ran a race with the use of a leading rope held at both ends by her mother and a volunteer.

By Kathy J. Prater
Associate Editor

“Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me brave in the attempt.” Athletes from Area 3 and Area 9 breathed life into the Special Olympics motto as they competed in track and field events on Saturday, April 18, in the Johnson Central High School football stadium. A large crowd of supporters showed up to cheer the athletes on as sunny skies created favorable temperatures. Also on hand were Kentucky State Troopers, Johnson County Sheriff Dwayne Price and members of Community Cares who presented a check to the Johnson County Special Olympics organization for the amount of $2,205 — raised from the Penguin Plunge event held in March at Paintsville Lake. Included in Area 9 are Johnson, Rowan, Bath and Menifee Counties; in Area 3 are Floyd and Breathitt.

Area Briefs
Attention Veterans
- Brian Bowman, Veterans Benefits Field Representative is located at the Pike County Courthouse in Pikeville on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays by appointment. Veterans and their dependents will receive assistance filing for federal and state veterans’ benefits. This services is provided FREE of charge by the KY Dept. of Veterans Affairs. To apply, veterans need to furnish copies of pertinent documentation to verify eligibility. For further information, please call toll free 1-888-647-2926.

Medicare questions?
- The Big Sandy Area Development District (Big Sandy ADD) is offering assistance to those with questions about Medicare plans. Help is available for Medicare LIS applications, Medicare Part D, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Savings Programs, and more. Call 606-886-2374 or 1-800-737-2723, or visit the Big Sandy ADD office at 110 Resource Court, Prestonsburg, Mon. thru Fri., from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Foster Parent Orientation
- Interested in becoming a foster parent? Learn how! Benchmark Family Services will conduct foster parent orientation classes daily. Classes are free. Those interested may call 606-886-0163 to schedule an appointment. Benchmark Family Services is located at 91 Oak Ridge Court, in Prestonsburg. Open your heart and home to a child in need today!

Seeking volunteers
- The Big Sandy Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is seeking volunteers to serve as certified ombudsman volunteers. An ombudsman is an advocate for residents of nursing homes, personal care homes, and family care homes. Ombudsmen also provide information and resolve complaints on behalf of residents. Those who are interested in being involved in improving the quality of care and life of residents of long-term care facilities or would like more information may contact Jaime Welch at 1-800-737-2723, extension 335, or send an e-mail to

April 22:
- PRIDE will be having a Roadside Cleanup Day. Anyone interested in volunteering should meet behind City Hall in Paintsville on Wednesday, April 22 at 8 a.m. For more information, call (606) 789-2597.

April 23:
- Job Fair: Big Sandy Community and Technical College, the Kentucky Coal Academy, Kentucky Career Center JobSight, Community Action Partnership and the East Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. will hold a Job Fair on Thursday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the auditorium on the Mayo campus of Big Sandy Community and Technical College. For more information, contact Joel Osborne at (606) 253-1367.

- The Johnson Co. Public Library will be discussing the book Shutter Island, on Thursday, April 23 from 12:10 p.m.-12:50 p.m. Please bring your own sack lunch and drink. To reserve a book or for more information, call the library at (606) 789-4355.

- Kindergarten Orientation: Highland Elementary is now registering kindergarten students for the 2015-2016 school year. Parents and guardians of incoming kindergarten students are invited to attend an orientation meeting on Thursday, April 23, 5:30 - 7 p.m. in the school library. For more information, call (606) 297-3674.

April 24:
- Shooting Sports Meeting: Friday, April 24, 6 p.m. at the Dewey Lake Fish and Game Club. For more information, contact Dianna Reed, County Extension Agent for 4-H Youth Development at (606) 789-8108.

- Johnson County Youth Conference: Do not forget the Johnson County Youth Conference. It will be held Friday, April 24, 7 p.m. at the Whitaker Freewill Baptist Church. Everyone welcome.

April 25:
- Dawkins Trail Clean Up Day: Friends of the Dawkins Trail will be hosting a Trail Clean Up on Saturday, April 25 at 9 a.m. The Friends of the Dawkins Line is a nonprofit state approved state park friends group that represents all three counties that have trail access. The Johnson County portion of the clean up will meet up at the Jenny’s Creek trail head with work sites to be determined by state park personnel at that time. Gloves and sign up sheets will be provided. Any interested member of the public is welcome. For more information, call (606) 791-2902.

- “Kids Day, Fun Day!” to celebrate Child Abuse Prevention Month will be held on April 25, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Johnson Central High School football field. The event is free to the public and will feature food, fun, prizes, inflatables, and games.

April 30:
- Kindergarten Orientation: Porter Elementary is now accepting applications for new students. A Kindergarten Orientation/Registration Meeting will be held on Thursday, April 30, 6 p.m. in the school library. For more information, call (606) 789-2545.

May 1:
- Gospel Sing Fundraiser for Hannah’s House will held Friday, May 1 at 7 p.m. at The Highland Church of Christ at 821 Euclid Ave. in Paintsville. Admission is FREE. Event will feature H.I.S., For His Grace, Highland Bluegrass Gospel Quartet, Rick May, Don Rigsby, John Rigsby, Jack Hicks, and David Bowling.

- Gospel Meeting: There will be a gospel meeting at the Van Lear Church of Christ, May 1-3 at 7 p.m. nightly. Brother James D. McDonald of Woodbury, Tenn. will be the guest speaker. A pew will be waiting for you.

May 2:
- “Casting for Kids” Open Bass Tournament will be held 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Paintsville Lake Marina, presented by the Big Sandy Shrine Club. First place wins $10,000, other prizes up for grabs! Field limited to 125 boats; $200 entry fee per boat. For more information, call (606) 793-2894.

- “Super Science Saturday”: The East Kentucky Science Center and Planetarium, powered by Appalachian Wireless, will host Super Science Saturday featuring Alltech on Saturday, May 2. The event is FREE and will begin at 10 a.m. Hands-on activities, including the extraction of DNA from strawberries, will be provided by Alltech Educational Outreach Specialist Miranda Woodall. For more information, contact Steve Russo at (606) 889-4809 or email

- 3rd Annual Moonshine Runners 50 at 201 Speedway. $3,000-to-win. Super Late Models.

- 2nd Annual Rumble in the Mountains at 201 Speedway. $800-to-win. Four Cylinder Stocks, Open Wheel Modified, and Bombers.

May 14:
- William G. Duke Golf Scramble, presented by Appalachian Wireless, to support the Big Sandy College Educational Foundation, will be held Thursday, May 14 at StoneCrest Golf Course in Prestonsburg. Register your team today for $400. This includes breakfast, lunch, and door prizes. Hole sponsorships are available for $250 or you can enter a team and have a hole sponsorship for $600. For more information or to register, contact Leslie Bays at (606) 886-7391 or email

May 23:
- School Night at the Races at 201 Speedway. All middle, high school, and college students (with valid school ID) admitted FREE with paying adult. Regular show with weekly racing in all divisions.

June 13:
- Eastern Kentucky Cosplay Group will be hosting its first Comic Book and Toy Convention, Otaku-Con, Saturday, June 13 at the Mountain Arts Center in Prestonsburg. Otaku-Con will host several Star Wars cosplay groups such as the 501st Midsouth Garrison, the Mandalorian Mercs and The Rebel Legion. If you are interested in selling comic books or comic related toys at Otaku-Con or would like to purchase tickets for this event you may do so through the Mountain Arts Center at For more information, please contact Mike Williamson at (606) 886-6734 or

July 2:
Inaugural Bob Miller Memorial Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series at 201 Speedway. $10,000 to win. Open Wheel Modified.

August 1:
- 3rd Annual Hatfield & McCoy Feuding 50 at the 201 Speedway. $5,000 to win. Super Late Models.

- 2nd Annual Thunder in the Mountains at the 201 Speedway. $3,000 to win. Open wheel modified, bombers, and four cylinder stocks.

September 3:
- 6th Annual Roger Breeding Memorial Revolution Race Cars Iron Man Speedweek at 201 Speedway. $3,000 to win. Super late models. Iron Man Modified Speedweek presented by American Race Tires South. $1,000 to win. Open wheel modified; Regular show bombers and four-cylinder stocks.

October 2:
- 4th Annual Halloween 50 at 201 Speedway. $3,000 to win. Super late models, open wheel modified, bombers, four-cylinder stocks.

Caped crusaders share life advice at the library
Batman and Batgirl pose with kids in front of the Batmobile at the Johnson County Library’s “Family Fun Day” held on Saturday. This year’s summer reading program is “Every Hero Has a Story” for younger kids and “Unmasked” for teens.

By Sarah Hill
Staff Writer

Heroes gathered at the Johnson County Public Library on Saturday to learn life advice from Batman and Batgirl from Heroes 4 Higher.
Batman told kids and parents that the secrets to living a happy life are to “Never give up, never be a bully, help other people, and be trustworthy.”
Batman told the crowd that “it doesn’t matter how poor you are or how rich you are. It doesn’t matter how great your life was or how bad your life was. We all have the power to be heroes.”
Batman explained that “Kids are learning to be selfish when they should be learning to be selfless.” He advised everyone to “look for good things to do” and ask yourself “Who can I help today?”
The caped crusader told the crowd that “no one can be truly great until we’re good to everyone, so we have to treat everyone well.”
Batman also said he loves to read because it keeps his mind sharp. “My brain is like a sword,” he said. “TV and video games dull that sword. They’re fine in small doses, but I want to keep my mind sharp like a sword and reading helps me do that.”
To help everyone keep their minds sharp, the library’s summer reading program this year will be all about heroes. The program is for first graders through teenagers. Younger kids can participate in the “Every Hero Has a Story” program and teens can join in on “Unmasked.” In addition to superheroes, kids will look at heroes in their own lives and heroes in their community.
And as an exciting twist, the library has just added over 100 superhero books to their collection of digital books. With unlimited access, people who cannot make it to the library, people who like to read on the go, and kids who want to read the same book as their friends can get in on all the superhero action.
For more information about the summer of superheroes or to learn about the digital book program, call the library at (606) 789-4355.

Daddy-Daughter fun for a good cause

By Sarah Hill
Staff Writer

There is almost nothing that makes a little girl feel more special than to get all dressed up and spin like a princess with her daddy.
The Johnson County High School softball team held their annual Father-Daughter Dance at the Paintsville Country Club on Saturday. The dance is the team’s biggest fundraiser for the year. Coach Jason Hurt said the dance is “an event that the team and the community looks forward to every year. The girls always have a good time.”
In addition to raising money for the team, the junior and senior players come together and choose a nonprofit organization to donate some of their earnings to. In previous years, the girls have chosen to give to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Jordan Light Foundation. This year they chose the Special Olympics. Player Bailey Daniel said the team “wanted to keep it local” and the Special Olympics gave the girls that opportunity.
The team helped get the dance started and soon fathers and daughters were taking to the floor to dance, spin, and show off all those ballet lessons.
Fathers and daughters laughed themselves silly racing in the duck walk competition, got down in the twist competition, and the daddies literally bent over backwards for their daughters in the limbo contest.
The girls had such a good time that some had to take their shoes off explaining, “Daddy, I have to take my heels off. It gets kind of tricky.”
“The girls are beside themselves because they get to have alone time with their daddies. And the daddies really go hard for the contests,” said one of the coordinators.
The Father-Daughter Dance is usually held in February, but was delayed this year due to the weather. If you missed out on the fun this year, be sure to look out for next year’s dance.

It’s all about country — music, that is 10 year celebration held
Those attending the 10th year anniversary celebration were treated to free tours of the country music museum. The museum houses memorabilia from country music greats such as Crystal Gayle, Tom T. Hall, Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, Rebecca Lynn Howard, Billy Ray Cyrus and more.

By Kathy J. Prater
Associate Editor

The U.S. 23 Country Music Highway Museum sees its 10th anniversary this year and, in recognition of that milestone, museum staff and Paintsville Tourism hosted a day of celebration on Sunday, April 12. Area musicians performed songs made famous by country music greats with family ties to the U.S. 23 region while visitors enjoyed refreshments and free tours.

  • City of Paintsville
  • Paintsville Independent Schools
  • Johnson County Schools
  • Our Lady of the Mountains

  • Johnson County Fiscal Court
  • Johnson County Public Library
  • Paintsville Tourism
  • Chamber of Commerce
    sponsored by: