Paintsville Tourism has recently begun a project to bring music to Main Street, with the first phase placing speakers above the awning of The Historic Sipp Theatre and already complete, according to a statement from Tourism Director Josh Johnson.

“If you are on Main Street around the SIPP you will hear oldies music playing. Phase two work will start soon as we will be expanding out further into downtown,” Johnson said.


The office of U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers announced Wednesday that $200 million in federal funds will be coming to Eastern Kentucky to help with flood control projects, including $118 million for Johnson County.

The funds derive from the “Storm Supplemental Appropriations for Disasters 2018 Package,” a part of the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will use the $118 million in Johnson County for a detailed report and plan for flood mitigation, which could possibly involve the incorporation of a flood wall or levee.


The Johnson County Public Library is undergoing renovations, and other Paintsville institutions have stepped up to help.

According to statements from JCPL programming director Christy Terry, the renovations will include updates to the children’s and teens’ areas, a fresh new look, and an all-new multipurpose room.

Local agencies Goggans Construction and Bocook Engineering are contracted for the renovation.

A Nicholasville man was arrested in the Nippa community Friday, July 6 after, court documents said, a Johnson County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a call of an individual breaking into a residence on Hilltop Road with a firearm.

JCSO deputy Cory Cook responded to the call, the citation said, and found the caller had taken her five-month-old child into a bedroom within the residence and locked the door. When Cook arrived, no one would answer the door, leading to Cook going around the house to find another way inside, the citation said. 


The Paintsville City Council’s regular meeting Monday included two agencies requesting additional funds and a city department seeking consent to pursue a Kentucky Infrastructure Authority loan.

Paintsville Utilities general manager Bob Pack said the utilities board is hoping to move forward with improvements to the water system, and has approved, pending the city’s authorization, pursuing a $2.01 million KIA loan to do so. 

The Paintsville Independent Schools Board of Education heard an update from architect Bill Richardson Monday during its regularly scheduled meeting, learning that the Paintsville High School gym and roofing renovation project undertaken by the board last year is about two weeks behind schedule. 

That, officials said, will force the district to use the Paintsville Elementary School gym for the upcoming volleyball season.


Many Johnson County agencies and nonprofits are still standing strong this week, despite having lost an upstanding pillar in the passing of James “Jim” Kelly on Friday.

Kelly touched many lives in his time since graduating Van Lear High School and serving as a U.S. Army Military Policeman. He worked as a teacher in Johnson County and later worked with the Social Security Administration all across the eastern U.S., before serving as Eastern Kentucky Social Security District Director.

A prisoner escaped from the custody of the Martin County deputy jailer Monday after taking control of the jailer’s vehicle, according to a statement from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

According to the statement, Mark Allen Crouch, of Lovely, was in transit with the jailer from Martin County to Big Sandy Regional Detention Center and cuffed with his hands in front of him. Crouch became combative near the intersection of Ky. 40 and Ky. 321 around the area of Premier Motors, the statement said, eventually forcing the jailer out of the vehicle and assuming control of the gray Ford Crown Victoria. 


July 4 festivities in Paintsville were interrupted Wednesday by a thunderstorm producing a microburst, damaging businesses, residences and churches downtown.

Tree branches and other debris littered the roads and yards across downtown, and the powerful winds also uprooted or broke multiple trees. 

The steeple of First Baptist Church of Paintsville was blown off the building, and wind removed a portion of the roof from the office of optometrists Conley and Cottrell.


Even after weathering a massive storm, the City of Paintsville decided the show must go on. The 10 p.m. fireworks display followed a busy evening of debris removal across downtown Paintsville, and a day of events around town that included food and games at the historic Stafford House sponsored by Paintsville Tourism and Paintsville Main Street.

Paintsville Mayor Bill Mike Runyon attended the weekly meeting of the Paintsville Rotary Club Tuesday to share with its members a proclamation denoting June 28 “Rotary Day,” in honor of the group’s many community projects and its long-running service of 96 years in Paintsville.

A Johnson County native who came under fire this week following a 2017 African game hunt has told The Paintsville Herald that her critics do not have the full story.

Tess Talley, originally of Johnson County, took part in a hunt in Africa in the summer of 2017 that included her shooting an 18-year-old giraffe. Only when the Africland Post shared photos of her with the dead giraffe on Twitter in June 2018, calling her a “white American savage,” did the story become viral, including stories from Time, CBS, Fox News, USA Today and numerous international outlets.

July will be a busy month for the Paintsville Recreation Department, but Sunday also marked the beginning of the department collecting state sales tax on certain admissions, rentals and fees.

The new sales taxes, which went into effect July 1, include not only facility and event fees such as the swimming pool the Paintsville Recreation Department manages, but also bowling alleys, skating rinks and fitness centers.


Fourth of July festivities kicked off in downtown Paintsville Saturday as Paintsville Tourism, in partnership with Community Trust Bank hosted the Rockin’ in the Fourth event, featuring live music from local talent, train rides and food.

The event kicked off with a performance from singer and songwriter Benjamin Boggs, a Lexington native who sings country music unaccompanied and covers hits from the past and present.


With the help of some local sponsors and volunteers, Van Lear’s Rucker Park is looking brand new again. A small ceremony of thanks was held Friday afternoon for those volunteers.

Tina Webb with the Van Lear Historical Society said Lowe’s of Paintsville donated volunteer time and equipment to construct a new bridge over Miller Creek, new playground equipment for the park, and acquired a contractor to remove and replace the shelter area, complete with four new picnic tables. The area was also mowed, weeded and pressure washed.

Two Johnson County men are facing meth trafficking charges after allegedly being arrested in a car with more than 13 grams of methamphetamine.

According to court documents, Capt. Jonathan Holbrook with the Paintsville Police Department noticed a vehicle Thursday evening in Paintsville after seeing the driver was not wearing a seatbelt. Holbrook reportedly turned around to pull the car over, and found it parked with its occupants on foot on Madison Avenue.


The Johnson County Schools Board of Education continued its monthly practice of recognizing staff for their contributions to the school system at its regular meeting Monday, this time honoring two retirees, one certified staff member and one classified staff member.

“Last month, we began honoring our retirees for the current school year,” said Superintendent Thom Cochran. “Since that time, we’ve had two additional people, our family members and staff members who have decided to take that plunge, make us all jealous and go into retirement.”


Children signed up for the 2018 Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Day Camp over the past week have enjoyed several activities and events, including a visit Thursday from Letcher County Extension Office Program Assistant and master falconer Mitchum Whitaker.

Whitaker, who has been working with raptors for more than 30 years, brought a variety of birds to a program at the Paintsville Lake State Park for the campers to get an up close look and learn about their role in the ecosystem.

At special meeting held earlier this week, the City of Paintsville adopted a strategic plan as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Community Rating System.

Mayor Bill Mike “Coach” Runyon said the plan’s adoption on time is part of the city’s efforts to gain points and bolster the city’s CRS, in an effort to lower flood insurance rates for citizens. 

The City of Paintsville is ready to celebrate Independence Day in a big way this year.

Starting Saturday night, Paintsville Tourism is hosting “Rock in the 4th” at Paint Creek Park, featuring live music from the Seth Ferguson Experience.

That event will run from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and admission will be free.

On Wednesday, July 4, a full slate of activities is set, starting with “Food and Fun” at the historic Stafford House from noon to 3 p.m.

After a second reading during a special-called meeting of the Johnson County Fiscal Court Monday, the county budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year has been approved.

The $10.6 million budget includes appropriations of $4.9 million for the general fund, $3.4 million for the road fund, $631,500 for the jail fund, $309,400 in the Local Government Economic Assistance fund, and $1.3 million in other funds, including four industrial development authorities, the Johnson County Judicial Center and a $400,000 grant to Mountain Comprehensive Care.


The Johnson County Schools Board of Education recognized students from across the district Monday during its regular meeting, ranging from elementary students competing in Community Problem Solving to the Johnson Central High School Junior Varsity Quick Recall team that participated in national-level competition in Orlando, Florida earlier in June.

“Every school in our district was blessed to represent us at international competition in Lacrosse, Wisconsin for community problem solving and future problem solving,” said Thom Cochran, JCS superintendent.

Oil Springs Fire and Rescue is doubling down on training Moving Water Rescue technicians and making use of that training, according to a statement from the department which said, in addition to being present for the Paintsville/Johnson County Trail Town Committee’s Chatterwha Trace River Run, the department also rescued a kayaker who was pulled away from her party by strong currents Saturday.

West Van Lear Fire Department personnel called for assistance Saturday evening, advising the moving water rescue technicians from OSFR of two kayakers in the water and in trouble in the Powell Addition area of the Levisa Fork, the statement said. WVLFD personnel arrived on-scene and learned that a party of four was kayaking down the river when one less-experienced female kayaker was, according to the statement, caught up in the current and pulled away from the rest of the kayakers.

At a special-called meeting Monday, the Paintsville Utilities Commission adopted a working budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

The budget plans for three percent higher operating revenue, up to $8,693,000, and eight percent higher operating expenses, at $6,280,346.

With $1,654,352 in debt service and reserves, $612,500 in net capital expenditures, $160,000 in other expenses and $15,000 in interest income, that leaves the 2018-2019 balance with a net positive position of $802.

The Paintsville Tourism Commission is working closely with other agencies to plan a summer packed with events.

At Paintsville’s Town Hall, Tourism Executive Director Josh Johnson reminded attendees of the regular events that tourism helps plan and sponsor. 

Saturday, June 23 at 7 p.m. will be a showing of “Jaws” as the monthly movie night at the Historic SIPP Theatre, where $5 buys admission as well as popcorn and a drink. Next month, “Top Gun” will play July 21. Every week there is Front Porch Pickin’ at the Country Music Highway Museum at 7 p.m., and there is a dinner club at the museum every second Friday of the month with rotating themes, including “Kahoot Night” July 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Following the success of the first such meeting in March, the City of Paintsville hosted its second town hall-style meeting with various city departments and agencies Tuesday evening at the Historic SIPP Theatre.

Mayor Bill Mike Runyon welcomed audience members and introduced city department heads, including Paintsville Tourism Commission Executive Director Josh Johnson, Mark McKenzie with the Paintsville/Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, Paintsville Recreation Director Scott “Shoes” Hale and Catherine Castle and Lara Pack with the Paintsville/Johnson County Trail Town Committee.


According to Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy Jesse Mullins, two vehicles — a Chevrolet pickup and a Honda Accord — collided in a curve on Ky. 1107 near the intersection with Ky. 321. All three occupants of the vehicles, including two in the pickup and one in the sedan, were transported from the scene for apparent non-life-threatening injuries, Deputy Mullins said. The wreck remains under investigation by the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

A Paintsville man was arrested Wednesday, June 13 on charges including indecent exposure and DUI after Paintsville Police Department officers were approached by a female subject stating that the individual had exposed himself while urinating in Preston Park, between Broadway Street and Ky. 321, according to court documents.

PPD Officer Zach Mitchell wrote, in the citation, that he and PPD Captain Holbrook were performing stationary observation on Broadway Street and were approached by the woman, who advised them that Michael Jennings, 53, of Paintsville, had exposed himself in Preston Park while urinating. According to the citation, Mitchell then observed Jennings as he crossed Ky. 321 on his bicycle and stated that he observed Jennings “almost fall off (of) the bicycle and fall into traffic” on the roadway. 


The Paintsville Food City held its third annual charity car show on Saturday to raise money for the Johnson County Animal Shelter.

Paintsville Food City Human Relations Coordinator Nikka Shell said that hosting the show is a win-win for car enthusiasts to support a good cause. Even with attendance down from last year, the show was still able to raise around $500.

Shell said using a car show to raise funds for the local animal shelter was a no-brainer.

The Johnson County Salvation Army operates five days a week, but most customers may only be aware of the work going on up front in the thrift store. Behind the scenes, the staff there work to improve the lives of the people of Johnson and Martin counties in myriad other ways.

Director Susan Gannon said that in an office space in the back, the local service unit exists to help those in need.

Donations are being gathered for Willie Owens, a Paintsville man who suffered extensive burns in a serious accident over the weekend.

According to his aunt Joanna Owens, Willie was involved in a lawnmower accident Saturday. The mower overturned, spilling gasoline that resulted in a fire. Owens rolled down the yard and into a nearby creek to extinguish the flames, but suffered burns over 58 percent of his body, approximately one-fourth of which are third-degree burns.


The Paintsville/Johnson County Trail Town Committee hosted its first “Chatterwha Trace River Run” of the 2018 season, following up on last year’s inaugural kayaking event in Paintsville.

The event drew paddlers from five states and seven Kentucky counties to enter the Levisa Fork at the Paintsville Water Plant and paddle to Tim Price Landing in Offutt for a total of six and a half miles in the water, according to PJCTTC Volunteer Chairperson Catherine Castle. According to Castle, 28 paddlers from Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina participated in the event – with Johnson, Floyd, Lawrence, Martin, Knott, Elliott and Magoffin counties represented from Kentucky. 

The Paintsville Tourism Commission convened in a special meeting Thursday at the Country Music Highway Museum to pass a budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year and amend the current year’s budget.

The budget enacted Thursday shows $777,044 in income, from $686,550 in restaurant taxes, $60,000 in motel taxes, $15,000 from the SIPP Theatre, $8,474 in matching funds, $2,000 for the train and $5,020 other.

A Flat Gap man was arrested Monday on burglary and wanton endangerment charges after police said a Hagerhill resident interrupted a burglary in progress and blocked the suspect in.

Kentucky State Police Trooper J. Johnson responded to the complaint Sunday evening and wrote in the citation that the perpetrator attempted to flee in a silver Chevrolet passenger car, using the car to ram the victim’s vehicle. According to the citation, the perpetrator, later identified as Steven Roy Greene, 39, of Flat Gap, fled the scene, making a left turn onto Ky. 1428 towards U.S. 23. 


Rep. Rocky Adkins of Sandy Hook speaks at a graduation ceremony hosted Friday at the Carl D. Perkins Vocational Training Center in Thelma for more than 100 students graduating with training in automotive programs, cosmetology, food service and materials management.

Inventions often come with a hope and a dream.  A world-wide market for an idea is the dream of an inventor who wants his idea to not only be a success but to make the world a better place. 

Dan Short, of Paris, originally of Paintsville, is seeing his hope and dream coming to fruition. And as he says, “Sometimes the truth makes the best story.”   Here’s the truth. 

The City of Paintsville’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1 includes several changes over the previous budget.

According to the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 budgets, the next fiscal will include $162,616 more revenue than the prior year, thanks in part to higher projected receipts from garbage collection fees, the insurance premium tax and franchise tax, emergency medical services and the eKentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute lease.


Schools from around Johnson County were represented at the Future Problem Solving Program International Competition in La Crosse, Wisconsin, last weekend, and after a long weekend of competition, two Johnson County schools are coming home international champions. 

Highland Elementary School earned an international championship in the Human Services category for their Community Problem Solving project, “Foster Friends,” which gives kids going into foster care backpacks stuffed with school supplies, clothes, toiletries and more to help them get a start on making their new living situation feel more like a home.


At its regular June meeting, the Paintsville City Council took steps to move forward with the next fiscal year.

After the second reading, the council voted to approve a 2018/2019 fiscal year budget with projected revenues and expenses of $9,054,759, approximately 2 percent higher than those of the current fiscal year, ending June 30.

At its regular June meeting, the Johnson County Fiscal Court voted to amend the 2017/2018 budget to include a few unbudgeted receipts before the close of the fiscal year June 30.

The court had received $181 in surplus property, $1,191.19 in FEMA flood reimbursement, $18,278.30 for truck licensing, $109,928.60 for county road aid and $89,842.74 for various reimbursements. 

Johnson County has faced an unusually high number of counterfeit money cases in recent years, and Paintsville Police Chief Mike Roe said clerks in Eastern Kentucky need to be vigilant.

Roe said in cases PPD has investigated, the money is being purchased online from websites that sell it for use in movies and TV shows. The cash is typically fairly realistic, but will typically say it is only for “motion picture purposes.” Some bills, Roe said, even have noticeable writing on them in Japanese or Chinese.


No injuries were reported and no arrests have yet been made after an incident Monday in which shots were allegedly fired into the office of Robert Miller, a Paintsville attorney.

Paintsville Police Chief Mike Roe said officers are reviewing nearby security footage for cars in the area around the time of the incident, and said the round appears to have been from a .22 caliber firearm. Roe said no one was in the waiting room area at the time the shooting occurred.


This week, the Paintsville Golf Course is hosting kids for the annual Junior Golf Camp.

Johnson Central High School golf coach Adam Crum said the camp has been a running summer tradition at the club for around 40 years.

“I can remember coming to this myself when I was this group’s age,” Crum said.

Crum said the kids, ages five up to 18, are given practice taking full shots, chip shots, putting and more, before they take to the full golf course to play four holes on Thursday.

An East Point man was arrested by Paintsville Police Department officers May 29 after a caller reported that a man driving a black Dodge pickup attempted to run the caller off the roadway and, according to court documents, had driven through Preston Park at the Broadway Street and Ky. 321 connector. 

Upon his arrival, PPD Patrolman Zac Mitchell wrote in the citation, he observed a vehicle matching the caller’s description in the ditch on the east side of the roadway with no operator. Mitchell wrote several witnesses were pointing to a subject wearing an orange shirt and blue jeans, advising Mitchell that the man, Shawn Michael Thacker, 38, of East Point, had gotten out of the vehicle and was walking away from the accident through the Peking Dragon Chinese Restaurant’s parking lot. 


The Adult Education program at the Big Sandy Community and Technical College’s Mayo Campus in Paintsville hosted a graduation ceremony for 16 recent graduates of the GED program Tuesday, including performances by the Big Sandy Singers and words from guest speakers.

The program opened with a foreword and welcome from Dr. Sherry Zylka, president and CEO of BSCTC, followed by a performance from the Big Sandy Singers and another guest speaker, Cliff Latta. 

A Stambaugh man was arrested by Paintsville Police officers Friday after allegedly stealing tools from Sears.

John Daniels, 28, was among three people in a red Chevrolet S-10 pickup pulled over by PPD Officer Shane Cantrell Friday morning on Ky. 40. 

Cantrell said that a call about the alleged theft came in as he was at the Depot Road/Ky. 40 intersection, raising funds for the department’s annual “Shop with a Cop” program, and he happened to see a vehicle matching the given description. Cantrell executed a traffic stop near Mountain Manor.


The Johnson County Board of Elections held a recanvass for two county races at the county clerk’s office on Thursday, with no changes to the previously reported totals. 

In the first, the Democrat primary for District 2 Constable between Bruce Ritz and Bryan Castle was finalized with Castle ahead, 248 to 236. 

In the second, Johnson County’s numbers for the judge of the Court of Appeals race were also recanvassed. Former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice David Allen Barber earned 1,863 votes in Johnson County as part of 22,744 across the 7th District. He and Larry E. Thompson will face off in November’s general election, defeating incumbent Gene Smallwood Jr.

Administrators with the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center have confirmed one inmate has tested positive for hepatitis A, and steps are being taken to prevent the spread of the illness.

According to a statement from administrator F. D. Pete Fitzpatrick, an apparently jaundiced inmate was taken to the Paul B. Hall Regional Medical Center emergency room May 25. The jail was notified May 29 that tests confirmed the inmate had hepatitis A.


With Memorial Day behind us and school out for the summer, Tuesday at Ponderosa Apartments marked the kickoff of the Summer Meals program from the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Rural Development.

Sharon Johnson, multi-family housing program director or the USDA’s Kentucky office, said the program helps bridge the gap between May and August for a lot of rural families. 

“A lot of kids around here really rely on having a school lunch, and when school lets out, families now have to come up with three meals a day, and that can be hard,” Johnson said.

A Staffordsville man was arrested Friday after Kentucky State Police troopers responded to a complaint of an individual discharging a “large caliber handgun” over a neighboring residence and a public roadway, according to court documents.

The citation said a concerned neighbor called emergency dispatch, advising that William Hensley, 74, of Staffordsville, was outside in his yard and had fired the weapon in the direction of the caller, who also advised he could not see the weapon due to vegetation, but observed debris fall from leaves that were struck on trees in the round’s trajectory and heard the impact of the round across the roadway. 


"Fifth Hollar,” a series centering around the mysterious disappearance of several teenagers in the fictional Raelin, Kentucky, and featuring local thespians debuted in Paintsville Saturday, accompanied by a live concert and a meet-and-greet with the actors.

The series centers around local law enforcement officers and federal agents as they dig into the mystery of the Fifth Hollar, alongside local residents in Raelin, and discover the secrets of the “old coal mine town,” according to Rick Roberts, a Paintsville local who plays Sheriff James Robbins during his quest to track down the truth about the “Soul Taker.”