LOCAL NEWS

Local News 7-28-2015

 

Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office Searching for Wanted Individual

The following news story is a reminder from the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Dept. Sheriff Dwayne Price has released information on one of the department’s most recent wanted individuals. Sheriff Price said this will be a weekly release that will be shared on their FaceBook page. This week’s most wanted individual is Jessica L Spradlin 29 years old of Offutt KY. Sheriff Price said Spradlin is wanted for 7 active Arrest Warrants ranging from Felony Indictments to Misdemeanor Bench Warrants on Theft and Drug related charges. Sheriff Price and his department is asking the public for any information to the whereabouts of Jessica Spradlin. All information will be kept confidential and you may call the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Office at 606-789-3411.

2 Arrested in Martin Co. on Drug Charges

According to the Martin Co. Sheriff’s Office, 2 people were arrested early Monday morning following a home search and their now facing several drug charges. After receiving numerous complaints about pills being sold from a home along Big Elk Road in Inez, deputies went to this home around 1 AM and were granted consent from the owner to search the home. Once inside, deputies say the woman who lives at the home, Peggy Music, 54, had a bottle of Oxycodone hidden under a bathroom sink, as well as a bottle of Gabapentin hidden in a suit case in the kitchen. Investigators say she also had a small change purse hidden under the couch and deputies found two 10mg Vallium pills in the purse, as well as $750 in cash. Music was arrested and charged with two counts of trafficking controlled substance, one count of possession of a controlled substance, and one count of trafficking legend drugs.

Also at this location, deputies found another individual identified as Brian Gantt, 28, of Louisa. Gannt was arrested and charged with one count of tampering with physical evidence, one count of trafficking controlled substance, and one count of trafficking legend drugs. Gantt was said to have been sitting on the living room couch, when he bent over and placed something under the couch, which was found to be three bottles of pills. According to the criminal complaint, a bottle of Gabapentin that was found in the home was prescribed to Gannt on July 24, and contained only 40 of the 90 pills prescribed to him. Deputies also say a bottle of Morphine pills prescribed to Gannt was in the home and only 45 of the 60 pills prescribed to him were in the bottle. That prescription was also filled on July 24. Both were prescribed to Gannt by a doctor in Nashville, Tennessee. The Martin County Sheriff's Office says more arrests are pending.

2 Pike Co. Inmates Face Contraband Charges

Two Pike Co jail inmates are facing charges of promoting contraband. Back on July 6, Derek Nunemaker and Ronald Skeens tried to escape from jail by drilling a hole into the wall. Turns out, according to Pike Co. Jailer Freddy Lewis, he says the inmates had actually planned to have outsiders pass drugs through a hole in the wall. Lewis told WYMT news, “After we talked to the ones that was actually involved in it we finally figured out that that's what they was doing. They'd already had it set up in fact they already had a couple of people that had agreed to push the drugs through the hole of the jail for them.

Disability Hearings Create Crushing Demand for Attorneys in Eastern Ky

A federal review of 1,500 Social Security benefit awards has created a crushing demand for attorneys in eastern Kentucky. The Social Security Administration is reviewing the benefits awarded to clients of attorney Eric Conn because of suspected fraud. Those cases are likely headed to hearings before administrative law judges that could start as soon as September. Most of the people being reviewed say they cannot afford an attorney. The Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky has received requests from 400 people so far asking for representation. Executive Director Robert Johns said it is an unprecedented level of demand that has caused the agency to scramble to find attorneys. Attorneys in the cases likely will not be paid. Johns said so far about 80 attorneys have volunteered to help.

Information on Flood Relief Efforts in Johnson Co.

The following is an updated list from Johnson County Judge Executive and Paintsville/Johnson County Emergency Management.

• The primary point of distribution is located at Mayo Plaza, beside Big Sandy Furniture, they will be open from 8 AM until 8 PM, contact number is 606-792-5105 (Beginning Wednesday, July 29, 2015, the hours of distribution will change to 8 AM until 5 PM). Suggested items:

Extension Cords
Coolers
Laundry Detergent
Air mattresses
Sleeping bags
Water Hoses
Paper Plates
Cereal
Non Perishable Items/Food
Light Bulbs
Fans
Gatorade
Spaghetti sauce

Volunteers are also needed. If you are interested, Please stop by the Center during business hours or call the center @ 606-792-5105

• American Red Cross, Christian Appalachian Project, and other organizations remain in the area to provide immediate assistance to individuals affected by the flood event.

• Contact Information, Jill Stafford, she will be the contact person for people needing assistance for;

1. Flood cleanup
2. Debris cleanup
3. Home repairs.

Jill Stafford can be reached at 606-789-8016

• Any volunteer organization requesting or wishing to volunteer assistance, can contact Mr. Harold Underwood at 606-789-8016

• Grief Counselors with Billy Graham Rapid Response Team are in the area. If you need help please call 980-254-3658 or 1-800-335-1337

• The Johnson County Health Department has given 238 Tetanus Shots to residents, volunteers, and workers in the affected area. Additional shots are available by coming by the Johnson County Health Department.

• Johnson County appreciates the generous outpouring of donations. However we have now reached our capacity of accepting used clothing.

• For more information call Paintsville/Johnson County Emergency Management at 606-789-2260.           

 

Local News 7-27-2015

 

Information on Flood Relief Efforts in Johnson Co.

The following is an updated list from Johnson County Judge Executive and Paintsville/Johnson County Emergency Management.

• The primary point of distribution continues to be located in the Mayo Plaza, beside Big Sandy Furniture. They will be open from 8 AM until 8 PM. Here is a list of items that are needed at the Johnson County Flood Distribution Center:

Canned goods/non-perishable items
Tools
Wheelbarrow
Shovels
Rakes
Crowbars
Laundry detergent
Heavy duty gloves
Heavy duty trash bags
Plastic trash bins
Toiletries
Extension cords
Water hoses
Pillows

If you have any questions, please call the Johnson County Flood Relief line at contact number is 606-792-5105.

• American Red Cross, Christian Appalachian Project, and other organizations remain in the area to provide immediate assistance to individuals affected by the flood event.

• Jill Stafford has been designated as the Contact Person for those people needing assistance

1. Flood cleanup
2. Debris cleanup
3. Home repairs.

Jill Stafford can be reached at 606-789-8016

• Grief Counselors with Billy Graham Rapid Response Team remain in the area. If you need help, Please call 980-254-3658 or 1-800-335-1337

• From Harold Underwood, any volunteer organization requesting or wishing to volunteer assistance, can reach Mr. Underwood at, 606-477-9371 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• For more information call Paintsville/Johnson County Emergency Management at     606-789-2260.

• The Johnson County Health Department has given 238 Tetanus Shots to residents, volunteers, and workers in the affected area. Additional shots are available by coming by the Johnson County Health Department.

• Johnson County appreciates the generous outpouring of donations. However we have now reached our capacity of accepting used clothing.

• For more information call Paintsville/Johnson County Emergency Management at 606-789-2260.

Car on Fire, Crashes into a House in Johnson Co. Two Reported injured

According to a news release from the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Department, on Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 9:42 Deputies responded to a call of a single vehicle collision with Injuries on Delong Road near Industrial Park in Hager Hill. It appeared a 1987 GMC Blazer driven by Charity Donnelly 39 Years old of Thealka, caught on fire then struck a house along Delong road. Deputies reported that a full gas can was being transported inside the vehicle and that the driver reported the can burst into flames causing her vehicle to strike the house. West Van Lear Fire department responded in a timely manner and the house did not catch on fire. Charity Donnelly was cited on scene for failure to maintain insurance and her along with 2 others were transported to medical facilities by Paintsville EMS for burn related injuries. The collision is still under investigation at this time by Deputies Byron Fairchild and Justin Webb.

Breathitt Counties “Biggest” Drug Bust in Years, Nets Several Thousands of Dollars, Drugs

According to reports from the Breathitt Co Sheriff’s Office, deputies made two arrests late last week, in connection to a meth lab off of Kentucky 20 West. Jason Pennington and Zechariah Gross now face meth related charges, as officials say this bust was much different than anything that they have seen in recent years. Breathitt County Sheriff Ray Clemons says this was the biggest drug bust Breathitt County has seen in a while. When deputies began the bust, they expected to find anywhere from "seven to eight hundred" dollars in the house. What they found was quite literally ten-fold that estimated amount. Nearly $8,000, along with meth, marijuana, pills, and guns were found in the house. "Safe had boxes full of money wadded up, hundred dollar bills, fifty dollar bills.... even had 15 two dollar bills," Sheriff Clemons said. Among the strange currency found in the house was an extensive coin collection. Deputies said they were unsure if the collection was used to pay for drugs or if it belonged to the accused. The bust took a total of nine hours to execute. Jason Pennington, Joseph Pennington's brother, was also arrested for a parole violation.           

Police Warn of Phone Scam in Morgan Co

Police need help identifying two people calling people in Morgan County telling them they owe a debt. The telephone caller ID displays West Liberty Police. KSP say the scammers insist the debt must be paid immediately and will give instructions of online payment. Anyone with information is asked to call Kentucky State Police at 800-222-5555.

"Operation School Shoe/Sock” a HUGE Success

Organizers with Operation School Shoe say over 500 pairs of shoes were given out to Johnson Co/Paintsville school children Saturday free of charge. The event took place at the Johnson Co. Middle School and was the fourth year for the event, put on by local churches, businesses, and private donations. Not only were shoes given away, but for the second year, socks were also handed out to the kids when they received their new pair of shoes, available to any students attending any school in the Johnson Co. and Paintsville Independent School System, who might not otherwise be able to have a good pair of shoes to start the school year. Efforts are already underway for next year’s Operation School Shoe/Sock event. Founders say the event has grown significantly since they started and has even spread to other counties and organizers hope to help even more children in the future. Operation School Shoe was stared in 2011.

 

Local News 7-24-2015

 

Information on Flood Relief Efforts in Johnson Co.

The following is an updated list from Johnson County Judge Executive and Paintsville/Johnson County Emergency Management.

• The primary point of distribution continues to be located in the Mayo Plaza, beside Big Sandy Furniture. They will be open from 8 AM until 8 PM. Here is a list of items that are needed at the Johnson County Flood Distribution Center:

Canned goods/non-perishable items
Tools
Wheelbarrow
Shovels
Rakes
Crowbars
Laundry detergent
Heavy duty gloves
Heavy duty trash bags
Plastic trash bins
Toiletries
Extension cords
Water hoses
Pillows

If you have any questions, please call the Johnson County Flood Relief line at contact number is 606-792-5105.

• American Red Cross will be at Flat Gap Elementary from 10 AM until 8 PM (or until supplies are exhausted) Friday and Saturday. They will have caseworkers, disaster health services, disaster mental health workers and disaster assessment teams, along with bulk distribution volunteers on site. They will also be distributing recovery information, cleanup kits, food boxes and other bulk items to residents.

• American Red Cross, Christian Appalachian Project, and other organizations remain in the area to provide immediate assistance to individuals affected by the flood event.

• Jill Stafford has been designated as the Contact Person for those people needing assistance

1. Flood cleanup
2. Debris cleanup
3. Home repairs.

Jill Stafford can be reached at 606-789-8016

• Grief Counselors with Billy Graham Rapid Response Team remain in the area. If you need help, Please call 980-254-3658 or 1-800-335-1337

• From Harold Underwood, any volunteer organization requesting or wishing to volunteer assistance, can reach Mr. Underwood at, 606-477-9371 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• For more information call Paintsville/Johnson County Emergency Management at     606-789-2260.

Lexington Police/Fire in Johnson Co Helping Others

Police and Fire Department members from the Lexington area, have arrived in Johnson Co. to assist with first responders who have been affected by last week’s flooding. The program is called, “First Responders Helping First Responders”. According to former Johnson Co. resident and current Lexington Police Sgt. Ron Keaton, he says, “So often first responders are the last to ask for help, because they are so bust helping others. We are coming to Johnson Co. to help them get their properties in order.” Keaton was raised in the Flat Gap area and he said he knows so many people who have been affected by this ordeal and he says this relief effort is something that is close to his heart. According to Keaton, “They (First Responders) are helping others, and we are there to help them.”

Keaton ads that for the past week, first responders from the Lexington area have been hosting special drives to raise donations to bring to Johnson Co. to help out. Items such as gift cards, gas cards, food, toiletries, hygiene products, cleaning supplies and even cards and hand written letters have been brought in, showing that residents of Central Ky are thinking about their fellow Kentuckians.

Keaton says the first responders that travelled to Johnson Co. will be set up at Flat Gap Elementary School Gymnasium and will spend today through Sunday in Johnson Co., helping out in whatever fashion they can.

Floyd Co. Clinic Owner Indicted on Medicare Fraud Charges

According to WSAZ, a Floyd County clinic owner was indicted on Wednesday, on charges related to Medicaid fraud and theft. The Kentucky Attorney General says Debra Lafferty Holiday, 50, of Prestonsburg, owns and operates All Family Health Care in Prestonsburg. On Wednesday, a Floyd County grand jury indicted Holiday on three counts of Kentucky Medical Assistance Program Fraud over $300, and one count of Theft by Unlawful Taking over $10,000. According to the report, the indictment alleges that from September 11, 2008, through November 12, 2012, Holiday engaged in various frauds and actions which caused fraudulent claims to be submitted to Medicaid. Holiday is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges on August 27 in Floyd Circuit Court.

         

Police in Floyd Co. Need Help in Finding a Stolen Vehicle

According to the Floyd Co Sheriff’s Department, deputies are asking for the public’s help in locating a stolen county vehicle. Reports indicate that sometime over the weekend, a county vehicle was stolen from a water department parking lot in Prestonsburg. The truck is a two-door extended cab. There are no markings on the vehicle. Officials say a tailgate from another truck was also taken. The truck is a 2000 model ford F250, white in color and it was last seen with official tags on it. The truck is a two-door extended cab. There are no markings on the vehicle. Anyone with information can call the Floyd County Sheriff's Office at 606-886-6171.

Missing Pike Co. Man Found Safe

A missing Pike County man was found safe Wednesday evening. Officials in Pike Co. say that 71-year-old Floyd Castle went missing Tuesday night from his residence in the Mouthcard community of Pike Co.

Traffic Advisory: KY 486 Closed for Repair in Carter Co

The Kentucky Department of Highways has temporarily closed part of KY 486 in southern Carter County because of worsening conditions at the site of a slide repair just west of Willard at the Carter-Elliott county line near Dobbins. Highway crews and contractors have been installing T-rail and back-filling an excavated area of embankment while keeping the roadway passable to traffic outside of construction hours. Because of recent wet weather and its effect on embankment conditions, the roadway will remain closed for safety reasons. The road will reopen when repairs are complete, which is expected around the middle of next week. Motorists should heed warning signs and barricades, and watch message boards for updates. Traffic may detour using KY 1, KY 1496 and KY 1122, or local routes.

 

Local News 7-23-2015

 

Updated Information on Flood Relief in Johnson Co.

The following is a press release from Johnson County Judge Executive and Paintsville/Johnson County Emergency Management

• The primary point of distribution is located at Mayo Plaza, beside Big Sandy Furniture, they will be open from 8 AM until 8 PM, contact number is 606-792-5105

• American Red Cross, Christian Appalachian Project, and other organizations remain in the area to provide immediate assistance to individuals affected by the flood event.

• A shelter continues to be maintained by the American Red Cross on the KCTCS campus (Mayo School) located on Third Street, Paintsville, Ky.

• Jill Stafford has been designated as the Contact Person for those people needing assistance

1. Flood cleanup
2. Debris cleanup
3. Home repairs.

Stafford can be reached at 606-789-8016

• From Harold Underwood, any volunteer organization requesting or wishing to volunteer assistance, can reach Mr. Underwood at, 606-477-9371 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• For more information call Paintsville/Johnson County Emergency Management at     606-789-2260.

Magoffin Co. Schools Employees Collect Supplies for Johnson Co

Flood relief donations keep rolling into Johnson Co. in an effort to help the residents affected by last week’s disaster. Church groups, civic organizations and individuals from all across Kentucky and the Nation have donated cleaning supplies, food and water, clothing and basic essentials for the residents. One such group that has decided to add to this donation effort is the Magoffin Co. School system. Magoffin Countains know something about devastation, as it was just three years ago that the Tornado ravaged Eastern Ky. and almost wiped out parts of Magoffin Co., as well as some Magoffin Co. schools. According to organizer, Secretary to the Superintendent Michelle Howard, "Our kids had nothing. No books, no pencils, no paper. They had nothing." Howard said Johnson County residents was one of many that stepped up to help its neighbors. Now, Magoffin County would like to return the favor. "Just paying forward," Magoffin County Superintendent Stanley Holbrook said. "That's what we're doing. They helped us and we're going to help them. That's what you have to do." Howard came up with the idea to collect school supplies for kids in Johnson County and helps those suffering try to get back to normal, or as close to normal as possible. School supplies are just a start.

The school district will continue to take donations until Monday, July 27. If you would like to donate, you can stop by the Magoffin County Board of Education or any Magoffin County school.

Tips Lead to Drug Bust/Arrest in Paintsville

After a month long investigation, The Paintsville Police Department served a search warrant at a Paintsville residence and uncovered drugs, drug paraphernalia and cash. According to Detective Jonathan Holbrook, he told WSIP news that the police department had received several calls or “tips” concerning “high traffic” at the Elite Apartment Complex (near the Paintsville Pool) Apt #9. Detective Holbrook, along with Asst Chief Mike Rowe went to the location and conducted a “knock & talk” and ask a female renter for consent to search the apartment. The female consented to the search and Holbrook and Rowe quickly discovered “questionable” items associated with drug activity. The female then revoked the search and ask the officers to leave. Detective Holbrook was able to get a search warrant on the property and returned a short time later with Asst. Chief Rowe, Chief Bill Holbrook, Deputy Byron Fairchild and Constable James “Red Eye” Castle. Upon search of the apartment, officers located several “smoking” pipes, clear baggies with crystal substance inside, clear baggies with blue pills, snorting straws, a green “leafy” substance and over $2000 in cash. A total of 4 people were located at the apartment and were arrested. Those individuals are:

Brittany Music, 19 of Paintsville
Phillip Burgin, 35 of West Van Lear
April Haney, 20 of Van Lear
Matthew Meek, 25 of Sitka

InmateImg072015ZZZ84414 07222015171120 InmateImg072015ZZZ84411 07222015164221
InmateImg072015ZZZ84413 07222015164944 InmateImg072015ZZZ84412 07222015164553

All 4 have been charged with the following:

* Drug Paraphernalia – Buy/Possess
* Poss. Of Controlled Substance 1st Deg. – 1st Offense (Drug Unspecified)
* Trafficking in Cont. Substance 1st Deg. – 1st Offense (> OR = 10 Drug Unspecified)
* Possession Controlled Substance 3rd Deg. - (Drug Unspecified)

IMG 0146

All 4 have been lodged in the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center. Detective Holbrook stated that the investigation is continuing and more arrest are pending in the case. Paintsville Police Chief Bill Holbrook ask the public that if they have any information of illegal activity, to please call his office at 606-789-2603.         

Name Released in a Letcher Co. Lake Drowning

Authorities in Letcher Co. have released the name of a female victim, who drowned in a Letcher Co. Lake. According to the Knott County deputy coroner, the victim has been identified as 36 year old Tammy Ann Deaton of Perry Co. Deaton’s remains were located in the Carr Creek Lake Tuesday night. Officials say the preliminary toxicology report shows everything is consistent with a drowning. A toxicology report however is pending.

 

Local News 7-22-2015

 

Updated Information on Flood Relief in Johnson Co.

The following is a press release from Johnson County Judge Executive and Paintsville/Johnson County Emergency Management

• The primary point of distribution of supplies will be moving from Johnson Central High School to Mayo Plaza, beside Big Sandy Furniture Superstore tonight. Plans are that the distribution center will be open at 8:00 A.M., Wednesday morning, July 22, contact number is 606-792-5105

• American Red Cross, Christian Appalachian Project, and other organizations remain in the area to provide immediate assistance to individuals affected by the flood event.

• A shelter continues to be maintained by the American Red Cross on the KCTCS campus (Mayo School) located on Third Street, Paintsville, Ky.

• Contact Information, Jill Stafford, she will be the contact person for people needing assistance for the following:

1. Flood cleanup
2. Debris cleanup
3. Home repairs

She can be reached at 606-792-6893 or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• From Harold Underwood, any volunteer organization requesting or wishing to volunteer assistance, can reach Mr. Underwood at, 606-477-9371 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

• Paintsville/Johnson County Emergency Management at 606-789-2260.

Countywide Boil Water Advisory Lifted following Flooding Event

The following is from Paintsville Utilities...

The boil water advisory for the Route 172 area was lifted on Tuesday, July 21, thus totally clearing the system wide advisory which was issued last week. Due to the extreme flood event and to protect our customers, Paintsville Utilities collected three times the number of samples as required by the state. Every sample came back clean.

There is a boil water advisory currently in effect for Third Street from Elm Street to Margaret Heights and for Margaret Heights between Third and Fourth streets. As of late Tuesday afternoon this is the only advisory for our system.

Lawrence Co. Man Pleads Guilty to Wife’s Murder

A Lawrence Co. man has admitted to the 2013 beating death of his wife. Aaron Uhlmann, 44, of Webbville, Ky., entered into a plea agreement to the murder and kidnapping of his wife, Jennifer Priddy, 54. She died from her injuries in March 2014, several months after the beating. Uhlmann was arrested in December 2013. This was several days after investigators said he called 911 telling them he had beaten his wife. Investigators say Priddy was tied up and beaten to the point where she suffered head injuries. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors have recommended a 25 year sentence. Uhlmann is scheduled to be sentenced on August 14.

Martin Co. Sheriff’s Dept. Arrest 2 in Drug Bust

According to the Martin Co. Sheriff’s Department, acting on tips from the public of heavy traffic at an Inez residence, deputies arrested a male and female on drug charges. The bust happened Monday night at a house along Bill Stepp Bottom. Martin County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Andy Eugene Stacy, 63, and charged him with drug trafficking and drug possession. During a search of Stacy’s house, deputies say they seized 15 guns, cash, narcotics and marijuana. According to the criminal citation, Stacy had two scanners in the living room, and one in the bedroom. Deputies say Stacy is a convicted felon with a prior drug trafficking conviction. Also arrested was Nancy Evans, 35, of Inez. She was at the residence at the time of the bust. She allegedly admitted to buying an Oxycondone pill from Stacy. Stacy is being held in Big Sandy Regional Detention Center.

Police Searching for 2 People in a Pike Co. Business Theft

Police in Pike Co. are searching for 2 people, accused of robbing the Ace Hardware Store in Pike Co. The incident happened Friday evening in the Coal Run Village store. Employees say a man and woman came into the store and looked around. The female left the store, but the man remained inside and was placing merchandise in different parts of the store. Store management told Police the man then grabbed two chainsaws and a trimmer and left. The items stolen equals to nearly 13-hundred dollars. Police ask that if anyone has any information about the theft to please call the Kentucky State Police in Pikeville at 606-433-7711.