LOCAL NEWS

Local News 7-21-2015

 

Johnson County, Kentucky Status Update/Press Release

The following is a news release from Johnson County Judge/Executive & Paintsville/Johnson County Emergency Management

•           On July 13 2015, Johnson County and the City of Paintsville declared a local state of emergency due to a flooding event, numerous residents and properties were affected. From July 13 through July 17, search and rescue operations were conducted to locate unaccounted for individuals.

•           On Saturday, July 18, representatives from FEMA, Small Business Administration, Kentucky Emergency Management and Local Officials conducted a preliminary damage assessment in Johnson County. Information from the assessment is being compiled in Frankfort at this time. After completion of the information, the Governor’s office will determine at that point if a federal declaration will be submitted to Washington D. C. If a Federal Declaration is received, information will be provided by FEMA concerning the process of registration.

•           Johnson County Judge/Executive Roger T. Daniel is working with State Emergency Management, NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Kentucky Department of Transportation to determine a plan for debris removal.

•           Currently the primary point of distribution of supplies is taking place at Johnson Central High School. Other points of distribution are, Flat Gap Volunteer Fire Dept., Red Bush Volunteer Fire Dept. and numerous churches in Johnson County.

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

•           Currently a shelter is being maintained by the American Red Cross on the KCTCS campus (Mayo School) located on Third Street, Paintsville, Ky.

•           Residents with vegetation debris are permitted to burn, but should exercise caution.

If you need further information, please call Paintsville/Johnson County Emergency Management at 606-789-2260.

Cleanup Efforts Continue in Johnson Co.

The following is a list of items needed for donation sites and the locations, as well as other information about flood cleanup efforts.

* JCHS continues to be the hub for donated items and they will be open again today to distribute flood relief items. Because of the outpouring of items donated, JCHS Principal Russell Halsey is asking the public to please call the school before you drop off the items @ 606-792-5171 or 606-789-2500. He told WYMT, "Disasters are long term, this is going to be a long term process as far as recovery. We need to organize what we got and see what we've got at those fire stations, schools and churches out in the community." He said that does not mean they will not need items in the short future, "We will need items again, so we don't want to say no we're fine and we don't need items in relief. We're almost to the point where we are getting inundated with items coming in, when we're not being nearly as effective as we need to be with items going out" says Halsey.

* Red Bush Community Center on Rt 172 near the Morgan Co. line is open 9 AM – 9 PM and has medical supplies, clothing, other supplies and food. They are in need of lunch meat, bread etc…and items such as that to feed the many people coming by the center.

* Flat Gap Elementary will be open today from 8-8 to distribute supplies. They have plenty of drinking water and ice for those who need it. Other supplies will be replenished throughout the day. Remember if you need it ask and they will help you locate it. You may contact the school at 265-3100.

* Flat Gap Vol. Fire Department is continuing to provide needed supplies and water to flood victims.

* Highland Church of Christ – Community Rescue Mission is located on Euclid Ave. in Paintsville and is accepting donations and giving away these items to the flood victims. They are also accepting monetary donations. For more information please call 606-791-6418 or 606-789-6433

* Big Mud LIck Church of God (mouth of 172) still has cleaning and other supplies

* Encounter Missions will be open 9-4 all this week unless a need arises to stay longer.

* Paintsville Church of Christ located on 11th St. in Paintsville is also available to distribute disaster relief items to flood victims. For those unable to come by, individuals may call the Church @ 606-789-6819 and set up a delivery time and location.

* EMERGENCY SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE - YOUR HELP IS NEEDED! Please help by bringing any and all supplies to the JCSO no later than Wednesday, August 5. Book bags for elementary and larger ones for middle and high school students are needed as well as pencils, paper, binders, folders, pens, etc...

All donated items will be given to the Family Resource Centers from the schools that have students affected by the flood. PLEASE HELP!

Martin Co. Sheriff’s Dept. Arrest Man on Several Drug Charges

According to a news release from the Martin County Sheriff's Department, deputies arrested 33 year old Chris Spradlin early Friday morning and charged him with buying or possessing drug paraphernalia, and cultivating five or more marijuana plants. According to the arrest citation, deputies responded to a call of a fourteen year old driving a vehicle without parent’s permission. Upon talking to the juvenile, he advised deputies that someone made a threat to get the car and hide it and they were just bringing it back. Upon further investigation, the officer received consent to search the house and found a glass pipe and a wood pipe. When deputies went outside the back door, they found nine marijuana plants, ranging from three feet in height to nine feet in height. A bond has not yet been set in the case, and a court date has not yet been set.

Two Men Indicted for 2013 Perry Co Murder and Arson

Two men have been indicted, charged with the murders of two Perry County women back in 2013, as well as arson for setting their home on fire to conceal the crime. The indictment was handed down Friday, July 17 by a Perry County Grand Jury charging 32 year-old Matthew Minks with murder, burglary, complicity to arson and two counts of abuse of a corpse. 30 year-old Ronnie Everage was indicted for two counts of capital murder, robbery, burglary, arson, two counts of abuse of a corpse and two counts of tampering with physical evidence, theft and cultivating marijuana. Both men are accused of killing 64 year-old Sandra K. Melton and her daughter 35 year-old Suzy Melton and then setting their Scuddy home on fire to conceal the crime.

 

Local News 7-20-2015

 

           

Fourth Man Found Dead Following Monday's Flood

According to Johnson Co. Coroner J.R. Frisby and Johnson Co. Sheriff Dwayne Price, the fourth victim from the devastating flooding in Johnson Co., was found Friday night after a week long search. Frisby said the body of 34 year old Scott Johnson, was found underneath a trailer near the entrance to Stone Cole Road, which is just off Rt 172. Scott has been called a hero after he tried to save his grandmother, Willa Mae Pennington, and a young boy, considered a family friend. Pennington was found dead earlier in week. The young boy survived the flood by hanging on to a tree until help could arrive. In all a total of four people lost their lives in Monday's flood: Pennington, Johnson, Richard Blair, and Herman Eddie May.         

FEMA Officials begin Assessing Damage in Johnson Co.

Local and state officials toured the devastation left by last week's flood along with FEMA officials on Saturday. Emergency Management officials say they are beginning the cleanup and recovery process - now that they are no longer searching for missing people. They traveled with FEMA representatives throughout the flooded areas taking preliminary assessments. Those preliminary numbers will be turned over to the governor, which will then be sent to Washington for approval. Paintsville/Johnson Co. Emergency Management Director Gary McClure told WSIP news that once the numbers are processed, information on what steps need to be taken next will be released.

Operation Helping Hands Radio-thon goes over $60,000

On Saturday, July 18, Big Sandy Community and Technical College, in conjunction with the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Paintsville/Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, Floyd County Chamber of Commerce, Appalachian Wireless and WSIP, hosted a Radio-thon called “Operation Helping Hands” from noon to 6 pm on WSIP (98.9 FM). Many people chipped in and answered phones, greeted people as they came through the doors and listened to stories of those who went through the flooding.

Thanks to the generosity of WSIP listeners, we were able to raise over $60,000. The money collected will now go to the Johnson Co. Long Term Recovery Committee for the residents impacted by the devastating flooding in Johnson Co. You can still give to this organization. The Johnson County Long-Term Recovery Committee is accepting cash/check donations at the following address:

(For Checks) -

Johnson County Long-Term Recovery Committee
C/O Johnson County Fiscal Court
P.O. Box 868
Paintsville, KY 41240

(For Cash Donations) -

Johnson County Long-Term Recovery Committee
C/O Johnson County Fiscal Court
230 Court Street, Suite 201
Paintsville, KY 41240

Flooding Hits a Section of Lawrence Co.

Saturday night brought with it another round of severe storms to parts of our region. One such area that was hit hard by the heavy rains was the community of Blaine in Lawrence Co. Rescuers in Lawrence Co say they had their hands full Saturday night with several high water rescues in the Blaine area. According to Lawrence Co Emergency officials, crews from the Blaine Fire Department and Lawrence County Search and Rescue Squad helped rescue people out of their homes on Caines Creek Road when water got over the roadway around five feet deep. Authorities say several homes have been impacted by the water, but thankfully there was no major damage. On Sunday officials report there had been no reports of anyone injured or missing. In that area.

JCSO Arrest Multiple Individuals on Drug related Charges

* According to a news release from the Johnson Co. Sheriff’s Department, on the evening of Saturday, July 18, 2015 at 9:30 PM. The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office was conducting a traffic safety check point on KY Highway 201 when they observed a 2006 white Mitsubishi operated by Terry J. Hamilton of Floyd County turn to avoid the check point and struck a ditch line on KY201. Deputy Byron Fairchild investigated the vehicle and observed the vehicles registration plate was cancelled for failure to maintain insurance. Upon contact with the driver Deputy Fairchild performed standardized field sobriety tests and determined that Terry J. Hamilton was operating under the influence of drugs and that his driver’s license was suspended for a prior DUI charge. Hypodermic needles along with empty Buprenorphine (Suboxone) packages were found inside the vehicle.

ARREST INFORMATION- Terry J. Hamilton 30 Years old of Floyd County KY was arrested and charged with the following:

1) DUI 2nd Offense
2) Driving DUI suspended license 1st offense
3) Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
4) No Registration Plates
5) No Registration Receipt
6) Failure to produce insurance card
7) Failure of owner to maintain required insurance
8) Reg & Title Requirements vehicle not operate on highway

* In a separate news release from the JCSO, i the early morning hours of Wednesday, July 15, 2015 at 1:27 AM. The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office received a drug tip at days inn located in Paintsville. Deputies Byron Fairchild and David Pridemore responded. The deputies found several people in a Red 2001 Chevrolet Impala in the parking lot. The Deputies reported that the subjects were under the influence and one person was not clothed inside the vehicle visible to the public. The Deputies reported that consent to search the vehicle was gained and a quantity of a white-powder substance believed to be Methamphetamine along with a hypodermic syringe was located. Assisting at the scene was the Paintsville Police Department and Constable District 1 James castle.

ARREST INFORMATION-

Mathew S. Joseph 28 years old of Salyersville was arrested on the following charges:

1) Felony Possession of Methamphetamine
2) Public Intoxication Controlled substance
3) Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
4) Indecent Exposure 1st degree

Shawn Meade 37 years old of Paintsville was arrested on the following charges:

1) Felony Possession of Methamphetamine
2) Public Intoxication controlled substance
3) Possession of Drug paraphernalia

The case is under investigation by Deputy Byron Fairchild.

 

Local News 7-17-2015

 

Cleanup Continues Following Johnson Co. Floods

During a news conference Thursday @ JCHS, KSP Post 9 Public Affairs Officer, Steven Mounts said rescue workers along Rt 172 in the Staffordsville, Volga and Flat Gap community, found the body of a third victim following the aftermath of Monday’s devastating floods. With this latest discovery, 3 people have now been confirmed deceased. According to Johnson Co. Coroner J.R. Frisby, the first victim was identified as 56-year-old Herman Eddie May. The second victim was been identified as 74-year-old Willa Mae Pennington and the third victim has been identified as 22-year-old Richard Blair. Trooper Mounts said officials are continuing to actively search for another adult male that was known to have been swept away in the flood waters. The name of this person has not “officially” been released to the media. Trooper Mounts also stated that downed phone lines make communication very difficult in this area and previous reports said they were searching for a total of 7 unaccounted for individuals, but as the week went on, those people were able to contact family members. So “officially” as of Thursday morning, emergency officials have only 1 unaccounted for and No children are among the missing at this time.

Gary McClure, Paintsville/Johnson Co. Emergency management director said the hardest hit areas were the communities of Redbush, Flat Gap and Staffordsville and volunteers from several agencies in Johnson and surrounding counties, along with 50 or so National Guard soldiers, continue to conduct search and rescue operations. McClure added that the raging water destroyed about 150 homes and impacted a total of around 500 residents. Police are continuing to limit traffic into these areas off Rt 172 because of multiple hazards, including downed power lines, trees and collapsing roads. Troopers will require anybody entering the area to show ID. WSIP news will continue to follow the recovery efforts and will bring you further updates once they become available.

Residents Flood Area Donation Centers with Cleanup/Recovery Items

In the aftermath of the flood, officials are organizing donations at Johnson Central High School in Paintsville. The Johnson County Disaster Support team is asking people to NOT bring clothing items. Right now they are asking only for the following: baby diapers, baby food, baby formula, baby wipes, water, non-perishable food items, contact lens solution, personal hygiene items, toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, aspirin/Tylenol, ointments, band-aids, batteries, flashlights, blankets/pillows, jackets, rubber boots, rubber gloves, Clorox, Clorox wipes, bug spray, cleaning supplies, mop, broom, bucket, dustpans, Lysol, can openers, towels, and wash cloths.

To see a total list of donation centers, please visit the WSIP facebook page or you can visit the WSIP website at www.wsipfm.com.

Radiothon Scheduled for Saturday on WSIP

Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) and WSIP (98.9 FM) will broadcast an Operation Helping Hands Radiothon on Saturday, July 18 from noon to 6 p.m. The radiothon, powered by Appalachian Wireless, is also sponsored by the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Paintsville/Johnson County Chamber of Commerce and Floyd County Chamber of Commerce. All proceeds from the radiothon will go to the Johnson County Long-Term Recovery Group. The group associates with community volunteers and leaders, bringing together the means to re-establish normalcy in the lives of those affected by disasters. “The effects of this flood will linger for weeks, months and even years for some,” said Bobby McCool, chief institutional officer and chair of the Johnson County Long-Term Recovery Group. “It is critical that we have the resources in place to help the people affected by this disaster rebuild and pick up the pieces.”

Spike Berkhimer, general manager of WSIP, said the station is proud to support such a worthwhile endeavor. “Our people are hurting, and we need to all do our parts to help pick them up,” said Berkhimer. “We encourage the people of eastern Kentucky to open their hearts and help us take a significant first step in this long-term recovery.” In addition to the radiothon, collection bins have been placed at Food City locations in Paintsville and Prestonsburg for non-perishable food items, toiletries and cleaning supplies. For more information on the Johnson County Long-Term Recovery Group, contact Bobby McCool at (606) 788-2883 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information on the radiothon, contact Joshua Ball, director of college relations, at (606) 889-4703 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Local News 7-16-2015

 

Recovery Efforts Continue in Johnson Co. Third Body Recovered

Emergency workers, along with the National Guard are continuing their efforts to locate those people still missing following Monday’s flooding that hit Johnson Co. During a news conference Wednesday morning, KSP Post 9 Public Affairs Officer Steven Mounts said heavy equipment including excavators and dump trucks, are in some of the hardest hit areas of Staffordsville, Volga and Flat Gap searching for lost individuals. As of Wednesday morning, Trooper Mounts said they are actively searching for two adult men, known to have been swept away during Monday’s flood. The 2 men’s identities have not been officially released. As of late Wednesday afternoon, Johnson County Coroner J.R. Frisby says a third body has been found after the severe flooding along Rt 172. Frisby could not give the name of the victim.

Trooper Mounts said they are a total of 4 other individuals who are unaccounted for that are residents of the flooded area. Rescue crews have worked non-stop for the past 2 days, combing the hilly and unstable terrain, but they have been hampered by more heavy rains, swarming mosquitoes, humidity and knee-deep mud. Emergency Officials say at least 500 homes and around 1,200 residents were affected by the flooding, along Rt 172. That number does not include areas off of Rt 172 were damage was also known to have taken place, but rescue workers have not been able to get to those areas because of debris and unstable road conditions.

On Tuesday, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear declared a state of emergency to give local officials immediate access to state resources to assist in recovery efforts. On Wednesday Lt. Gov. Crit Luellen along with State Emergency Management Officials, FEMA officials and National Guard officials toured the flooded areas. Lt. Gov. Luellen she was amazed by the damage and although other areas of Eastern Ky have been affected by storms, clearly Johnson Co. was hit the hardest and that’s were the most devastation took place. She added that the State, as well as the National Government have vowed to use every form of support for the residents hit by the heavy rains. FEMA officials will be back in full force on Monday to speak with the flood victims and start evaluating the damage which is expected to be significant. Lt. Gov. Luellen also said once these areas have opened back up to traffic that the Red Cross will move into help with the cleanup process and bring added supplies. Officials worked long into the night on Wednesday, continuing with the search and will be back at it bright and early on Thursday to do the same. Authorities say the search area stretches more than 8 miles, from the town of Flat Gap south to Staffordsville.

Local and State residents, businesses, churches, civic groups all have been volunteering their time an effort to bring in much needed supplies to Johnson Central High School, were efforts began on Tuesday afternoon to open up a donation drop-off area. Cleaning supplies, toiletries, clothing, water, non-perishable food items, boots and gloves have been graciously donated to help these victims. Hot meals have also delivered to these residents, as well as emergency personnel in the field. If you would like to make a donation, please bring your items to Johnson Central H.S. and if you have been affected and need such items, you can stop by and pick them up, just have some sort of I.D. WSIP news will continue to follow these recovery efforts, as well donation and bring you further updates, once they become available.

Radiothon Scheduled for Saturday on WSIP

Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) and WSIP (98.9 FM) will broadcast an Operation Helping Hands Radiothon on Saturday, July 18 from noon to 6 p.m. The radiothon, powered by Appalachian Wireless, is also sponsored by the Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Paintsville/Johnson County Chamber of Commerce and Floyd County Chamber of Commerce. All proceeds from the radiothon will go to the Johnson County Long-Term Recovery Group. The group associates with community volunteers and leaders, bringing together the means to re-establish normalcy in the lives of those affected by disasters. “The effects of this flood will linger for weeks, months and even years for some,” said Bobby McCool, chief institutional officer and chair of the Johnson County Long-Term Recovery Group. “It is critical that we have the resources in place to help the people affected by this disaster rebuild and pick up the pieces.”

Spike Berkhimer, general manager of WSIP, said the station is proud to support such a worthwhile endeavor. “Our people are hurting, and we need to all do our parts to help pick them up,” said Berkhimer. “We encourage the people of eastern Kentucky to open their hearts and help us take a significant first step in this long-term recovery.” In addition to the radiothon, collection bins have been placed at Food City locations in Paintsville and Prestonsburg for non-perishable food items, toiletries and cleaning supplies. For more information on the Johnson County Long-Term Recovery Group, contact Bobby McCool at (606) 788-2883 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information on the radiothon, contact Joshua Ball, director of college relations, at (606) 889-4703 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..