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Pierce tosses no-no in first round win over Lady Tigers
MICAILYN PIERCE delivered a pitch to the plate during the Lady Eagles’ 10-0 victory over the Paintsville Lady Tigers in the first round of the 2017 57th District Softball Tournament. Pierce allowed no hits and struck out seven in the five-inning contest. The Lady Eagles will take on the Magoffin County Lady Hornets in the championship game of the tournament tonight at 7 p.m. on the Johnson Central Softball Field.

By Tim Pelphrey
Sports Editor

The Johnson Central Lady Eagles defeated the Paintsville Lady Tigers, behind a no-hitter from pitcher Micailyn Pierce and 15 hits as a team Monday night in the first round of the 2017 57th District Softball Tournament at Lady Eagle Field.
Paintsville’s Jordyn Mulcahy reached on an error to lead off the contest, but the Lady Tigers couldn’t get her across, as Pierce retired the next three batters in order to get out of the inning.

Smile Awhile
Backseat Driver

Since I no longer drive, I am left to someone else’s devices if I need to go somewhere.  Not having the option of jumping into a vehicle and going to random destinations is quite debilitating.  But, thankfully, my husband has become my chauffeur by default.  You’d think I would be grateful, and I am.  However, being at someone else’s mercy can be a two-edged sword.
When Ronnie and I are traveling he doesn’t carry on a conversation.  Aside from the usual comments like “do you have to go to the bathroom” or “are you hungry” we never speak.
(Actually I talk; he doesn’t listen).  There are exceptions to this rule.  When we exceed the speed of light I might scream out, “Put your trays in an upright position!”  There have been times that I actually think he has reversed the aging process when we hit warp speed.
I know it sounds as if I am complaining, now I assure you I am not.  I appreciate his willingness to pilot me around, but since I am a former driver I do tend to insert my opinions.
Whether men will admit it or not, to them driving a vehicle is a control issue.  Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle gives them “instant macho” status.  They don’t just put their hands on the steering wheel; they fondle it.  And securing their seat belt seems to be yielding to submission.  In fact, Ronnie tunes out the constant “beeping” that alerts you that your seat belt is unfastened like it’s a Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young hit.
Despite these small concessions Ronnie drives quite defensively.  Although he drives faster than I prefer, he does stop --- abruptly.  When I drove I would start braking halfway between blocks, approaching the stop sign slowly and deliberately.  Ronnie chooses to stop exactly at the stop sign thus throwing me forward into the windshield.
At this point, you’re probably saying to yourself, “What an ingrate.”  Actually, that might be accurate except I don’t see myself as a “backseat driver” I see myself as a co-pilot. I feel that gives me some leverage particularly if we have passengers.
But Ronnie doesn’t see me as a co-pilot but rather as a flight attendant; the one who unwraps his sandwich and arranges it so he can eat and drive, finds the address for the GPS, and cleans his sunglasses.
Regardless of my complaints, Ronnie always manages to get me from Point A to Point B without a hitch. And as much as we travel, that’s no small feat.
I’m just waiting for that new car that drives for you.  Ronnie says I won’t like because I won’t be able to tell it what to do.  He’s probably right.
Have a great week and don’t forget to Smile Awhile!

Wells claims state shot put crown
By Tim Pelphrey
Sports Editor

Johnson Central junior Marcus Wells captured the 2017 shot put crown in the KHSAA Track and Field State Championships Friday at the University of Kentucky Track and Field Complex.
Wells was two feet better than the rest of the field with a distance of 49-09.50 on his final throw. The junior stepped to the throwing pit for the final time with a 48-08 throw already recorded. Bell County junior Dalton Raby finished second with a distance of 47-03.00 ahead of Mercer County junior Zack Phillips (46-08.75). The state record for the shot put in Kentucky is 67-00.00 and was set in 1969 by Jesse Stuart of Glasgow.

Paintsville 2017 Spring Fling was fun for all

By Elaine Belcher
News Editor

After hard work from the Paintsville Garden Club, Paintsville Main Street, Paintsville Tourism and volunteers, the 2017 Spring Fling welcomed residents and visitors alike.
Court Street was lined with vendors including Paintsville Fire and Rescue selling Fire House subs and assorted grilled sandwiches and the Johnson County Kiwanis selling freshly popped kettle corn, scents that filled the air and made mouths water just walking by. People enjoyed the treats while listening to local musicians fill the air with music, including nationally famous local singer Marlana VanHoose.
Just around the corner, kids eagerly signed up for the Big Wheel race in front of the Historic SIPP Theater. Each of the Big Wheel racers took their rides home as a prize for participating in the mad dash up Main St.
The Olika Engineers gave free rides up and down Main Street in their Shriner’s Train. Whiskers or Wags (WoW), the Johnson County Animal Shelter, lured in people with cages of kittens, puppies and dogs ready and willing to go to their forever homes.
The winner of the Paintsville mascot contest is Jackson Brown, the chocolate lab, found by Rick Roberts on Red Jacket Hill living under a truck about seven years ago. Roberts adopted Jack and has not looked back since. “He’s a great dog and everyone seems to love him. He is well known around town. The girls at Marathon give him treats when Rick takes him with him,” said Lisa Trusty Roberts, director of the Johnson County Animal Shelter.”
The parade starred first responders Paintsville Police, Paintsville Fire and Rescue Teams, Lisa and Leroy Johnson, driving a schooner wagon from the Mountain HomePlace Farm, and the Main Street Players in their costumes for their latest presentation: Willy Wonka.
If the heat of the day was getting to be too much, potential customers ducked into local businesses to shop and explore antiques and local products, including Treasures on Main, the Peddler’s Mall, and iced treats and cool drinks from Espresso Café.
“I thought it went extremely well,” said Paintsville Mayor Bill Mike Runyon. “It served both the purposes I hoped it would, bringing people downtown, and was extremely productive for kids.”
“The people responsible did an excellent job,” said Runyon.

Poison Oak
When there’s giggling in the pew

As a kid, I was an avid church attender. After all, except for going to the show on Saturday morning, or going to an occasional pie supper at school, church was about the only place for a kid to go.
But, as hard as it is to believe now, I was far from being a perfect child. Even the act of going to church sometimes got me into hot water, especially when Mom went, too You see, I had this habit of giggling when things were supposed to be very serious. In a sense, when I’d go to church with my mother, I was under a great deal of pressure. She’d warn me that if I let my “giggle-box get turned over again,” I was in deep trouble.
But thanks to an incident that occurred one Sunday night in March of 1949, Mom got a taste of her own medicine. It was one of those services when we had “special singing,” via The Tom’s Creek Quartet, and a special guest preacher, a “big preacher from town,” who, for soon-to-be obvious reasons,  shall remain nameless.
Mom, as she was wont to do, was sitting between my little brother and me, no doubt hoping that if we couldn’t see or touch each other, there was less chance of our embarrassing the family … again.
The service was progressing nicely. The special singers, as usual, did especially well. The congregational singing was emotionally rendered and one of the deacons had led a brief ten-minute-long prayer. It was now time for the big preacher from town to deliver his message.  
He was a short, fat little feller, dressed in a dark three-piece suit, looking exactly like what you’d expect a big preacher from town to look like. Problem was, just as he stepped up behind the podium, from her angle, Mom noticed something. Although his fly was closed, about three inches of his white shirt tail was hanging from the top of his zipper.
Now, my mother was a hearty laugher. When she laughed, she laughed. Fortunately for her, Free Wills are often very emotional in their worship. So, it was not at all that unusual to see a church member sitting between two young boys, bent forward with her face in her hands, with her shoulders shaking violently.
It took about five minutes, but finally she composed herself and sat back up, tears running down both sides of her face. Unfortunately, however, the big preacher from town, as many Free Will Baptist preachers are known to do, moved around a lot while delivering those fire and brimstone sermons. So, just as Mom looked up, he popped from behind the podium … and she lost it again, this time with an audible gasp. Her head went back down, and again her shoulders began shaking. Eventually, she sat up straight again, but never looked forward. She stared at the songbook in her lap until church was dismissed some hour and a half later.
After that night, she never again threatened me with bodily harm for giggling in church. And, for some reason, when she’d learn that that particular big preacher from town was to visit our church, she always made some excuse to stay home.
Mom was a hearty laugher.

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