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New bridge in the works for Tom’s Creek
The bridge on Ky. Rt. 1559 over Tom’s Creek was closed in July 2015 immediately following severe flooding that caused millions of dollars in damages to homes and property. The project to replace the bridge is scheduled to begin in the next few weeks and expected to take 48 days to complete.

By Elaine Belcher
Staff Writer

New construction will be starting soon to replace the state bridge on Ky. Rt. 1559 over Tom’s Creek near the junction of Ky. Rt. 201. The bridge between Sitka and Stambaugh was severely damaged by the 2015 flooding and has been closed since July 2015.
“Folks will know a day or two before construction begins since road work crews need to put up traffic signs, and other preparation,” said Sara George, information officer for Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 12. “The pre-construction meeting is scheduled for March 2, after which we will announce the exact start date.”


Tourism revenues down from last year
By Elaine Belcher
Staff Writer

According to the 2016 City of Paintsville audit presented by Jim Bryant of Wells and Company to the Tourism board on Monday, Feb. 20, tourism brought in $878,745 in revenue last year, down from the total revenue in 2015.
Bryant detailed that revenue from the restaurant tax was down almost $13,000 from the previous year as well as miscellaneous income was down $14,000. However, he stated that the Highway 23 Country Music Museum, the gift shops and others brought in $35,000.


Area road improvements discussed during Fiscal Court meeting
By Elaine Belcher
Staff Writer

The Johnson County Fiscal Court met for a monthly meeting on Monday, Feb. 13. Judge Tucker Daniel quickly approved previous meeting minutes and approval of the monthly bills before addressing the transfer of $40,000 funding to the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center.
“Following the in-house inspections at the jail, they found cracking and damage throughout the jail. However, this problem is not particular to just the jail. Similar damage has been found at the judicial center, at Lowes, and at the car dealership John Gray used to run, now Hutch Chevrolet,” said Daniel. “However, this is an issue for the four counties that own the jail to examine in the upcoming months.”
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Grand Jury hands down 21 indictments

Amber Wilcox
Staff Writer

The Johnson County Grand Jury handed down 21 indictments on Wednesday, February 15. The indictments ranged from charges of trafficking, bail jumping, theft, possession of controlled substances, burglary, wanton endangerment, sexual abuse, and robbery.
Mark Fannin, 43, of Meally was indicted on charges of trafficking in a controlled substance in the 2nd degree. Fannin faces a penalty of one to three years and a fine of no more than $10,000.
Joann Bolden, 47, of Paintsville, was charged with multiple instances of trafficking in a controlled substance charges ranging from 1st degree to 2nd degree. Bolden faces trafficking in a controlled substance, less than ten dosage units, 1st degree, with a penalty of one to five years and a fine of no more then $10,000. Two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance in the 2nd degree less than 20 dosage units degree offense, one to three years and a fine no more than $10,000.
Bolden also faces trafficking in a controlled substance in the 1st degree, 1st offense resulting in a penalty of five to ten years and a fine of no more than $10,000. Bolden faces two counts of trafficking in a controlled substance within 1,000 ft of a school in complicity with William E. Spears and Tammy Dorton with a penalty of one to five years and a fine no more than $10,000.
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Animal cruelty investigation underway
Two dogs are shot, one deceased

By Amber Wilcox
Staff Writer

On Wednesday, Feb. 8, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office was called out to the Flat Gap area at 6:18 p.m. after reports of two dogs being shot.
Deputy Danny Martin was the responding officer to the scene before bringing in Deputy Terry Tussey, who works with animal cruelty cases.



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