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Darts & Laurels

Laurel: Congratulations to athletes who competed in the pouring rain at the Special Olympics at Johnson Central High School on Saturday. These men and women athletes showed the quality of their hearts and boundless spirit to a supportive crowd.

Dart: Too bad Chris Stapleton will not be making a trip to his home county to see his name placed on highway signs along with other country music stars while he is in the area for his Pikeville Hill Billy Days performance on Saturday night. The signs are posted along roadways coming into Johnson County.

Laurel: After three years, the Johnson County Board of Education has finally scheduled a special election on May 23 for voters to decide whether to keep the “nickel” school board tax or not. The school board will be footing the approximately $50,000 bill for this special election.

Dart: Thank you Mother Nature, for the deluge of rain this weekend drowning out such events as the Special Olympics and Paintsville High School Prom. Regardless of monsoon season, everyone who attended these events had a great time. Their fortitude is inspiring.

Laurel: The Historic SIPP Theater has reopened its doors after renovations to the interior make going to see a performance that much more of a class act. The first performance of Johnson Central High School’s “The Lion King” was a great way to open the doors to a new era of SIPP entertainment.

Guest Editorial

Utility scam phone calls targeting customers in Kentucky

Caller claims to be a utility company employee, demands payment over the phone
Attorney General Andy Beshear issued a Scam Alert to warn Kentuckians of reports of suspicious calls being made to utility customers in southeastern Kentucky. 

Kentuckians in Harlan, London and Pineville reported receiving a call from someone claiming to be a utility company employee who asks for a utility bill payment over the phone. If the customer refuses to pay immediately, the scammer threatens to shut off the customer’s electricity.
“One of our top priorities is to help protect Kentuckians, especially senior citizens, from scams by warning them of the latest scams and providing tips on how to identify each scam,” Beshear said. “The best way to avoid this utility scam is to contact the utility company directly and verify any billing questions.”
Beshear said utility companies work to educate and warn customers of these types of scams and offered these tips to help others avoid the scam:
• Do not provide your personal information. Utility companies will never call and ask for credit or debit card numbers or other personal information.
• Contact your utility company. Customers who receive a suspicious solicitor at their home or a phone call, email or letter should contact their utility provider to verify. Do not rely on information or a phone number provided by the suspected scammer.
• Ask about bill payment options. Ask your utility company to explain the variety of official and secure ways to pay your bill.  
• Sign up for billing notifications. Check with your utility provider to determine what types of billing notifications are available.
To report possible scam activity contact the Attorney General’s Office at 888-432-9257, or file a consumer complaint online.
Beshear issued a similar Scam Alert last summer when high rates of utility scam calls were being reported. Beshear said utility related scams occur in cycles and are often most common in the hot summer months and cold winter months.
In addition to the new scam reports, over the past eight months the Attorney General’s Office of Senior Protection and Mediation received 10 reports of utility related scams. The scam cost Kentuckians in Calloway, Fayette, Floyd, Grayson, Jefferson, Taylor and Trigg counties more than $2,500.
 To help Kentuckians stay up to date on new and trending scams, Beshear launched Scam Alerts – a communication service that alerts Kentuckians when con artists are on the attack. To sign up for Scam Alerts, text the words KYOAG Scam to GOV311 (468311) or enroll online at and select text message or email alert.

Darts & Laurels

Laurel: The Paintsville City Council and Mayor Bill Mike Runyon have stepped up and called for property owners and residents to clean up their properties. Runyon warned Paintsville residents that they will be enforcing zoning ordinances to improve the overall appearance of the city.

Dart: The individual who stole a petition from Wildcat Grocery calling for the resignation of Big Sandy RECC President David Estepp and RECC Board Chairman Danny Wallen. The petition has since been returned, but the name of who took it has not been released.

Laurel: Happy Birthday Loretta Lynn! Lynn celebrated her 85th birthday in Nashville on Friday night with a special show featuring her sisters Crystal Gayle and Peggy Sue Wright, her daughters Patsy ad Peggy Lynn and Martina McBride on the Ryman Stage of the Grand Ole Opry.

Dart: The Magoffin County Jailer and the Magoffin Court-Appointed officers in charge of transporting Keith Bradley from Big Sandy Regional Detention Center to court and to the hospital when he complained of chest pains, but ditched him at Paul. B. Hall Regional Medical Center when the court order to release him came through with no way by to get back to BSRDC but to walk. Time to review your procedures.

Laurel: Kudos for the Paintsville City Council for overhauling the ordinances regulating Recreation, Tourism and Restaurants. These changes allow the city council to keep a closer eye on where funding is going and what it will be used for.

Guest Editorial

Consider giving the gift of life

The Winchester Sun

April is National Donate Life Month, a time to reflect on the impact of organ donation, encourage people to consider registering as an organ donor and celebrate those who have saved lives through organ donation.
There are currently 119,000 people on the national transplant waiting list, and every 10 minutes another person is added to the list. Each day, 22 people die waiting for a transplant.
While 95 percent of U.S. adults support organ donation, only about 50 percent are actually signed up as donors. Only 3 in 1,000 people die in such a way that allows for organ donation, meaning the need continues to increase.
As the list of organs and tissues that can be successfully transplanted grows, so does our opportunity save and improve lives via donations.
One donor can save eight lives. Along with lifesaving organs, like the heart, lungs, kidneys, pancreas, liver and intestines, people can also donate tissue, corneas, hands and face, blood stem cells, cord blood, bone marrow and blood and platelets.
Transplants have been performed for more than a century, with the first skin transplant being recorded in 1869, followed the first cornea transplant in 1906. They have come a long way since then. By 1967, the first U.S. heart transplant was performed.
The first successful hand transplant was performed right here in Kentucky at the University of Louisville in 2001. Most recently, the first successful full face transplant was performed at the Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Spain.
All people, regardless of age or health, can be considered as donors. The health of the organ is more important than your age, and people newborn to 90-years-old have been organ donors. Even with an illness or health condition, you may still be able to donate. Doctors will make that determination upon death.
Furthermore, most major religions support organ donation.
Signing up on your state registry means that someday you could leave behind the gift of life.
The thing with organs is, when you don’t need them anymore, someone else might.
If you haven’t already, we encourage to consider making the decision to give the gift of life by registering as an organ donor in honor of National Organ Donation Month.

Editor’s Note:
You can sign up in-person at the Johnson County Circuit Clerk’s office when you get your driver’s license, or registering online at takes just a few minutes. All you need is some identification information and your driver’s license or photo ID number.

Apr 14, 2017, 07:39

Darts & Laurels

Laurel: Paintsville High School seniors released more than 40 brown trout raised from eggs into the Little Paint Wildlife Management Area as part of their Ecology Class. The students presented their project on Monday as part of the Kentucky Valley Education Cooperative Finding Innovation in Rural Education summit at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville.

Dart: The Kentucky State Police Electronic Crimes Branch arrested Joe S. Fyffe of Hagerhill on 30 charges of child pornography and one charge of distributing child pornography. To keep your children safe, keep an eye on who your children are talking to online.

Laurel: As part of spring clean up, Mayor Bill Mike Runyon announced at the Paintsville City Council meeting that the city would be holding a one-time free trash pick up. Residents can call city hall to schedule a mass pick-up of most trash items, excluding hazardous material, tires and construction equipment.

Dart: Paintsville Police arrested Samuel D. Borders of East Point on charges of sexually assaulting another man. Regardless of gender, when someone says “No!”, they mean it.

Laurel: Tourism is asking for the community’s help to complete the state Trail-Town Certification to bring more tourism dollars into the county. With the city’s renewed efforts to enforce trash ordinances and property maintenance, tourism is inviting the community to help make Paintsville and Johnson County attractions a popular tourism destination.

  • City of Paintsville
  • Paintsville Independent Schools
  • Johnson County Schools
  • Our Lady of the Mountains

  • Johnson County Fiscal Court
  • Johnson County Public Library
  • Paintsville Tourism
  • Chamber of Commerce
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