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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.


Field Day FUN!
Kindergarten through second grade students of Paintsville Elementary School gathered at the Paintsville Independent School District football field for their Field Day celebration, where there were inflatables, multiple games set up and refreshments offered to allow the students to relax with friends before beginning Summer vacation.



Community volunteers help clean Paint Creek Park to help in bid for Trail Town Certification

By Waylon Whitson
Staff Writer

Volunteers gathered Saturday, May 13 to clean the banks of Paint Creek in Paintsville, in an effort to help the town gain Trail Town status.
Lara Pack, catalyst for the Paintsville Trail Town Certification Committee and Paintsville City Councilman Justin Lewandoski were both present at the event and worked together to spearhead the Paint Creek Park cleanup project.
Volunteers gathered a large amount of trash, including used syringes, furniture, a mattress and much more.
After cleanup, volunteers also removed the damaged finish and rust from the railing surrounding Paint Creek Park’s stage and coated the railing with a rust-inhibitive paint.
This major cleanup effort was part of a larger project, as Paintsville is seeking Trail Town Certification as part of Kentucky’s push towards adventure tourism and capturing revenue through these events.
Gaining the certification would allow Paintsville to tap into funds given by the Commonwealth of Kentucky to towns recognized for their contributions to the state tourism industry for advertising. Studies by the Kentucky Travel Industry Association (KTIA) indicate that a city can turn each advertising dollar into $151 in revenue as well as over $15 in tax revenue.
The KTIA also released its report for 2016 indicating that the revenue generated by tourism for the state was 14.5 billion dollars. The report also stated that approximately 193,000 jobs statewide are directly related to tourism in the commonwealth.
The Trail Town Certification Committee is looking to capitalize on this information, and say the volunteer involvement with these projects is indicative of the fact that the community is listening.
“We need to be the change,” said Lewandoski quoting, Mahatma Gandhi, an historical activist, saying, I’d like to give a big shout out and a sincere thank you to everyone who came out to help.”
For more information on how to become involved, The Paintsville Trail Town Certification Committee and Lewandoski’s group “Be The Change” can be found on Facebook.


Van Lear Historical Society hosts May Day celebration
First Place

By Waylon Whitson
Staff Writer

The Van Lear Historical Society hosted its third annual May Day celebration on Saturday, May 6 at the Van Lear Coal Miner’s Museum. This celebration was held as a reason for community members to get together and celebrate Spring. The celebration included live music, provided by the Now and Then Band, Charlie Hall & the Rocky Knob Ramblers, and Cody Lowe & the Hardscratch Band. The celebration also included a corn hole tournament.
Due to the cold weather and rain, the music was moved inside, but the corn hole tournament continued as planned, with first, second and third place winners crowned. Those winners included Holly Rodgers and Doug Jennings with a first place finish, Teresa and Tony McCoart in second, and Harold “Boo” and Angie Burton in third. All three places were awarded with medals.
According to Tina Webb, Vice President of the Historical Society and Director of the Coal Miner’s Museum, turnout was still as high as expected, even with the inclement weather.
Webb said, “We would like to thank everyone that came out and supported the Historical Society, as well as all the volunteers that helped. It not only encourages us, but gives us the drive to continue preserving our heritage and supplies us with the means to enhance our museum as well as repair other structures.”


Casting for Kids event successful; kid’s tournament a hit
Graydyne Fairchild, winner of the Casting for Kids Children’s Tournament, proudly displays his catches after weigh-in.


By Waylon Whitson
Staff Writer

The Big Sandy Shrine Club held their third annual Casting for Kids Bass Tournament over the weekend, joining at Tom’s Creek Freewill Baptist Church Friday for a pre-tournament meeting and fishing at Yatesville Lake on Saturday, April 29 and Paintsville Lake on the following day.
The winners were announced on the Casting for Kids Facebook page, with Bear and Tyler Halbert taking first place with a combined weight of 19.88 pounds, beating out Justin Dials and Brad Powers by only seven hundredths of a pound. Dials and Powers posted a day two weight of 19.81 pounds.
In addition to the main prize pool, Kevin Boyd and Anthony Tackett won the Pop’s Chevrolet Big Fish Award of $2,500,
At Paintsville Lake on Sunday, the group hosted their first annual Kid’s Tournament with each of the 23 children walking across the stage and weighing in their catches just like the adult participants in the tournament. Graydyne Fairchild, the winner of the children’s tournament received a mini-bike for his win, and all of the children received awards for participation.
The Big Sandy Shrine Club has touted the children’s tournament as well as the bass tournament a “huge success,” and Tournament Director Chris Ferguson said, “The kids are the real winners here.”
Ferguson received a message on his social media account from the father of Abby Gullet, a participant in the children’s tournament, who said, “I just wanted to say thanks for all of your hard work on the tournament. I really enjoy fishing in it every year and I didn’t think it could get any better, but the kid’s tournament you all had this year made it even better. I think my little girl has talked about it almost as much as our trip to Disney World a couple of months ago.”
Ferguson also said that the Shrine Club was able to secure 85 sponsors, and had a successful auction during the pre-tournament meeting, giving them approximate gross revenue of $70,000 at current estimations. When asked before about the tournament was to raise enough money for the Big Sandy Shrine Club to purchase a new van for transporting sick children and their families from the area to and from the Shriner’s Hospitals that those families might not otherwise reach. Ferguson confirmed that at this time, it looks as though they have enough to complete that goal.
Ferguson also stated, “We sincerely appreciate all of the people who helped by sponsoring, and each and every one of the over 100 volunteers who came out to help make all of this happen.”



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

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