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Cris Ritchie

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20 years ago

(Feb. 17 and Feb. 19, 1993)

Floyd County Housing Authority Director Julia May is in stable condition at a Frankfort hospital, recovering from injuries received last week when she was struck by a van. Steve Clark, spokesman for the Frankfort police, said Tuesday that May, 56, was hit at 3:15 p.m., last Wednesday, while she was trying to cross Clinton Street in Frankfort.

Two Floyd County brothers were killed, Saturday, when their house at Little Paint burned to the ground. Ronald Clay Freeman, 52, and Paul Freeman, 46, of East Point, were both pronounced dead at the scene by Floyd County Coroner Roger Nelson. Another brother discovered the fire around noon Saturday. Police suspect the fire was caused by an electric space heater in the living room. Ronald Freeman stayed at home to care for his brother, Paul, who had Down’s Syndrome, relatives said Saturday.

In an effort to improve communications between personnel and the community, Floyd County Superintendent Steve Towler hired a former newspaper editor as an administrative assistant for personnel and communications. Terry Spears, 31, of Pike County was hired last week to the new position created in December by the Floyd County Board of Education. Spears, former editor of the Appalachian News-Express in Pike County and The Martin Countian and Mercury in Martin County, assumed his duties Tuesday.

Intense heat, high winds and a store of ammunition contributed to the injuries of five Prestonsburg firefighters, Sunday, when they attempted to extinguish a blaze at the Middle Creek residence of Prestonsburg attorney C.V. Reynolds. Department spokesman Major Mike Wells said, Tuesday, that firemen Tommy Hereford, Mike Mays, James Hager, Kenny Crisp and Adrian Blackburn were taken to the Highlands Regional Medical Center for various injuries and smoke inhalation.

The Longrifles are coming back to Eastern Kentucky! No, it’s not the famous Kentucky pioneer weapon of years gone by—it’s baseball in the mountains. The Kentucky Longrifles will make the Big Sandy Valley their home, according to an announcement, Monday, by Paintsville City Councilman and former major league player Johnnie LeMaster.

Georgia authorities released Floyd County native Harry Hale on bond, Friday, but they are looking for him again to assist the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department. Hale, 46, is charged in Floyd County with possession of stolen property in connection with a search at his home last month which turned up several personal belongings of a Swiss traveler, Christoph Zahn, 21, who was reported missing in Atlanta last year. Hale is also wanted for questioning by the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department in the 1990 disappearance of Mitchell Manns.

A removal hearing for Floyd County School Board Chairman Ray “Shag” Campbell will begin at 9 a.m., Monday, February 22, at the state board meeting room in Frankfort. In January, Education Commissioner Thomas Boysen charged Campbell with misconduct in office for signing architect and construction manager contracts without the full school board’s approval. Boysen recommended that Campbell be publicly reprimanded for his actions, but the State Board for Elementary and Secondary Education ruled last month that enough evidence was presented to conduct a removal hearing. Campbell denies any wrongdoing in the case.

The Kentucky State Police undercover Operation: CUPID netted nearly 500 suspected drug-offenders statewide, Wednesday, including three Floyd County residents. Among the 13 alleged offenders captured were Glen “Nero” Vance of Mud Creek; Teddy B. Tackett of Tinker Fork; and Mike Riley, no address given. Charges included trafficking in marijuana, prescription drugs and cocaine.

There died: Manis E. Gray, Tuesday, February 16, at his home in Lancer; Ronald Clay Freeman, 52, and Paul Freeman, 46, of Little Paint, at East Point, Saturday, as the result of a fire at their residence; Clyde B. Bates, 72, formerly of Buckingham, and more recently of Silver Lake, Indiana, Wednesday; J. David Tufts Sr., 91, of Wayland, Thursday, at the Parkview Manor Nursing Home, Pikeville; Billie B. Little, 71, of Prestonsburg, Thursday, in Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital; Allie Smith Parsons, 83, of Allen, Friday, at Pikeville Methodist Hospital; Joseph Akers, 50, of Galveston, Sunday, at his residence; Clyde Bates, 66, of Melvin, Sunday, at the Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington; Andy Reynolds, 11-month-old infant son of Hugh and Becky Hunderson Reynolds of Beaver, Monday; Raymond Lewis, 54, of Sidney, Wednesday, at his residence; Ethel Ward, 70, of Tomahawk, Tuesday, at the Three Rivers Medical Center at Louisa; Vernon Martin, 71, of Wittensville, formerly of Coal Run, Stone Coal, in Pike County, Thursday; Champ Childers, 60, of Dema, Wednesday, at his residence; Christina Lewis, 45, of Sidney, Wednesday, at her residence; Aaron J. Akers, 77, of Louisville, formerly of Banner, Friday, at the Surburban Humana Hospital, St. Matthews; Richard “Dick” Spurlock, 89, of Prestonsburg, Tuesday, at Mountain Manor Nursing Home; Easter Mae Lowe, 56, of Harold, Tuesday, at the University Hospital, Augusta Georgia; Cedric Jesse Rodebaugh, 65, of Creedmoore, North Carolina, Tuesday, at his home; Ora Pigman Horn, 88, of Prestonsburg, Tuesday, at Highlands Regional Medical Center; Sadie Shepherd Salyers, 81, of Prestonsburg, Wednesday, at Highlands Regional Medical Center; Ivan Slone, 73, of Brinkley, Tuesday, at his residence; Oma A. Hackworth, 79, formerly of Prestonsburg, Wednesday, at Meadowview Care Center in Seville, Ohio.

30 years ago

(January 26, 1983)

A bizarre incident at Auxier, last Thursday evening, in which a valuable mare was killed and three others were wounded, is still under investigation by the Kentucky State Police.

Sherman Ray Poston, last of three men accused of abducting and raping an Auxier girl, last May, was convicted in Pike Circuit Court, last Wednesday, and his prison terms could extend over 20 years.

On the strength of principal, spelled out by Councilman Billy Ray Collins, that “everyone living off this city…should pay taxes in this city,” Prestonsburg City Council voted to annex a tract on the southern perimeter of the city, and added that it might do the same on the northern and western borders.

There died: Curt Newsome, 63, of Teaberry, last Wednesday, at his home; Fronie Johnson, 79, Saturday, at her home at Hi Hat; Bennie Branham, 58, of Prestonsburg, Saturday, at Highlands Regional Medical Center; Arah Alice Layne, 96, of Harold, last Tuesday, at Riverview Manor Nursing Home; Ishmael Hall, 63, Monday, at his home at Weeksbury; Elbert Griffith, 78, of Blue River, Saturday, at his home; Neve Conley, 50, of Lackey, last Tuesday, January 18, at her home; Jeff Burchett, 73, Sunday, at his home at Emma; and Lucy Marsillett, 59, of Auxier, Sunday, at her home.

40 years ago

(February 21, 1973)

Floyd Superintendent of Schools Charles Clark expressed surprise and some indignation, this week, that the Floyd school system was mentioned last week, by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, as one that had failed to comply with desegration requirements. Clark said, “We were fully integrated…in 1965.”

Ten of the 16 children of Mrs. Otela Smiley and the late Vyron Smiley, have achieved college degrees, three others are continuing with college work and another is headed for college next year.

A three-state alert of law enforcement officers followed the holdup, here, early last Sunday evening, of the Kroger Store and the getaway of three men and a woman with an estimated $1,800 in cash.

Paul Patton, president of a major Pike County coal company, in a speech at Eastern Kentucky University, last Thursday, said there is really no energy crisis, such as is claimed by oil and gas company representatives.

Harry James Martin, son of Mrs. Nell Martin Campbell, of Garrett, has been awarded the Gibbons Award, and $100, for the Most Oustanding Surgical Student in Auburn University’s Large Animal Clinic, where he is concluding his training in veterinary medicine.

Born: A daughter, Tamatha Kay, their first child, to Mr. and Mrs. Ermon Leo Tackett, on February 1, at the Highlands Regional Medical Center.

There died: Mrs. Nolie Newsom, 71, of Warsaw, Ind., formerly of this county, Sunday, in a hospital there; Mrs. May Dillon Wallen, 82, of Prestonsburg, at her home, Sunday; Donald Gene Hall, 28, of Huntington, Ind., formerly of Halo, Friday, in a car-truck collision in Huntington.

50 years ago

(February 21, 1963)

The 22-man commission, established last week by Governor Combs, to study and help solve the problems facing Kentucky’s coal industry, includes two Floyd Countians and two others who are former residents of this county.

Snowfall, again, Tuesday morning, cost the county school system another day of teaching time, and County Superintendent Charles Clark said, later in the day, that the schools may be open for classes Saturday of this week.

The Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources has awarded to May’s Garage, at Allen, the contract for supplying 200 car-body shells to be placed in Dewey Lake as cover for fish.

“I think we’re going to have a pretty strong flu epidemic in this county in a couple of weeks,” Dr. Russell L. Hall, of the Floyd County Health Department, said Wednesday, in a discussion of the spread of Asian flu into this section of the state.

Of the five Prestonsburg men who planned to do a 50-mile Kennedy hike, last Saturday, two didn’t start, three did, but of the latter, one dropped out after eight miles, and the other two pushed their legs to the limit. The two best out of five were Estill Lee Carter and Carlos Branham. They were “shooting” for 50, but had to be satisfied with 34 miles.

Phil Coleman sparked Wayland in the fourth quarter at Wayland, Saturday night, to register a 75-66 victory over Maytown.

Born: to Mr. and Mrs. Roy Rice, of East Point, a daughter, Susan Darnelle, February 10; to Mr. and Mrs. C. J. McNally, of Prestonsburg, a daughter, Charla Dene, February 10, at the Prestonsburg General Hospital.

There died: Luther Hensley Jr., 15, of Melvin, Saturday, at McDowell Memorial Hospital; Mrs. Ruby Scarborough, 55, of Weeksbury, Sunday, at home; Ike M. Conley, 52, Floyd County native, Feb. 2 at Alger, O.; Mrs. Judy Tackett, 70, Saturday, at her home at East McDowell; Ollie Crum, 61, of Ivel, Monday, at the home of a sister.

60 years ago

(February 19, 1953)

U.S. Senator John Sherman Cooper told Prestonsburg Mayor Curtis Clark, last week, that new hope has risen for the canalization of the Big Sandy River.

The ailing coal industry of the Big Sandy valley lost a market for approximately 899,000 tons of coal last year as the result of importation of cheap foreign residual oil.

The body of Pfc. Clyde D. Spradlin, 22,. of Spradlin’s Branch, who was killed in action in Korea, arrived here this week.

Higher gas rates, which will add $96,000 to fuel bills, are foreseen for residents of eastern Kentucky communities served by United Fuel Gas Company.

Kentucky’s biggest experiment with Northern pike began Friday, with the release in Dewey Lake of 500 of that species.

Floyd County’s tax assessment, in comparison to market, value is next to the bottom of the list of Kentucky’s 120 counties.

L. B. Brashear, of Manton, again will head the Floyd County Red Cross fund drive this year.

Born to Mr. and Mrs. Billy Hale, a daughter, Mary Ann, February 11, at Maryville, Tenn.; to Mr. and Mrs. Elmer Lafferty, of Martin, a daughter, Sunday, at Our Lady of the Way Hospital, Martin.

There died: Ernest Bradley, 51, formerly of Eastern, at Stockdale, O., Tuesday; Henry Reffett, 33, of Blue River, Feb. 11, at the Prestonsburg General Hospital; Mrs. Elsie May Crisp, 49, of Allen, Friday, at the Beaver Valley Hospital, Martin; Jack Adkins, 58, of Brush Creek, Monday, at the Stumbo Memorial Hospital, Lackey; Mrs. Opal Moore, 28, of Langley, Feb. 13, at Stumbo Memorial; Adam Allen, 88, formerly of Hueysville, Sunday, at Oldtown, Ky.; Mrs. Cora Music Foley, 37, of Lancer, Wednesday, at the Paintsville Hospital; Mrs. Oma Gibson, 83, of Emma, Tuesday, at the home of a daughter; Mrs. Sarah Ann Keathley, 82, Feb. 17, at home at Amba; Mrs. Jonathon Preston, 82, of Lackey, Feb. 10, at the home of a daughter.

70 years ago

(February 18, 1943)

In two fires here, last week, the first, Monday afternoon, caused an estimated damage of $5,000 to the residence of E. R. Burke, on Second Avenue, and the second, Wednesday morning, destroyed the residence property of A. H. Spradlin on North Second Avenue.

Monday, February 22, was designated, this week, by County Superintendent Town Hall, in a letter to the 19 Floyd County schools yet in session, as the day for school collection of clothes for Russia.

Authority of the State Revenue Department to make a complete reassessment of property in a county, at the expense of the county Tax Commissioner, was upheld by the Court of Appeals this week.

Malone’s Service Station, at Allen, was burglarized this week, the thief taking a box, containing a part of the infantile paralysis funds contributed by the community.

The garage building, owned by A. C. Carter, and now occupied by the Valley Chevrolet Sales was purchased a few days ago by J. T. Hughes, owner of the Hughes Motor Company at Allen…D. C. Stephens, Prestonsburg, this week acquired gas properties on John’s Creek formerly owned by Lawrence Keathley, Martin, at a reported cost of $27,500.

Funds contributed thus far by Floyd Countians to fight infantile paralysis total $375, Mrs. Lon C. Hill, fund chairman, said this week.

Born: to Mr. and Mrs. Jones Tallent, of Lake Mary, Florida, a son, William Anderson, February 1.

There died: Mrs. Martha Tackett, 49, at Marion, Virginia, last week; William P. Jones, Floyd native, at Baltimore, Maryland; William Burchell, 68, at his home on John’s Creek, Tuesday.

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