Funding for New Sidewalks in Downtown Paintsville

Governor Beshear has announced funding for a project in Paintsville to encourage and enable children to safely walk or drive bicycles to school. The $175,000 Safe Routes to School grant will be used to replace sidewalks in the vicinity of Paintsville Elementary and High School. Governor Beshear says the project can “go a long way toward developing the good habits of an active, healthy lifestyle.” The project includes replacing sidewalks on the following streets:

  • Third Street from Margaret Heights to Elm Street
  • Both sides of Elm Street from Third Street to Fifth Street
  • Third Street from Court Street to Church Street
  • Church Street from Third Street to Second Street
  • Both sides of West Street from Third Street to Tremble Boulvevard

Van Lear Town Celebration Underway

The Van Lear Town Celebration is underway here in Johnson County. Organizers say they are prepared for thousands this weekend at the Coal Miner’s Museum. There will be tours of Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle’s homeplace. This year marks 29 years of the annual celebration, which started in 1985. A full schedule of events can be found on the blog at

Accident on South Lake Drive in Prestonsburg

An accident in Prestonsburg sent one man to the hospital on Thursday afternoon. It happened around lunchtime on South Lake Drive. The Floyd County Times reports on their web site that a young man was driving a Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck when he rear-ended a Toyota Camry with an elderly couple inside. The names of those involved have not been released; there’s no word on the extent of the young man’s injuries.

Repairs on Mountain Parkway Bridge Begin

(KYTC) - A bridge repair project in Morgan County will result in one-lane traffic and delays for motorists using the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway between Campton and Salyersville. Repairs to the span carrying the Mountain Parkway across KY 134 and Johnson Creek, just west of the Magoffin County line, will start on Friday, Aug. 1. Temporary signals will control traffic at the bridge. These temporary signals will be in place for approximately 30 days as work on a bridge deck overlay project proceeds. In addition, barrier walls will be placed on the bridge, resulting in one-lane traffic. During the work, the bridge will be restricted to vehicles less than 12 feet wide. Drivers should slow down as they approach this construction zone, watch for stopped traffic and obey the temporary traffic signal.

Heroin Overdose Deaths Continue to Rise

(AP) - A new state report shows more people continue to die from heroin overdoses in Kentucky. The Office of Drug Control Policy says 230 people died from heroin overdoses in 2013, a 60 percent increase from 2012. In 2011, 22 people in Kentucky died from heroin overdoses. State lawmakers failed to pass a bill this year that would have paid more for substance abuse treatment and strengthened sentences for heroin traffickers. State Sen. John Schickel has filed a bill for the 2015 legislative session that would increase criminal penalties for heroin traffickers. State Rep. Tom Burch says he is working on a bill that would focus more on treatment programs than incarceration. It cost taxpayers $21,798 a year to incarcerate someone versus $6,000 a year to treat someone for substance abuse.

Coal Dust Limit to Try to Combat Black Lung

(AP) - The Obama administration’s push to reduce black lung disease by limiting coal dust in mines is taking effect. Initial requirements of the U.S. Department of Labor’s coal dust rule become effective Friday. It was proposed in 2010. New requirements include increased dust sampling in mines and citations when coal operators don’t take immediate action for high levels. In February 2016, better monitoring equipment will be required. In August 2016, the allowable concentration of coal dust will drop. Ohio-based Murray Energy and the National Mining Association sued separately over the rule. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says black lung has killed more than 76,000 miners since 1968. It is an irreversible and potentially deadly disease caused by coal dust exposure, where particles accumulate in the lungs.