PIKEVILLE — Summer is the season for outdoor fun, but an increase in snake activity creates the need for heightened awareness.

A snake bite victim should go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) Trauma Outreach/Injury Prevent Coordinator Jackie Caudill said, “When in the woods or the garden, the best defense against a snake bite is to look where you are walking and look closely where you are placing your hands.”

 Victims are urged not to:

•Cut and suck — Can damage underlying organs and increase infection

•Apply ice  — Can cause frostbite

•Use electrical shocks — Can cause burns or heart problems

•Use alcohol — Can increase venom absorption

•Use tourniquets or constriction bands — Can increase tissue damage and lead to the loss of a limb.

Snake bite symptoms may include: local or general swelling, bleeding, blistering, intense pain, low blood pressure, dead tissue around the wound, shortness of breath, weakness or renal failure.

There are 33 snake species in Kentucky, four of which are poisonous: northern copperhead, western cottonmouth (water moccasin), timber rattlesnake and pygmy rattlesnake.

According to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, there are specific characteristics that separate Kentucky’s venomous and non-venomous snakes. Please see the diagram above for the features that distinguish these snakes.

There are some simple steps to help reduce the number of snakes around your property:

•Clean up any spilled food, fruit or bird seed

•Keep the yard tidy

•Keep grass short

•Keep walkways clear of brush, flowers and shrubs

•Elevate any stored  firewood off the ground and away from the house

•Fill any 1/4” + openings around your house with mortar or 1/8” hardware cloth

•Caulk around windows, wiring, etc.

Other safety steps include:

•Do not attempt to handle, capture or tease snakes

•Keep away from long grasses, bushes and large rocks

•Limit alcohol use

•If a snake is spotted, turn around and retrace steps

•Wear protective clothing, including boots and long pants

•When camping, use a tent or insect netting

•Use a flashlight if outside after dark

•Create an emergency plan

•Know the local National Poison Control Center’s phone number (1-800-222-1222)

Sources: cdc.gov, ky.gov, uky.edu

PIKEVILLE — Steve and Crystal Berger moved from Pikeville to Madison County to “get a fresh start” in 2013 — two years after their 10-year-old daughter lost her battle with cancer.

Next week will mark their fourth return trip to Pike County to host a soccer tournament in memory of their daughter.

Allison Berger played soccer at St. Francis School when she was diagnosed with cancer in her brain and spinal cord in 2009. She underwent surgery, radiation and chemotherapy to fight the cancer, but it didn’t stop her love for soccer. She started playing the sport when she was only three years old, and her father said she was “fiercely determined” to play even after undergoing spinal cord surgery. She played her final season with the county’s Youth Soccer Association in 2010. She died in March 2011.

The Bergers held the first tournament as a way to thank people who loved and supported Allison during her battle with cancer. Since then, it’s expanded to raise funds for organizations that help children with cancer.

Steve Berger, a former employee in the Pikeville Medical Center pharmacy, said he and his wife are continually “amazed” at the community support they receive in Pikeville, even years after their daughter’s death.

“I would like to say ‘thank you’ to all the people who contribute, as well as all of the people who just remember Allison and loved her and all of the people who take part in this tournament and help it come together every year,” said Berger. “I really would like to thank the whole community.”

The event would not be possible without that community support, he said.

“That community, the whole eastern Kentucky area, when you’re really trying to accomplish something for a great cause, people come together. They give with an open heart. It really is amazing,” he said. “I can’t even express how touching it is and how amazing the people there are. I love them.”

Last year, the Allison Taylor Berger Memorial Soccer Tournament raised $1,500 for the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital and St. Jude’s. This year, the Bergers and two employees in the PMC Inpatient Pharmacy are selling raffle tickets to raise funds once again for those organizations.

Raffle tickets are $1 for one, $5 for six and $13 for 10 tickets, and the drawing will be held at the tournament, which will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 6, at the soccer field on Thompson Rd. in Pikeville. Raffle ticket donors do not have to be present to win prizes, which include a Stella and Dot metallic bag and catered truck show with Nicole McNamee, a $50 gift card to Wildcat Warehouse, a $100 gift card to the BHG restaurant group, a 31 Tote filled with beauty products and other items.

The Allison Taylor Berger Memorial Soccer Tournament is not an “open” soccer tournament and it usually only accommodates about 100 adults and children who knew Allison. Teams of adults and children play, in fun, to honor and celebrate her memory. Scores don’t really matter that much at this tournament. What matters are the stories and memories attendees share about Allison and the hope they bring, through fundraising, to other families who have a child with cancer.

Allison is taking her final rest in the Annie E. Young Cemetery in Pikeville. Her name graces the Allison Taylor Berger Memorial Bridge near Jack’s Creek in Floyd County.

To make a donation, visit http://sites.google.com/site/allisonstournament or purchase raffle tickets, contact Berger at 859-624-1559 or 606-791-1722.

Medical Leader | SUBMITTED PHOTO

Local residents will turn out in droves in Floyd and Letcher counties next week to “celebrate, remember and fight back” against cancer.

They will be raising money for the American Cancer Society during Relay for Life.

Relay for Life teams in Pike and Mingo counties are also gearing up for annual Relay for Life events.

Floyd County

The Floyd County Relay for Life will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 5, at the Big Sandy Community & Technical College walking track.

The event will feature several speakers, numerous activities and fundraisers, including a luminary ceremony to honor people who died of cancer. It is geared to “celebrate hope” this year.

The Floyd County Relay for Life hosted a “Glow Run” to raise funds earlier this month. Now, the organization is planning its annual banquet to honor cancer survivors and their families for their courage and strength in battling cancer. 

The banquet, free to all cancer survivors, will be held June 2 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Wilkinson-Stumbo Convention Center at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park. Registration will open at 5:30 p.m.

For details, visit http://relayforlife.org/floydky or the group’s Facebook page.

Letcher County

Letcher County residents will “celebrate, remember and fight back” during Relay for Life on Saturday, June 6, in Riverside Park in Whitesburg.

The event will last from noon to midnight in the park.

Letcher County Relay for Life teams have hosted numerous fundraisers to raise funds for Relay. This year, participants are asked to deck out their booths and costumes in the 1980s style as organizers celebrate 30 years of Relay for Life.

The Letcher County Relay for Life is once again hosting its “Golden Girls” pageant, which will be held during the Relay for Life on June 6.

The contest is open to women who are age 50 or older and raises the most money for the relay.

For details, visit http://relayforlife.org/letcherky or call April Back Stevens at 606-335-0261 or 606-633-7668.

Pike County

The Pike County Relay for Life will begin at 6 p.m. on June 12 at Bob Amos Park in Pikeville, but participants can help raise funds at several events that will be held before the Relay.

Pike County Relay for Life is teaming up with the White Lightning Zipline to host a fundraiser this weekend.

The zipline will host Relay Zipline Day on May 30 and departure times are available at 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Pike County Relay for Life volunteers will host a concession stand on site and taking donations for Relay during this event.

Participants from surrounding counties and states are also expected to participate in the 8th Annual Relay Ride for Life motorcycle ride, held in memory of Warren Thomas Prater, on June 7.

Registration begins at 11 a.m. and the ride will start at 1:05 p.m. at the Ferrell’s Creek Fire Department in Pike County. For details on this ride, call 606-835-2199.

Cancer survivors are invited to a “Rockin’ & Rollin’ Celebration,” the 2015 Pike County Relay for Life Survivor Banquet, at 6:30 p.m. on June 9 at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center. It is sponsored by Blessed Beyond Measure, a Pikeville-based business that helps cancer patients that is owned by Paint Pikeville Pink organizer Debbie Freeman.

Admission is free to all cancer survivors of Pike County. Attendees may dress in 1950s attire.

For details, call Freeman at 606-422-0693.

Mingo County

The Tug Valley Relay for Life will begin at 6 p.m. on June 19 at the Williamson Memorial Field House.

The GFWC Williamson Woman’s Relay for Life team is asking participants to “Paint the Town Purple” to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. The Mingo County Commission accepted the challenge and declared June as “Paint the Town Purple” month in Mingo County. 

The Tug Valley Relay for Life Hometown Heroes team will host a “Royal Grand Ball” fundraiser at 6 p.m. on June 6 at the Sacred Heart Gym in Williamson. Guests of all ages are invited to dress as a prince or princess and take pictures with Cinderella, Prince Charming, Princess Tiana and other Disney characters as part of the event. Tickets are $10 and some activities require additional fees. All proceeds will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

The Tug Valley Relay’s annual survivor’s banquet will be held at 6 p.m. on June 11 at Belfry First Baptist Church. Survivors who want to attend the banquet should call 304-235-2120.

For details on the “Royal Grand Ball,” call 304-785-6773. To purchase a “Paint the Town Purple” shirt, call 606-525-5032 or visit the group’s Facebook page.

Ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air; and they will tell you.  Job 12:7

I believe we can learn much from God’s creatures.  Our family Rat Terrier, Bandit, is no exception.

With every joyful movement of his slender body, he eagerly greets me with a relentlessly wagging tail, enthusiastic attentiveness and a willingness to be by my side.  Bandit consistently  behaves this way no matter the day, no matter the weather and no matter what mood I am in.

Each time I am with him I smile and feel unconditional acceptance and love.

I am not as consistent as Bandit in my relationships. In my interactions with God, my attentiveness can vary depending on what the day holds and how I feel.

Bandit jubilantly relates to me. I want to relate to God as enthusiastically and consistently through daily prayer, Bible study and seeking God’s guidance.

I believe God patiently waits for me to seek and experience true relationships. Believing this, I can smile and feel God’s unconditional acceptance and love. I thank Bandit, one of God’s magnificent creatures, for consistently reminding me of this daily opportunity. All of God’s magnificent creatures can call us into relationship with God.

May God bless you as you are taught by God’s creatures and your pets.

PMC Chaplain Kaminski Robinson may be reached at 606-218-3969 or via e-mail at kaminski.robinson@pikevillehospital.org.

Medical Leader | Photo by TEDDY PAYNTER
NOT IN TIME: Betsy Layne’s Chloe Johnson crosses homeplate in the first inning as the throw to East Ridge catcher Kailee Slone arrives late during the 15th Region Softball Tournament played at Prestonsburg Sports Park on May 26.

The Lady Warriors rallied from an early four-run deficit to beat the Lady Cats and advanced, 7-4.

STONECREST — Lawrence County had waited an entire year to get a chance at beating Johnson Central in the 15th Regional Tournament.

The Bulldogs overcame an early three-run deficit to knock off the Golden Eagles, 6-3, and advance to the state tournament next week in Lexington.

Lawrence County, now 23-15, lost 2-1 to the Golden Eagles (20-17) in the finals one year ago at Sheldon Clark.

Winning pitcher Chase Coverdale had a pair of hits, scored one run and drove in another to ignite the comeback win. Noah Lambert and Brad Parks added one RBI each and Peyton Cyrus scored twice.

Geordon Blanton singled, scored and knocked in one run while Zach Slone and J.D. Harless each singled and scored for the Golden Eagles. Seth Ratliff added a double.

Seth Blanton took the loss.

At StoneCrest

(15th Region Tournament)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                                R-H-E

JC (20-17)…............................300  000  0 – 3-5-4

LC (23-15)…...........................003  120  x – 6-4-4


WP – Chase Coverdale

LP – Seth Blanton

Hitting: Zach Slone 1b, 1r; J.D. Harless 1b, 1r; Geordon Blanton 1b, 1r, 1 RBI; Seth Ratliff 2b, Johnson Central; Chase Coverdale 2-1b, 1r, 1 RBI; Noah Lambert 1 RBI; Peyton Cyrus 2r; Brad Parks 1 RBI, Lawrence County.


Johnson Central........................2

Magoffin County.......................0

STONECREST — Johnson Central won when it counted the most against 57th District rival Magoffin County.

The Lady Golden Eagles managed just two hits but starting pitcher and winner Micailyn Pierce give up just one in leading JC to a 2-0 win in the 15th Region Softball Tournament championship game played at Prestonsburg Sports Park on May 27.

The Lady Hornets, who finished up 16-13, had beaten Johnson Central (26-10) in the district finals just one week prior, 2-0.

Rachel Fairchild doubled and knocked in both runs for Johnson Central while Leslie Howard had the lone MC hit.

Laylee Burchell was solid in a losing effort.

At StoneCrest

(15th Region Tournament)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                                R-H-E

MC (16-13)….........................000  000  0 – 0-1-2

JC (26-10)…........................…101  000  x – 2-2-2


WP – Micailyn Pierce

LP – Laylee Burchell

Hitting: Leslie Howard 1, Magoffin County; Rachel Fairchild 2b, 2 RBIs, Johnson Central.


Johnson Central........................6


STONECREST – Johnson Central freshman pitcher Braxton Kelly struck out 15 batters and allowed only two hits as the Golden Eagles eliminated Prestonsburg, 6-0, in the 15th Region Tournament semifinals played at Prestonsburg Sports Park on May 26.

The Golden Eagles, now 20-16, used late-inning scoring to pull away from the Blackcats, who finished 15-20.

Reece Ison doubled and Grant Martin singled and walked for the lone Blackcat hits.

Zach Salyer and Blake Gamble each singled, had a sacrifice and drove in one run each while J.D. Harless singled, walked, scored and batted in one.

Jarrin Hall was the losing pitcher.

At StoneCrest

(15th Region Tournament)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                                R-H-E

PB (15-20).........................….000  000   0 – 0-2-2

JC (20-16)…...........................000  141   x – 6-6-1


WP – Braxton Kelly

LP – Jarrin Hall

Hitting: Reece Ison 2b Grant Martin 1b, bb, Prestonsburg; J.D. Harless 1b, bb, 1r, 1 RBI; Geordon Blanton 1b, 1r; Zach Salyer 1b, SAC, 1 RBI; Blake Gamble 1b, SAC, 1 RBI; Seth Ratliff 1b, 1 RBI; Jacob Patton 2b, 1r, Johnson Central.

Lawrence County....................…5


STONECREST — Lawrence County erupted for five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to stun favored Paintsville, 5-1, in the 15th Region Tournament semifinals played at Prestonsburg Sports Park on May 26.

Tiger hurler Kash Daniel was sailing along with a 1-0 lead before running into trouble in the sixth.

Lawrence County’s Zack Kessee tripled, singled, scored and drove in one run and Josh Cantrell added a base hit, scored once and knocked home another to lead the way.

Kent Phelps singled, was hit by a pitch and scored for the Tigers, who finished 25-9. Matt Miller singled, walked and batted in one run while Daniel doubled.

Austin Bailey was the winning pitcher.

At StoneCrest

(15th Region Tournament)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                             R-H-E

PV (25-9)…..........................001  000  0 – 1-5-1

LC (22-15)…........................000  005  x – 5-5-1


WP – Austin Bailey

LP – Kash Daniel

Hitting: Kent Phelps 1b, HBP, 1r; Matt Miller 1b, bb, 1 RBI; Kash Daniel 2b, Paintsville; Zack Kessee 3b, 1b, 1r, 1 RBI; Josh Cantrell 1b, 1r, 1 RBI, Lawrence County.


Johnson Central...................…5


STONECREST – Johnson Central broke open a close game with a four-run, fourth inning and the Lady Golden Eagles went on to eliminate Pikeville, 5-0, in the 15th Regional Tournament semifinals played at Prestonsburg Sports Park on May 26.

The Lady Golden Eagles, now 25-10, pounded out 11 hits off losing pitcher Meagan Cochran.

Pikeville’s season ends at 17-18.

At StoneCrest

(15th Region Tournament)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                              R-H-E

PHS (17-18)...................…000  000  0 – 0-  2-2

JC (25-10)…......................100   400  x – 5-11-1


WP – Micailyn Pierce

LP – Meagan Cochran

Magoffin County….................15

East Ridge………..................…0

STONECREST — Magoffin County pounded out 13 hits and cruised to a 15-0 win over East Ridge in the 15th Region Tournament semifinals played at Prestonsburg Sports Park on May 26.

The Lady Warriors, who captured the 59th District crown, managed just one hit off winning pitcher Laylee Burchell.

Burchell helped her own cause with two hits and three runs batted in. Mahallie Ratliff added two hits, scored one time and knocked home three more runs.

Cianna Stewart had the only hit for East Ridge.

Leslie Howard had two hits and scored three times while Kia Bolen had two hits, scored three runs and collected a pair of RBIs.

At StoneCrest

(15th Region Tournament)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                             R-H-E

ER (16-16)…..........................000  0  –   0-  1-4

MC (16-12).........................…391  2  – 15-13-0


WP – Laylee Burchell

LP – Hannah Coleman

Hitting: Cianna Stewart 1h, East Ridge; Laylee Burchell 2h, 3 RBIs; Mahallie Ratliff 2h, 1r, 3 RBIs; Brooklyn Poe 2h, 2r, 2 RBIs; Leslie Howard 2h, 3r; Kia Bolen 2h, 3r, 2 RBIs; Alexis Montgomery 2h, 2r, Magoffin County.


14th Region Tournament


Perry Central……..................…0

HAZARD – Jenkins hurler Caitlynn Estevez tossed a no-hitter as the Lady Cavaliers blanked Perry County Central, 2-0, in the 14th Region Tournament semifinals played on May 26.

Estevez finished with 16 strikeouts as the Lady Cavaliers improved to 28-6 and advanced to the championship game against Estill County.

Whitney Creech had two hits, including a double, and Lexi Stambaugh added one hit and an RBI.

Katie Amburgey took the loss as PCC finished its season at 15-22.

At Hazard

(14th Region Tournament)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                             R-H-E

PCC (15-22)….....................000  000  0 – 0-0-3

JHS (28-6).........................…001  100  x – 2-7-0


WP – Caitlynn Estevez

LP – Katie Amburgey

Hitting: Whitney Creech 2b, 1b; Lexi Stambaugh 1b, 1 RBI, Jenkins.


Powell County…......................8

HAZARD — Jenkins pounded out 12 hits and built a big lead against Powell County, then held on for an 11-8 win in the 14th Region Tournament opener played at Perry County Central on May 25.

Charity Niece had three hits, including a double, as Jenkins improved to 27-6. Winning pitcher Caitlynn Estevez had a pair of hits while Lexi Stambaugh doubled and singled. Whitney Creech also doubled in the win.

Baylee Brewer suffered the loss as Powell County finished 19-19.

At Hazard

(14th Region Tournament)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                            R-H-E

PC (19-19)…....................013  000  4 –   8-  6-6

JHS (27-6)........................500  204  x – 11-12-3


WP – Caitlynn Estevez

LP – Baylee Brewer

Hitting: Lexi Stambaugh 2b, 1b; Whitney Creech 2b, Charity Niece 2b, 2-1b; Caitlynn Estevez 2-1b, Jenkins.

Medical Leader | Photo by TEDDY PAYNTER
REGIONAL TOURNAMENT: Pikeville High School baserunner Michael McDonald turns second base and heads for third after belting a leadoff triple in the Panthers’ 12-3 loss to Johnson Central in the opening round of the 15th Region Tournament played at Prestonsburg Sports Park on May 25.

STONECREST — East Ridge missed early scoring opportunities against Lawrence County and the Warriors fell to the Bulldogs, 5-0, in the 15th Region Tournament opening round played at Prestonsburg Sports Park on May 25.

The Bulldogs, now 21-15, advanced to the semifinals against Paintsville (25-8). The Warriors season ends at 11-11.

Noah Lambert reached on a base hit and scored the game’s first run in the third and it would be all that winning pitcher Eric Salyers would need.

Brad Parker reached and scored on pinch-hitter J.T. Hall’s double to make it 2-0 in the fourth. Peyton Cyrus, running for Hall, also crossed the plate to end the lead to 3-0.

Josh Cantrell doubled in the fifth and came home on Brock Turner’s RBI single to push the lead to 4-0.

Lawrence County’s final run came when Lambert reached on an error in the sixth and scored on an error.

East Ridge managed just four hits all day. Losing pitcher Luke Ramey doubled while Dalton Smith, Johnny Miller and Christian Taylor added singles.

At StoneCrest

(15th Region Tournament)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                                R-H-E

ER (11-11)…...........................000  000  0 – 0-4-4

LC (21-15)…...........................001  211  x – 5-5-1


WP – Eric Salyers

LP – Luke Ramey

Hitting: Luke Ramey 2b; Johnny Miller 1b; Dalton Smith 1b; Christian Taylor 1b, East Ridge; Josh Cantrell 2b, 1 RBI; Noah Lambert 1b, 2r; Brock Turner 1b, 1 RBI; J.T. Hall 2b, 1 RBI, Lawrence County.


Allen Central….........................0

STONECREST — Paintsville pounded out 12 hits, including a solo home run off the bat of Kash Daniel to highlight a four-run, first inning and the Tigers went on to blank Allen Central, 7-0,  in the 15th Region Tournament opening round played at Prestonsburg Sports Park on May 25.

Daniel was one of four Tigers to collect two hits in the game. He also singled, scored and drove in three runs to support winning pitcher Kent Phelps.

Matt Miller added a pair of singles and knocked in two runs, including one in the fourth inning when Paintsville, now 25-8, scored the game’s final three runs.

Ben Daniels added two hits, scored one run and drove in one run while Gabe Burchell had two hits and scored.

Allen Central’s Dustin Johnson was roughed up for 12 hits and all seven runs, six of which were earned.

The Rebels, who finished up 20-14, managed only six hits. Cameron Blevins, Tanner Hamilton, Kane Taylor, Brett Sammons, Cameron Nelson and Johnson had one each.

Paintsville advanced to face Lawrence County in the semifinals.

At StoneCrest

(15th Region Tournament)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                                R-H-E

AC (20-14)….........................000  000  0 – 0-  6-1

PV (25-8)…...........................400  300  x – 7-12-0


WP – Kent Phelps

LP – Dustin Johnson

Hitting: Cameron Blevins 1b; Tanner Hamilton 1b; Dustin Johnson 1b; Kane Taylor 1b; Brett Sammons 1b; Cameron Nelson 1b, Allen Central; Kash Daniel HR, 1b, 1r, 3 RBIs; Matt Miller 2-1b, 2 RBIs; Ben Daniels 2-1b, 4, 1 RBI; Gabe Burchell 2-1b, 1r; Kent Phelps 3b, 2r, Paintsville.


Johnson Central…...................12


STONECREST — Pikeville was looking to beat Johnson Central for the third time this season, but a big sixth inning by the Golden Eagles sent the Panthers down, 12-3, in the 15th Region Tournament opening round played at Prestonsburg Sports Park on May 25.

The Panthers, who finished up 24-13, trailed only 4-3 heading into the sixth before starting pitcher Kevin Justice and relief pitcher Issac Lucas were touched up for eight runs.

Pikeville didn’t help its cause, committing five errors in the game, one less than its total number of hits off winning pitcher Josh Hitchcock.

Michael McDonald tripled and scored in the first, and Clay Slone added a single, was hit by a pitch and scored.

Andrew McNamee walked twice and scored while Peyton Hamilton added two hits and drove in one run.  Connor Risner singled and added a sacrifice while Tanner Thompson singled.

Geordan Blanton was the big stick for the Golden Eagles, now 19-16. He tripled, doubled, singled and scored twice while Seth Ratliff added three hits, scored one run and knocked home two more.

Braxton Kelly had two hits, scored twice and collected an RBI while leadoff hitter Zac Slone had three singled and scored a pair of runs.

At StoneCrest

(15th Region Tournament)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                                R-H-E

JC (19-16)…........................202  008  0 – 12-11-0

PHS (24-13)........................200  100  0 –   3-  6-4


WP – Josh Hitchcock

LP – Kevin Justice

Hitting: Geordon Blanton 3b, 2b, 1b, 2r, 3 RBIs; Seth Ratliff 2-1b, 1r, 3 RBIs; Braxton Kelly 2-1b, 1r, 2 RBIs, Johnson Central; Michael McDonald 3b, 1r; Clay Slone 1b, 1r; Peyton Hamilton 2-1b, 1 RBI; Tanner Thompson 1b, 1 RBI, Pikeville.



STONECREST — Prestonsburg walked its way to an early lead against Belfry and the Blackcats went on to score an 11-4 win in the 15th Region Tournament opening round played at Prestonsburg Sports Park on May 25.

Reece Ison, Jarrin Hall and Grant Martin all walked ahead of Jarredd Jarrell’s RBI walk to make it 1-0 in the home first. Hall then scored on the first of seven Belfry errors to push the lead to 2-0.

Scott Stapleton walked in the second, Ison singled and Martin walked to lead the bases. Jarrell followed with a two-run single to push the lead to 4-0. Martin then scored on a throwing error to make it 5-0.

Nick Rowe’s two-run single in the home third inning highlights a four-run outburst by the Blackcats that extended their lead to 9-0. Two other runs scored on throwing errors.

Jacob Francisco reached for Belfry (13-13) in the top of the fourth on an error and scored when Austin Dotson reached safely on an error to make it 9-1. Cameron Catron followed with an RBI double, scoring Dotson.

John Cocksey reached in the fourth on a double to center field and scored on Bailey Slone’s hit to right to make it 10-2. Stapleton reached on an error in the home fifth, stole second and third on a catcher’s throwing error and scored on an error in the outfield, all on the same play.

Belfry’s final two runs came in the seventh as pinch hitter Keilan Carr walked, Tyler Fields was hit by a pitch. After Devin Varney walked, losing pitcher Keaton Taylor hit a sacrifice fly to right and Garrett Fannin followed with another sac fly to right to cap the scoring.

Prestonsburg’s Travis Power was the winning pitcher as the Blackcats, now 15-19, advanced to face Johnson Central in the semifinals.

At StoneCrest

(15th Region Tournament)

SCORE BY INNINGS:                                R-H-E

BHS (13-13)…......................000  200  2 –   4-2-7

PB (15-19)…….....................234  110  x – 11-8-5


WP – Travis Powers

LP – Keaton Taylor

Hitting: Cameron Catron 2b, 1 RBI, Belfry; Jarredd Jarrell 1b, bb, 3 RBIs; Nick Rowe 1b, 2 RBIs; John Cocksey 2b, bb, 2r, Prestonsburg.


Pikeville High School four-sport athlete L.J. Allara has committed to play tennis at Bellarmine University during  a ceremony held at Pikeville High School (PHS) on May 21.  He has played on the PHS tennis squad since 2009 and lettered each of his seven years.  He was the 15th Region Doubles Champion in 2014 and the 15th Region Singles runner-up in 2013 and 2015, and was selected to the All Region Tennis Team the past four years.  Allara is the first member of the PHS boys’ tennis team to advance to the KHSAA State Tennis Championships four years in a row (2012 – 2015) and also holds the record for most wins at the state tournament. He was one of four recipients of the Kenneth Huffman Memorial Tennis Foundation Annual Scholarship award this year.

Medical Leader | Photo courtesy of STEPHANIE STILTNER
HONORED:  University of Pikeville Interim President Paul E. Patton, left, presents PMC President and CEO Walter E. May with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during commencement exercises on May 16. Looking on is UPIKE Board of Trustees Chairman Terry L. Dotson, second from left, and KYCOM Dean Boyd R. Buser, DO.

Medical Leader | Photo by TEDDY PAYNTER
SPECIAL GUEST: U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers delivers the commencement address for the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine during a ceremony held at the East Kentucky Exposition Center on May 16.

PIKEVILLE — University of Pikeville (UPIKE) Interim President Paul E. Patton called Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) President and Chief Executive Officer Walter E. May one of the most influential figures in the growth of the medical community in eastern Kentucky.

May, who became a member of PMC’s Board of Directors in 1962, was presented an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during the 2015 commencement for the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM) at the East Kentucky Exposition Center on May 16.

“I’m truly humbled and honored to receive this degree today,” May said. “It’s only fitting that I receive this on the same day and same stage with my long-time friend U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers.”

Rogers, who delivered the commencement address to 70 KYCOM graduates, received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree for his work and efforts to wipe out the drug epidemic throughout the region.

“Walter has meant so much over his long career to the people of Pike County and eastern Kentucky,” Rogers said. “He has dedicated his entire life to giving back to his community, and he has taken health care in the mountains to another level.”

May has served as President of the Board at PMC since 1990 and has been Chief Executive Officer on two occasions, 1998-2000 and 2007-present. Under May’s leadership, PMC has grown to earn national recognition, including being a three-time winner of National Hospital of the Year. He guided the affiliation between the hospital and Mayo Clinic, a partnership that became reality in May 2013.

PMC is a 261-bed facility with a growing campus that features some of the region’s most advanced medical technology and a team of highly-trained physicians practicing in all major medical specialties and many subspecialties.

Expansion on the hospital’s main campus has included projects such as the Elliott Building in 1971, the Leonard Lawson Cancer Center in 1996 and the May Tower in 2000. The most recent expansion project to occur under May’s leadership is the PMC Clinic and parking garage, which opened in 2014.

“I have so many people to thank for this honor today, including a number of teachers and others in our community who helped pave the way for me,” May said. “Many of them are no longer with us, but I am eternally grateful.”

His boundaries go way beyond PMC.

May started in the radio industry as a young high school student at the age of 18, becoming one of the nation’s first rock-n-roll disc jockeys. He served as general manager, news director, sales manager and chief engineer, all prior to becoming President and owner of East Kentucky Broadcasting.

He has interviewed four American presidents (Harry S. Truman, Jimmy Carter, Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan); anchored a live broadcast of the Apollo 11 Moon Shuttle; anchored coverage of major floods in eastern Kentucky; and anchored with Estill Carter coverage of the Floyd County School Bus Disaster in 1957.

May is a past President of the Kentucky Broadcasters Association (KBA). He was the recipient of every award sponsored by the KBA, including the Golden Mike Award and the Al Temple Award.

PIKEVILLE — Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) Registered Nurse Sandra Chaney recently earned national certification.

This month, the American Association for Diabetes Educators named Chaney a Certified Diabetes Educator, recognizing her as a health professional who has “comprehensive knowledge and experience” with prediabetes, diabetes, diabetes prevention, and complications and management of the disease.

Working with Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Mavis Lowe in the PMC Diabetes Education Department, Chaney started preparing to earn the title more than a year ago.

She spent hours researching and studying diabetes, completed 1,000 hours of clinical time and attended the national organization’s “Core Concepts” class to qualify to take the CDE exam.

Certified diabetes educators help people with diabetes understand and manage the condition.

They promote self-management so people with diabetes can change their behavior and meet their treatment goals, which, in turn, makes them healthier. They also educate health care professionals about the disease.

“Knowledge is power,” Chaney said. “If we can educate the patients, we will see better outcomes, fewer readmissions and a lower occurrence of complications that arise from diabetes. Diabetes is a manageable disease, but if you don’t know what to do, how can you do it? Our goal is to make sure patients are educated and aware of the seriousness of the disease.”

Chaney has worked as a Licensed Diabetes Educator since 2014, but her experience with diabetes began long before that time.

“I chose the specialty of diabetes, in part, because I am diabetic myself and I understand the day-to-day struggles that diabetics face,” she said. “With that understanding, I feel like it gives me better insight to speak with the patients and teach them about diabetes. When you know what they are going through, you have a clearer understanding. One of the first things I tell my patients is that I am diabetic, too.”

The PMC Diabetes Education department offers inpatient and outpatient education as well as a monthly diabetes support group.

A physician referral is required for the diabetes education class, but no referral is needed for the support group.

The support group meets at 6 p.m. on the last Monday of each month in the large atrium classroom on the second floor of the May Tower. It is open to people with diabetes and their family and friends.

For details, call 606-218-3513.

Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) proudly announces the addition of Abdulla Attum, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon.

Dr. Attum received his Doctorate of Medicine degree at the Al Azhar University in Cairo, Eqypt.  He completed his residency and fellowship in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the University of Maryland Hospital in Baltimore.

He is board certified by the American Board in Thoracic Surgery.

Dr. Attum specializes in open heart procedures, off-pump bypass, valve surgery, lung and chest wall resections and complex cardiac procedures.

He said, “I decided to be a cardiothoracic surgeon in 1967. I was sitting in the lab when I heard about Christiaan Barnard performing the world’s first human heart transplant operation and I knew then what I wanted to do with my life.”

When asked why he chose to work at PMC, Dr. Attum said, “It is the infrastructure.  Everything is well organized and in order.  Everything from anesthesia to intensive care and cardiology, everything is extremely well put together.”

He said he has been to Mayo Clinic on various occasions for meetings and conferences and that PMC mirrors the world-renowned clinic.

Dr. Attum’s philosophy is that every patient is the most important patient. He sees each person as someone who has a family and wants a good quality of life.

“I want my patients to know I will work my heart out to take care of them,” said Dr. Attum. “I will do everything possible to treat them as if they were a member of my family.  I work hard for each patient with the goal of giving them the best outcomes I can.”

Dr. Attum enjoys spending time with his wife Mervat, their four children and four granddaughters.

Dr. Attum is located on the 2nd floor of the PMC Clinic.  For additional information call 606-218-3500.  To schedule a physician appointment call 606-218-1000.