GOODY — The honors continue to pour in for Kentucky's winningest high school football coach.


Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers honored Belfry legendary mentor Philip Haywood during a visit to eastern Kentucky on August 3.


Coach Haywood was presented an American flag that had been flown over the U.S. Capitol in his honor and a framed copy of remarks that Congressman Rogers had submitted to the Congressional Record to recognize the coach's career accomplishments.


"Coach Haywood's state football championships and national recognitions are only a reflection of the tenacious work that goes on behind the scenes," Rogers said. "In the locker room, on the practice field and outside of the school, he is a true champion."


Congressman Rogers said Haywood was more than just a football coach.


"He is a life coach, driving hope in these mountains now for over four generations of football players and families," Rogers added.


Most recently, Haywood, whose career is championship laden and unmatched when it comes to success, was selected as Coach of the Year by the National High School Athletic Coaches Association.


He has guided Belfry to six state football championships, including four straight in Class 3A.


Haywood enters this season with 417 wins.

Author Name: 
Teddy Paynter
Friday, August 11, 2017

Wow, here I am still chasing those Friday Night Lights 43 years later.


This is without question the most wonderful time of the year, especially if you are a fan of high school football.


The first high school game I covered as a photographer/reporter was Gilbert and Iaeger, one of the fiercest rivals in southern West Virginia. I rode along with reporter Rick Flowers, a great friend of mine, who, like myself, was a graduate of Man High School.


We spent so many Friday nights on the road. It was then I realized this was my dream job. 


I've spent the past month traveling around the region, meeting with players and coaches to feature in this year's Pigskin Preview edition. It will be showcased in the Medical Leader's August 25 edition.


But it's what I love to do. Being around the players and having the opportunity to report on their accomplishments can't be matched.


Next Friday night, we kick off another high school football season. Friday nights are truly special. Anyone who is a fan of the game understands what it means to the people of our region.


Football is king in the mountains. It has been for a long time. We are blessed with a number of outstanding players and teams.


Our Pigskin Preview will take a closer look at teams throughout Pike, Floyd, Letcher, Johnson and Mingo County. There are 15 high school teams that provide us with thrills and memories of a lifetime.


All the hard work that has gone into this special edition wouldn't have been possible without the support and help of many coaches throughout the area.


Without their help, and the support of our advertisers, our football edition would not have been possible.


To each of you, I say, "Thanks!"


Yes, high school football is back and I'm glad to be a small part of it. Every late Friday night is rewarded by being able to write the storyline from each and every game.


I just hope many of you get the same satisfaction of watching and cheering on your favorite teams as any sports writer does covering it.


Can Belfry, Johnson Central and Mingo Central all repeat as state champions?


What will the first year of Floyd Central bring us?


Is this the year Paintsville breaks through to the big stage?


Only time will tell.


Let's all enjoy another great season of high school football. It kicks off August 18.




— Teddy Paynter can be reached at 606-218-4932 or by e-mail at:

Author Name: 
Teddy Paynter
Friday, August 11, 2017

Jaylin Rose Justice, daughter of Jessica Justice, born August 2; weight: 6 lbs., 5 oz.


James Grayson Kelly Spencer, son of Kelsey and Shaler Spencer, born August 1; weight: 6 lbs., 10 oz.


Blake Daniel Scott Douglas Burchett, son of Daniel and Judy Burchett, born August 1; weight: 9 lbs., 1 oz.


Emaleigh Storme Epling, daughter of Ashley Epling, born August 1; weight: 6 lbs., 1 oz.


Alexis Bradleigh Deel, daughter of Samantha and Timothy Deel, born August 1; weight: 5 lbs., 1 oz.


Daniel Josiah Dotson, son of Leigha and Daniel Dotson, born July 31; weight: 7 lbs., 0.5 oz.


Zoey Louise Nichole Cottingham, daughter of Katelyn Hamilton and Brandon Cottingham, born July 30; weight: 6 lbs., 14 oz.


Emma Sage Clevinger, daughter of Megan and Randall Clevinger, born July 30; weight: 8 lbs., 12 oz.


Finnley Paige Tyree, daughter of Whitney and Joshua Tyree, born July 29; weight: 7 lbs., 11 oz.


Kaiden Allen Lee Hubbard, son of Christina Guinn, born July 28; weight: 7 lbs., 7 oz.


Vanson Bee McKinney, son of Kimberly and Shane McKinney, born July 28; weight: 7 lbs., 11.8 oz.


Maylee Jade Robinette, daughter of Timmi and Jason Robinette, born July 28; weight: 6 lbs., 15 oz.


Hunter Dale Kidd, son of Sarah Rowe and Austin Kidd, born July 28; weight: 7 lbs., 11 oz.


Kyle Mason Slone, son of Denise Slone, born July 27; weight: 7 lbs., 1.9 oz.


Brennan Joshua Hall, son of Sabrina and Joshua Hall, born July 27; weight: 5 lbs., 13 oz.


Lydia Raine Smith, daughter of Amy and Levi Smith, born July 27; weight: 5 lbs., 6 oz.


Addlynn Rose Epling, daughter of Rebecca Wooten, born July 27; weight: 4 lbs., 9 oz.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Rodney Gerald Thacker, 55, of Pikeville, passed away August 5. Funeral, August 11. Burial, Annie E. Young Cemetery.


David Andrew Robinson Sr., 69, of Obetz, Ohio, formerly of Pikeville, passed away August 4. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Funeral, August 10. Burial, Annie E. Young Cemetery.


Tammy Thacker, 45, of Pikeville, passed away August 3. Graveside service, August 10, Thacker Cemetery, Chimney Fork.


Blige Varney, 91, of Pikeville, passed away August 7. Funeral, August 10. Burial, Varney Cemetery, Kimper.


Mary Jo Hofsetter Sammons Turner, 80, of Huntington, W.Va., formerly of Matewan, W.Va., passed away July 31. Funeral, August 4. Burial, Buskirk Cemetery, Buskirk.


Nyoka "Tad" Watts, 61, of North Matewan, W.Va., passed away August 1. Funeral, August 4, Faith Mission Church, McCarr. Burial, Watts Family Cemetery, North Matewan.


Sarah "June" Blankenship, 86, of Newtown, W.Va., passed away August 3. Funeral, August 6. Burial, Chafin Cemetery, Newtown.


Cornetta Thompson, 81, of Freeburn, passed away August 5. Funeral, August 10, Freeburn Free Pentecostal Church. Burial, Chapman Cemetery, Freeburn.


Jeffery Dean Belcher, 58, of Tampa, Fla., formerly of Grundy, Va., passed away August 1. Funeral, August 7. Burial, Daugherty Family Cemetery, Jamboree.


Darrell Prater, 54, of Prestonsburg, passed away August 6. Funeral, August 10. Burial, Prater Family Cemetery, Prestonsburg.


Betty Lea Jarvis, 81, of Prestonsburg, passed away August 4. Funeral, August 9. Burial, Gethsemane Gardens, Prestonsburg.


Freida Gail Vance, 67, of McDowell, passed away August 4. Funeral, August 8, Little Rosa Old Regular Baptist Church, McDowell. Burial, Lucy Hall Cemetery, McDowell.


Eilenn B. Isaacs, 87, of Prestonsburg, passed away August 3. Funeral, August 6. Burial, Mayo Cemetery, Prestonsburg.


Clara Bow Slone, 85, of Blue River, passed away August 3. Funeral, August 7, Middle Creek Baptist Church, Prestonsburg. Burial, Slone Cemetery, Blue River.


Sarah Ellen Bird Lamartz, 54, of McDowell, passed away August 2. Funeral, August 6. Burial, Hicks-Cox Family Cemetery, Mousie.


Arnold "Jake" Miller, 56, of Martin, passed away August 6. Funeral, August 10. Burial, Frasure Cemetery, Langley.


William David Hinchman, 48, of Ivel, passed away August 5. Funeral, August 8. Burial, Davidson Memorial Gardens, Ivel.


Arthur Boyd Tackett, 52, of Beaver, passed away August 1. Funeral, August 4. Burial, W.J. Hall Cemetery, Grethel.


Maggie Adams, 84, of Grapevine, passed away August 5. Funeral, August 9, Blair Branch Old Regular Baptist Church. Burial, Shepherd Cemetery, Jeremiah.


Camellia Sue May, 64, of Phyllis, passed away August 4. Funeral, August 7, Upper Grapevine Church of Christ. Burial, Davidson Memorial Gardens, Ivel.


Kevin Ray Billiter, 40, of Lake County, Fla., formerly of Pike County, passed away July 29. Funeral, August 5. Burial, Davidson Memorial Gardens, Ivel.


Roy Gene Johnson, 57, Long Fork, Virgie, passed away August 6. Funeral, August 10, Zion Old Regular Baptist Church. Burial, Johnson Family Cemetery, Tinker Fork.


Veronica Little, 52, of Marrowbone, passed away August 5. Funeral, August 8. Burial, Buddy Ratliff Cemetery, Poor Bottom.


Caleb Skeens, 20, of Pikeville, passed away July 31. Funeral, August 4. Burial, Peggy Miller Cemetery, Feds Creek.


Eddie Lewis Keathley, 77, of Pikeville, passed away August 2. Funeral, August 5. Entombment, Thacker Mausoleum, Annie E. Young Cemetery, Shelbiana.


Tunis Blackburn, 77, of Nickelsville, Va., formerly of Belfry, passed away August 5. Funeral, August 9. Burial, Blackburn Cemetery, Belfry.


Juanita England Hays Hager, 86, of Buskirk, passed away August 5. Funeral, August 8. Burial, Blackburn-Hays Cemetery, Pinsonfork.


Lyda Mae Lowe, 92, of Turkey Creek, passed away August 4. Funeral, August 8. Burial, Maynard-Runyon Cemetery, Brushy Creek, Piso.


Opal Louise May, 44, of Sidney, passed away August 2. Funeral, August 6. Burial, Stanley Cemetery, Sidney.


Leland Wendell Cool, 77, of McVeigh, passed away August 2. He was a U.S. Army veteran. Funeral, August 5, McVeigh Baptist Church, Belfry.


Goldean Burke Francis, 89, of Riner, Va., formerly of Turkey Creek, passed away August 1. Graveside service, August 5, Mountain View Memory Gardens, Huddy.


Kathy Lynn Rose, 65, of Hardy, passed away July 29. Funeral, August 1. Burial, Buck Scott Family Cemetery, Ransom.


Lou Jean Stepp, 84, of Belfry, passed away July 29. Memorial service, August 1.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) is working with the Pike County Board of Education to help provide backpacks and school supplies for children in need this year. There are many families in the community facing financial hardships, with children attending public school. This is just one of the many ways that PMC gives back to the region.


PMC employees brought in donations for two weeks to help provide children with school supplies that their parents may have had a difficult time purchasing this year.


"Several backpacks have been donated," said PMC Human Resources Manager, Jesse DeRossett. "There has also been a great deal of basic supplies donated such as pencils, crayons, composition books, binders and much more."


DeRossett organized the backpack drive and was in charge of collecting the donations and delivering them to the Pike County Board of Education.


"PMC is focused on giving the local students the tools they need to have a productive and happy start to their school year," explained DeRossett. "We want every child to have the capability to excel and a lot of times that starts with being prepared."


One employee donated an entire trunk full of supplies to the drive. Monica Comer of Grapevine works in PMC's internal audit department. She and her husband, Chuck, felt led to help in this cause.


"My friend is a teacher and she tells me that some kids come to school with the best of everything and some kids come to school and don't have a pencil," said Comer. "PMC's backpack drive is good because it will help kids that need it have a good start to the year."


The directors of the nursing units, led by Vice President of Patient Services Jeannette Sexton, were big contributors to the drive, spending over $1,000.


"It is important for me, being a leader at PMC, to give back to the community," explained Sexton. "My departments and I felt that participating in the school supply drive was something that we wanted to do to help the community. The community supports PMC everyday so this is giving back to those who need some help getting their kids ready for school."


The backpack drive ended on July 31. All donations were picked up by the board of education to be distributed to the family resource directors of the schools in Pike County. From there, the supplies will make it into the hands of the children that need them the most.

BACKPACK DRIVE: PMC employees display their overwhelming generosity during their recent backpack drive.
Medical Leader│STAFF PHOTO
Author Name: 
Amy Charles
Friday, August 11, 2017

Jack Martin of Mousie, is always ready to tell his respect and appreciation for Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) Heart and Vascular Institute's Interventional Cardiologist, Bill Harris, M.D.


Martin says he first saw Dr. Harris when he was practicing in Lexington, in 1986.


After 31 years of cardiac care, Martin says, "Dr. Harris is the best."


"I met Jack Martin when he had a rather large anterior heart attack," said Dr. Harris. "He was a little sick to begin with and it took a while to stabilize him. Jack is the perfect example of somebody who wants to take care of himself. Even after having a big heart attack, they can do well. "


As soon as Martin discovered Dr. Harris was moving to PMC, he had his medical records transferred and made plans to continue seeing him in Pikeville.


Martin says after his first heart attack, Dr. Harris came in the room, sat down on the bed and thoroughly explained everything.


"That is why I think he is very special," said Martin. "He takes the time to make sure I understand what is going on and what I need to do to take care of my heart. I could not have asked for any better doctor. He is just unreal. He brought me back to life three times."


Martin bragged on Dr. Harris and his light-hearted, positive approach to patient care. He says he likes the way Dr. Harris always makes a funny remark or joke to keep everyone's spirits high as he leaves their room.


Martin is committed to following the directions Dr. Harris gives him.


Dr. Harris said, "Jack has always managed his weight, exercised and taken his medications properly. He has done everything in the world to help himself and I think it is because of that, from a statistical stand point, he has done much better than you would have predicted 31 years ago."


Martin says, "One thing is for sure, Dr. Harris cannot help you if you do not help yourself. I follow his directions, eat right and exercise."


Martin is very active. He works in his garden, walks every day, works with weight training to strengthen his legs and occasionally will make his way to the garage to do a little automotive body work.


Martin is a husband, father and grandfather who values life and strives to live it to the fullest.


Dr. Harris said, "He is a wonderful guy. He has a supportive family and has been a wonderful patient to care for."


For more information about the PMC Heart and Vascular Institute visit or to schedule an appointment, call 606-218-6477.

LIVING HEALTHY: Pikeville Medical Center Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Bill Harris examines patient Jack Martin during a recent checkup at PMC's Heart and Vascular Institute.
Medical Leader│Photo by CAROL CASEBOLT
Friday, August 4, 2017

PIKEVILLE — The City of Pikeville is working closely with the Kentucky Department of Tourism in an effort to gain certification as a Kentucky Trail Town.


Officials said there is a tremendous opportunity and movement toward outdoor recreation activities which can help boost the region's economy, encourage physical fitness and promote natural resources.


"We will become one of the only communities in the state of Kentucky to feature two trail towns," said Pike County Tourism CVB Executive Director Tony K. Tackett. "Elkhorn City community members worked to become a trail town and Pikeville is now following suit. This will be a win-win for local mom-and-pop businesses, and will also boost interest in our other attractions."


One of eastern Kentucky's natural resources is the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River. It is known as the Blue Water Trail destination, providing activities along the river for water enthusiasts, residents and tourists.


"Pikeville becoming a trail town gives us another opportunity to promote our region and all of the great outdoor activities that we offer," Pike County Tourism CVB Marketing Director Jay Shepherd said.


He said the Hatfield and McCoy River Trails feature kayaking down the beautiful Levisa Fork River.


"The community can benefit from these vast resources by outdoor adventures, as well as hospitality in the traditional downtown shops and restaurants," Shepherd added.


Prestonsburg is also working on becoming a trail town.


"Being a certified trail town gives you more marketing and advertisement throughout the state," Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton said. "It will also increase our tourism."


He said the city is moving along well with the process and should be certified by the end of the year.


A trail can provide recreation for people of all ages, fitness levels and offers the chance to study nature or local history.


"We already offer a lot, but we hope to incorporate tour guides," Stapleton said.


McCoy Motorsports, a family-owned and operated performance shop specializing in motorcycle, ATV and UTV aftermarket parts and accessories, has jumped on board.


They have recently added mountain bikes to their retail shop.


Pikeville's application process will continue until September and will be submitted to Kentucky Tourism for review.

Author Name: 
Abigail Gibson
Friday, August 4, 2017

PIKEVILLE — The City of Pikeville held a groundbreaking ceremony on August 3 for Kentucky Enterprise Industrial Park's speculative building.


The building is a 60,000-square-foot speculative building, funded by the Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Land and the U.S. Office of Surface Mining.


"The funds are part of an allocation that are being used to prepare abandoned mine lands for economic development," Interim City Manager Philip Elswick said. "The City was awarded $5 million for design and construction of the building."


Elswick said the City is very excited to see construction nearing commencement.


"The building is a tremendous tool to allow the City of Pikeville to attract potential tenants to Kentucky Enterprise Industrial Park because companies are more likely to locate in an industrial park if there is a building available for its immediate use," he said.


Since funding of the speculative building was announced last year, Elswick mentioned the City of Pikeville's Office for Economic Development has received many inquiries from companies interested in locating in the industrial park.


"I love these hills, I love these streams and I love these energetic people that you and I make up," U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers said. "I can't wait to see who else joins us on this mountain top. You've reached the mountain peak here and what a spectacular setting it is around here. I offer you my deep felt congratulations."


In addition to Rogers, other speakers included, Senator Ray S. Jones II, Representative John Blanton and Pikeville Mayor Jimmy Carter.

TURNING DIRT: U.S. Congressman Harold "Hal" Rogers, Senator Ray S. Jones II, and Representative John Blanton joined Pikeville Mayor Jimmy Carter and other officials for the Kentucky Enterprise Industrial Park speculative building groundbreaking on August 3.
Medical Leader│Photo by TEDDY PAYNTER
Author Name: 
Abigail Gibson
Friday, August 4, 2017