Officials Searching for Missing Pike Woman
The search continues for a missing Pike County woman. Officials say Bertha Wolford hasn’t been seen since Friday when she was in the Majestic area. Pike County Emergency Management, Phelps Fire Department officials, and community members are searching for Wolford. If you have any information on her whereabouts, you are urged to call police.
Morgan County Official Pleads Not Guilty to Charges
(AP) - An eastern Kentucky judge-executive whose county was devastated by a tornado has pleaded not guilty to federal charges. Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley was arraigned Tuesday, one day after an unsealed indictment accused him of steering work to a construction contractor in exchange for kickbacks. Federal authorities say the abuses included excessive payments to the contractor to clean up storm debris. Morgan County was hit by a deadly tornado on March 2, 2012. Conley was placed on home incarceration and is prohibited from having contact with anyone in Morgan County government. Conley has been the public face behind recovery efforts in the county. He’s charged with four counts of mail fraud and one count of theft from a program receiving federal funds. He’s also charged with conspiring to launder money.
Teen Charged in Death of Gas Station Attendant
(AP) - Lexington police have arrested one person in the death of a gas station attendant. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported police charged 18-year-old Travis Michael Bredhold with murder and robbery Tuesday in the death of 51-year-old Mukeshbhai Patel at the gas station west of downtown Lexington. A customer found Patel at the station Monday afternoon and called police. Patel had been working alone. An autopsy was performed, but the cause of death is pending. The coroner’s report said Patel suffered a gunshot wound.
General Fund Revenue Up 2.4 Percent in November
(AP) - Newly released numbers from the Kentucky budget office show tax collections were up in November. State Budget Director Jane Driskell said Tuesday that General Fund revenue increased 2.4 percent for the month, generating revenue of nearly $803 million. Driskell called the latest revenue figures encouraging. Individual income tax collections rose 6 percent for the month, a sign of fatter paychecks for Kentucky workers. Property tax revenue was up 8.1 percent. Meanwhile, sales tax collections fell by 1 percent in November. Cigarette tax revenue dropped 4.3 percent. And the coal severance tax was off 18.1 percent. Road Fund revenue rebounded in November, jumping 13.6 percent.
Christmas Kitchen Set for Wednesday Evening
Some community members are working together to give a hot meal to those in our area who can’t afford one. The event, being called the Christmas Kitchen, will be held this Wednesday in Downtown Paintsville. Kristen Greer is one of the organizers of the event; she says she’s “blessed to be able to do it.” The free meal will be served between 4 and 6 PM on Wednesday, December 10.
SOAR: Shaping Our Appalachian Region Summit Held in Pikeville
(AP) - A former Minnesota lawmaker and his father told a gathering in Appalachia their state’s response to a collapse in mining jobs 30 years ago may provide ideas for eastern Kentucky, which has suffered 6,000 coal layoffs in the last couple of years. About 1,700 people registered to attend the Shaping Our Appalachian Region conference on Monday. Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers of the 5th District and Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear set up the summit to try to find ways to diversify eastern Kentucky’s economy. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports former Minnesota lawmaker Tony Sertich and former community college president Joe Sertich told the crowd that in Minnesota a regional board provided public works jobs, invested in tourism projects and provided incentives to manufacturing and mining companies.
Johnson County Fiscal Court Meets
An amendment for the sheriff’s department was made at Monday afternoon’s Johnson County Fiscal Court meeting. Click HERE for full details on Monday’s meeting.
Tractor Trailer Fire on US-23 in Johnson County
A tractor-trailer fire caused delays for motorists on US-23 in Johnson County on Monday evening. It happened before 6PM at the intersection of KY-1428 in Hager Hill. Officials worked to put out the flames and to direct traffic around the hazardous blaze. The roadway reopened later in the evening.
Morgan County Judge-Executive Indicted
(AP) - The top elected official in an eastern Kentucky county devastated by a 2012 tornado has been indicted on charges of mail fraud, theft and conspiring to launder money. The indictment unsealed Monday claims Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley rigged bidding to ensure a Salyersville-based construction company won contracts. One count stems from allegations Conley used his position to ensure PBTHNOJJ Construction received payments in excess of actual work to clean up storm debris. An FBI spokeswoman says Conley was arrested at his West Liberty office Monday. Conley was being held in the Fayette County Detention Center. An attorney identified by Conley’s office as his possible lawyer in the case did not immediately return a call. Conley faces four counts of mail fraud, one theft-related count and a count of conspiring to launder money.
Body of Missing Martin County Man Found Deceased
The body of a missing Martin County man has been found deceased. 46-year-old Bruce Mollet went missing on Friday morning, and had last been seen in the rain on his ATV. Crews searched the Tomahawk area over the weekend and Mollet’s body was found on Saturday just off KY-40, along with his ATV over an embankment. Martin County Coroner Joseph Mullins pronounced Mollet dead at the scene, with blunt force trauma listed as cause of death. Police say Mollet wasn’t wearing a helmet.
New Judicial Center Opens in Lawrence County
The doors of the new Lawrence County Judicial Center are now open. The facility hosing circuit and district courtrooms is located on US-23 in Louisa. Several offices, conference rooms, and holding cells are also housed in the twenty million dollar building. An official grand opening ceremony has not yet been held.
Convenience Store Clerk Killed in Lexington
(AP) - Lexington police say a convenience store clerk working alone has been shot and killed, and they are looking for a man seen leaving the scene. Police Lt. Eric Lowe told the Lexington Herald-Leader the worker was shot in the chest and found lying unresponsive behind the counter. A customer found the victim, who hasn’t been identified. The incident happened just after 3 p.m. EST Monday at a Marathon Station on Alexandria Drive a couple miles west of downtown. Lowe said a robbery also took place. Police were looking for a man seen leaving just before police were called. He was described as white; wearing a camouflage jacket or fleece, a dark toboggan with red ear flaps, blue jeans, black gloves and gray sneakers; and driving a gray Nissan car.
Inspector General Finds Misuse of State Property
(AP) - A review has found widespread misuse of government property and employees at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The Office of Inspector General released findings from a months-long investigation on Monday, concluding that top leaders were involved in the misapplication of resources at the agency. The report cited instances in which leaders of the agency used their influence to have free fish delivered to private ponds, a perk that was not available to the general public. The report also charged that in one instance state employees were used on state time in a state vehicle to pick up building materials for the personal use of the leader of the agency who resigned while the investigation was underway.