Tuesday December 10, 2013

The top elected official in an Appalachian county ravaged by a tornado nearly two years ago was arrested Monday on charges of mail fraud, theft and conspiring to launder money in an alleged scheme to steer work to a construction contractor in exchange for kickbacks. An indictment against Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley included a charge that he misused his position to ensure the contractor received excessive payments to clean up storm debris in the aftermath of the deadly tornado that hit the area March 2, 2012.
_____

A consultant will be brought in to help with the search for a new leader of the Kentucky Community and Technical College system. Regents appointed a committee on Friday to select the consultant who will search out potential replacements for current President Michael B. McCall. McCall announced earlier this year he will retire in January 2015. He has led the system the past 15 years.
_____

It was a rainy night and friends said they did not want Bruce Mollet out on the road. The family said Mollet went missing early Friday morning. They searched the Tomahawk area and reported him missing the next day. Family members found his body in an embankment Saturday afternoon. The coroner pronounced the 46-year-old dead at the scene from blunt force trauma to the head and abdomen.
_____

Political leaders are worried that lingering snow and frigid temperatures will have a chilling effect on voter turnout Tuesday in special legislative elections that, depending on the outcome, could inch Republicans one seat closer to a takeover in the House. Democrats are fighting hard to hold on to positions vacated by two of their longtime lawmakers, Rep. John Arnold and Sen. Kathy Stein, both of whom resigned earlier this year. Republican Suzanne Miles of Owensboro and Democrat Kim Humphrey of Morganfield are squaring off in western Kentucky's 7th House District race.
_____

The holidays are known for the gift of giving. And for the past 11 years, Matt Skeans has been using his Christmas tree business to give to those struggling during the holiday season.
This weekend, he’s giving to coal country’s own, after a year full of layoffs. The event is December 14-15 from 1-7 p.m. at Skeans Marathon at Bull Creek in Prestonsburg (468 US 23). You must bring your mine card and proof you were laid off.
_____

Some Bell County teachers are rallying together to help a fellow teacher with cancer. Teachers say former Page School Center teacher Alesha Goodlett is undergoing treatment in Boston. Her friends here at home are planning fundraiser events to help her and her children. Friends say Goodlett dedicated her life to teaching children and raising her own two young children. The Bell County teachers and others in the community are planning fundraisers to help with Goodlett's medical expenses and buy her children Christmas gifts.