April 29, 2016

The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Executives today recognized Murray-Calloway County Chamber President Aaron Dail as the 2016 Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Executive of the Year at the group’s Spring Conference in Frankfort. KCCE Executive Director Ali Crain cited Dial’s leadership in Murray’s Committee to Enhance Business Process Planning, his talent retention and attraction focus in the creation of Young Professionals of Murray, and his efforts getting businesses back on their feet after a downtown building collapse and court square fire. The award recognizes a chamber professional who has made outstanding contributions and excelled in directing the future of their organization and community. A peer panel evaluates outstanding achievements, effectiveness in addressing challenges, professionalism, program development and implementation, fiscal management, and civic/charitable contributions.

At last night’s Murray City Council meeting, the Council approved a draft of next fiscal year’s budget which includes an across-the-board 2 percent increase of city workers’ salaries. A unanimous vote allows the City Attorney to prepare a final draft which will require a public hearing and two readings. Multople ordinances were approved on second reading. One rezones property located at 1806 North 4th Street from Residential and Agriculture to Highway Business, Industrial and Agriculture, another addresses Required Conditions for Transient Business Regulations. Other ordinances passing on second reading approved minimum water deposits for mobile homes, rental dwellings, and apartments, the schedule of rates and Tap-On Fees at the Waste Water Treatment System, certain Water Rates, and yearly rates charged for fire hydrants and sprinkler heads, and Loss of Water or Gas on a Customer’s Premises. The Council passed on first reading an ordinance addressing the staffing arrangement of Murray Police Department assistant chiefs, captains, and officers. The Council approved a Planning Commission recommendation to rezone a portion of North LP Miller Street from Residential to Central Business District. An ordinance concerning the staffing arrangement for Murray Fire Department lieutenants and captains was tabled for further discussion.

Murray State University President Bob Davies announced that the school will impose tuition increases for the 2016-17 school year, totaling about $3 million in new revenue. The increase will come on the heels of the 4.5 percent budget reduction of state government funding which equals approximately $2.1 million of the university’s 2017 fiscal budget. Those cuts are even more painful for MSU experienced a decrease in enrollment of about 4 percent between the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years. With the enrollment dip, budget cuts and other reductions, the university is looking at a $9.1 million deficit in the coming fiscal year. A final budget is expected to be approved in mid June.

Kentucky State Police Post 1 assisted the US Marshals Service Thursday in reference to a wanted subject. 33-year old Kelly Cochran of Merrillville, Indiana was wanted out of Michigan for Homicide, Home Invasion, Disinterment And Mutilation of a dead body, Concealing The Death Of An Individual, and Lying To A Peace Officer. The US Marshals Service received information that Cochran was at a residence in the Wingo community of Graves County. Troopers and the United States Marshals Service responded to the residence where they made contact with Cochran who was taken into custody without incident and lodged in the Graves County Jail.

Benton is getting a new moble home manufacturing facility which will mean 150 new jobs for the area. Gov. Matt Bevin made the announcement Thursday. Champion Home Builders plans to lease a 100,000 square-foot building on Venture Lane and spend $6.3 million on new state-of-the-art equipment. The Michigan-based company will produce modular, mobile and manufactured housing for distribution to retailers in Kentucky and other states. The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has preliminarily approved $2.25 million in tax incentives for the company.

First District Congressman Ed Whitfield Thursday voted in favor of a resolution disapproving of the rule submitted by the Department of Labor relating to the definition of the term “fiduciary.” Proposed in order to compel financial advisors to put their clients’ best interests first, the DOL’s “fiduciary” rule is part of an effort to review rules and definitions the agency believes are outdated and not in the best interest of consumers. However, stakeholders have voiced serious concerns that the rule proposed by DOL is not the best solution to updating the definition, and could actually harm consumers by making it harder and more costly to save and invest. Whitfield called the act another extreme, partisan rule that runs counter to the nation’s obligation to help all Americans retire with the peace of mind they deserve.

FRANKFORT—Kentucky has a record number of voters on its rolls. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said that the new record comes off the heels of a statewide voter registration drive she recently conducted. The total number of registered voters for the May 17 Primary Election is 3,243,078. The number represents an increase of 42,608 new voters since the November 2015 General Election. Nearly 6,000 Kentuckians registered to vote online for the first time after Grimes launched the online voter registration portal at last month.

FRANKFORT—Public aid managers in Frankfort say they’re finally putting people on the other end of the phones at the state’s Benefind office. The Benefind system is supposed to be a one-stop shop for everything from Medicaid to food stamps, but people say they lose benefits, get dropped without warning, and can’t seem to fix the problem. Kentucky’s Health and Family Services Secretary Vickie Yates Glisson yesterday unveiled what she’s calling a ‘war room’ to handle calls and manage problems.

FRANKFORT—Kentucky’s universities are each finding their own way to deal with less money from the legislature. Eastern Kentucky University is freezing all hiring, Morehead State ordered furloughs, and other schools are laying-off workers. Governor Bevin cut four-and-a-half percent from the schools, with the dollar amounts differing for each campus. University leaders say they’re trying to hold the line on spending, but almost every school in the state is considering a tuition increase.

FRANKFORT—Louisville’s Waterfront Park may look to the city for money, because it’s not getting any from the state. Governor Matt Bevin yesterday vetoed a plan to send 420-thousand dollars to the park. Managers in Louisville say they’re shocked, and they’re now worried about keeping workers on the job, and keeping the fountains running.

CALDWELL COUNTY—State police in western Kentucky are searching for a missing Princeton man. They are looking for 55-year-old Russell Mitchell. He was last seen on April 17th. He is described as white, five-foot-eleven, 140 pounds, with blond hair and blue eyes. He may be in a green 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass with Kentucky plates.

WEBSTER COUNTY—A Hopkins County man is facing numerous charges after allegedly being found in possession of crystal meth in Webster County. Kentucky State Police say they pulled over James Butler of Madisonville on Wednesday night in Providence. They say he fled on foot when police found suspected crystal methamphetamine and a pipe in his vehicle. He was arrested after being Tased and faces charges including DUI, possession of a controlled substance, and fleeing and evading.

WARREN COUNTY—A Tennessee man is taken into custody in southern Kentucky after a police chase. The “Bowling Green Daily News” is reporting police arrested Bret Chadwick of Portland on Wednesday after he fled the scene of a domestic violence call. Kentucky State Police say they spotted his vehicle and stopped him outside of Bowling Green after deflating his tires. Police say he hit several police cruisers during the chase.

HOPKINS COUNTY—A woman is facing drug charges after a traffic stop in Hopkins County. State police say they arrested Cheyenne Langhorne after they found prescription pills and marijuana in her vehicle. Police had pulled her over along West Main Street in Earlington. She faces charges including possession of a controlled substance.

HART COUNTY—State police have released a composite sketch of a victim in a death investigation in Hart County. State police say the composite sketch was provided to them by the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. The remains of a woman were found off of Waterloo Road in Hart County in June of last year. Police say she was in her 20s to 40s and had a necklace with an “S” on it.

FLEMING COUNTY—A man is facing several charges including first-degree assault after allegedly stabbing his father-in-law in Fleming County. State police say they arrested Matthew Werthwine on Wednesday night for the incident that happened at a home on Wolf Run Road. Police say he stabbed and punched the victim in the stomach. They say he was arrested after a short police chase.

LOUISVILLE—Officials with Churchill Downs have announced some special celebrity guests for next Friday’s Kentucky Oaks. Supermodel Kate Upton will be the Oaks First Lady and “The Voice” winner Jordan Smith will sing the national anthem. The Kentucky Oaks drew a crowd of over 120-thousand people last year.

LOUISVILLE—The annual Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon is tomorrow morning. Over 12-thousand runners and walkers are expected to participate. The Louisville Water Company has supplied water to the runners for over 20 years. Volunteers at 15 stops will fill about 290-thousand cups of water for participants.

NASHVILLE—A teenager wanted for a shooting at a bus terminal that injured four people in Nashville is now in custody. Police arrested 16-year-old Demarcus Amos yesterday. He had been wanted for the shooting that happened at a downtown bus terminal on Tuesday. One person was critically injured in the shooting.

TENNESSEE—A man wanted for attempted murder in Haywood County is taken into custody in Jackson. WBBJ-TV is reporting that U.S. Marshals assisted in the arrest of Anthony Allen on Wednesday. He was found at a hotel on North Highland Avenue. He had been wanted on charges including attempted murder and kidnapping since earlier this month.

TENNESSEE—A hiker was killed in an apparent accidental drowning at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. WBIR-TV is reporting that 59-year-old Jitendra Patel of Roswell, Georgia slipped into some water in the Abrams Falls area yesterday and did not resurface. Crews were able to recover his body last night.

TENNESSEE—Search and rescue crews have found a missing Campbell County woman. Police had been searching for Marsha Meredith. Crews found her last night in a wooded area near Stinking Creek. She was calling out for help and was reportedly in stable condition.

TENNESSEE—Police are searching for a suspect after a shooting at a park in Clarksville. WSMV-TV is reporting the shooting happened yesterday afternoon at Heritage Park on Preachers Mill Road. Some schools in the area were placed on lockdown after the shooting. The victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

NASHVILLE—A man wanted on several outstanding warrants is now in custody after a foot chase. WSMV-TV is reporting Kevin Tidwell allegedly stole a pickup truck yesterday, then tried to flee on foot when police spotted him. Police say he was found hiding in a wooded area near a shopping center in north Nashville. He had been wanted on charges including vehicle theft and vandalism.