KENTUCKY LEGISLATURE

Democrat wins state Senate race in Fayette County

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Democrat Reggie Thomas has won election to the state Senate from Lexington's 13th District.

Thomas will replace former Democratic Sen. Kathy Stein who resigned after being appointed a circuit judge in Fayette County.

With all precincts reporting, Thomas had 4,040 votes to 2,617 for independent Richard Moloney and 851 for Republican Michael Johnson.

Turnout, which is typically low in special elections, was depressed further by the lingering effects of a wintry blast over the weekend that caused temperatures to plummet and left most of the state blanketed in a lawyer of snow and ice.

Crews had worked through the weekend to clear the roads.

BIG RIVERS

PSC allows limited rehearing in Big Rivers case

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky utility regulators are revisiting a portion of their decision adjusting revenue and rates for Big Rivers Electric Corp. to offset the loss of its largest customer.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission on Tuesday granted a rehearing on one of three issues raised in the case.

The issue to be reviewed deals with calculating revenue Big Rivers will receive from the continued operation of its Coleman plant.

Those seeking the rehearing were the state attorney general's office, the Kentucky Industrial Utility Customers Inc. and the Sierra Club. They contend Big Rivers understated annual revenue it will receive for operating the Coleman plant by about $12 million.

In October, the PSC authorized Big Rivers to receive an additional $54.2 million annually from its remaining customers to reflect the loss of a Hawesville smelter as a customer.

OBIT-SPAIN

Funeral Wednesday for former Supreme Court justice

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Funeral services are being held Wednesday in western Kentucky for former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Thomas B. Spain, who died Saturday at the age of 85.

Spain served on the state's high court from 1991 to 1995 after more than 17 years as circuit court judge in Hopkins and Caldwell counties.

The Messenger reported Spain died at the Western Kentucky Veterans Center in Hanson near Madisonville.

Spain served as an Army judge advocate in the 1950s and practiced law starting in 1955 in Madisonville. Gov. Wendell Ford appointed Spain to the circuit court bench in 1973.

When Spain retired from the Supreme Court, he became affiliated with John C. Whitfield's law firm.

Whitfield said everyone in Spain's court knew he would hear cases fairly, and Whitfield said, "That's a pretty big legacy."

TORNADO TOWN-INDICTMENT

Eastern Ky. official pleads not guilty to charges

LEXINGTON, Ky. (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.

CLERK KILLED

Teen charged in death of gas station attendant

(Information in the following story is from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com )

LEXINGTON, Ky. (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 (moo-KESH'-bah-ee pah-TEL') 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.

KENTUCKY BUDGET

General Fund revenue up 2.4 percent in November

FRANKFORT, Ky. (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.

SALVATION

-GOLD COIN

Salvation Army finds gold coin in Owensboro kettle

(Information in the following story is from: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, http://www.messenger-inquirer.com )

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — Salvation Army officials got a big surprise when they opened a red kettle in Owensboro to count donations.

The Messenger-Inquirer reports a 2004 Liberty gold coin was found wrapped inside a $10 bill.

Salvation Army Lt. Nathan Jones told the newspaper on Monday that the coin was worth $1,200. It was found in a kettle that had been outside a Kroger store on Saturday.

The Salvation Army reported last week that it has received more than 400 gold coins in kettles across the nation over three decades.

Jones said it was the first such coin to be found in an Owensboro kettle.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.