News in Brief

Published 12:09 pm Monday, January 15, 2018

Eastern Ky. county struggling with water shortage

INEZ, Ky. (AP) — An eastern Kentucky county is conserving water by shutting it off to residents at night, but some have been without running water for days.

About 1,000 people in Martin County were without water for a fifth day on Friday, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported .

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The water district began shutting off water to many customers at night on Monday. The district is struggling financially, and the shutoffs continued into Saturday.

Kathy Jude, who lives in Martin County, told the newspaper her husband’s grandfather has been without running water since Monday. She says she has had to use bottled water to bath him.

The water district said in a statement Friday that the main cause of the shortage is a decrease in customers, meaning less revenue for repairs of the failing infrastructure.

“Our financial status, to put it simply, is bleak,” the officials said the statement, which was posted on Facebook. The water district said its monthly expenses exceed revenue by 40 percent. The district is losing about 50 percent of the water it produces “through pipe breaks, service line leaks and failing meters.”

“The financial condition is so serious, the Martin County Water District could fail, and we would not just lose water for days, but for an extended period of time,” the officials said.

The shortage has angered some residents. During a recent emergency meeting over the water issues, a frustrated resident was led away by a police officer as he was criticizing the district’s response.

“All I want is for the people of Martin County to have water,” the man, Gary Michael Hunt, told the Herald-Leader. “It’s time to get rid of the crooks. It’s been time for a long time.”

Hunt said he was given a citation and must appear in court, but he wasn’t taken to jail.

Wentzville health care processing facility to close

WENTZVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A large suburban St. Louis employer — one of a handful of major Affordable Care Act processing facilities — is closing.

The Post-Dispatch reports that Serco, a British-based company with U.S. headquarters in Northern Virginia, runs the processing facility in Wentzville. Three years ago, it employed as many as 1,500.

The Post-Dispatch says the closing will see about 850 employees laid off.

The company won a $1.2 billion, 5-year contract in July 2013 to process applications for the Affordable Care Act, the national health care law passed in 2010. The Wentzville center was one of three the firm opened nationally to handle the deluge of people expected to sign up for health insurance. The others are in Kentucky and Arkansas. It’s not clear whether those facilities are closing.

Tenn. murder suspect fatally shot in Ky.

PORTLAND, Tenn. (AP) — Police in Tennessee say a murder suspect has been fatally shot by police in Kentucky.

The Portland Police Department says on its Facebook page that 39-year-old Jason D. Whittemore was shot Friday in Allen County, Kentucky.

The statement says Allen County sheriff’s officers responding to reports of someone trying to enter homes confronted Whittemore, who brandished a weapon at officers before being shot. Whittemore is white. The statement didn’t indicate the races of the officers involved.

Portland police had obtained warrants charging Whittemore with first-degree murder in a woman’s death at his home on Thursday.

Louisville man caught in Florida after triple slaying

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky man wanted in a triple slaying has been captured after fleeing to Florida.

A release from the Hernando County Sheriff says officers arrested 46-year-old Christopher Cruz Olivo Friday night on a warrant for triple murder in Louisville. Olivo was wearing a ballistic vest and had an AK-47 assault rifle on the passenger seat of his vehicle when he was stopped in his car by violent crimes task force officers in Florida.

Police in Louisville found three bodies, a man and two women, inside a home earlier on Friday. Two young children were also found unharmed in the home.

Olivo fled to Florida with his 3-year-old daughter. She was located in Hernando County and was unharmed, the sheriff’s department says. Louisville police are traveling to Florida to bring him back.

Ky. businessman convicted in pipeline scheme

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky businessman has been convicted of defrauding people who invested in a natural-gas pipeline in Tennessee.

Media reports say Clay Shelton was convicted of wire fraud, money laundering and securities fraud. Shelton faces up to 20 years in prison.

The Bowling Green man was charged with soliciting $1.37 million from 11 investors to use in buying the Monterey Pipeline in Tennessee. Shelton allegedly told investors their money would be held in escrow to secure a loan.

The indictment said Shelton told investors that after the loan came through, they would get their money back plus 25 percent, or the pipeline company would buy their interest in Tennessee wells.

Court documents say Shelton instead used the money for other purposes, including an investment in collateralized mortgage obligations that lost money.

Landfill operator sues 2 Indiana counties over bond money

BORDEN, Ind. (AP) — The private operators of a southern Indiana landfill are suing two counties, seeking $5.2 million in bond proceeds they say they’re owed.

Clark-Floyd Landfill LLC sued Clark and Floyd counties on Jan. 5. The suit alleges that the landfill is owed the bond money and needs it to finish building a barrier wall that will help reduce wastewater within the landfill.

The landfill in Borden, about 20 miles north of Louisville, Kentucky, currently pays the city of Jeffersonville to treat its wastewater.

Attorneys for the two Ohio River counties dispute the lawsuit’s allegations.

Clark-Floyd Landfill vice president Bruce Schmucker tells the News and Tribune the lawsuit is the landfill’s “last resort” after exhausting its options of prodding the counties’ commissioners to release the bond money that’s funded by landfill revenues.