Last updated: July 28. 2014 1:56PM - 338 Views

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Official: Storms destroy E. Tenn homes, no deaths

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Powerful storms that raked across several states in the eastern U.S. on Sunday destroyed at least 10 homes in Tennessee, but there were no immediate reports of any deaths or injuries, authorities said.

Spokeswoman Gina Breeding with the office of emergency management in east Tennessee’s Claiborne County told The Associated Press that officers searched ruined homes Sunday night in one particularly hard-hit community, Speedwell. She said the county sheriff and his wife safely took refuge in their basement when storms hit and destroyed their home.

“He and his wife are both OK,” Breeding said by telephone, adding law enforcement officials had set up a command post for operations and a school was opened for anyone left homeless.

Later Sunday night, she said a second shelter in the area had been opened but that authorities still had no reports of injuries or deaths.

Breeding said the county emergency management and homeland security office hadn’t confirmed whether the destruction was the result of a possible tornado, but noted there were high winds, lightning and heavy thunderstorms in the region Sunday.

“There are power lines and trees down,” she said by phone.

Treasurer says suspicious mail making rounds

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky Treasurer Todd Hollenbach says some people may be receiving mail or other contacts regarding unclaimed property that aren’t coming from his office.

Hollenbach says most of the mailings are postcards with a Denver postmark. His office was notified of the mailings recently by the National Unclaimed Property Association.

Hollenbach’s office says the cards are usually green, blue, yellow or orange.

Hollenbach says the postcards aren’t related to the state treasury or his office’s unclaimed property program called Treasure Finders and advises not giving out any information or responding.

For questions or issues involving anyone claiming to be with the treasurer’s office or unclaimed property, contact NAUPA at (859) 244-8150 or the treasurer’s office at (800) 465-4722.

Authorities investigating death of veteran

LEXINGTON (AP) — Authorities are investigating the death of a 48-year-old Mercer County veteran whose body was discovered in his home not long after he was dropped off by a taxi.

According to WKYT-TV, James Price had health issues, but investigators are suspicious about his death.

Deputies say he was alive when he left a local hospital on Friday, but he was found dead not long after he was dropped off at home by a taxi.

A neighbor told authorities that Price seemed to fall out of the taxi. He said the cab driver dragged him into the house then left. A deputy stopped by to check on Price and discovered he was dead.

Officials say the taxi driver is cooperating in the investigation. He said Price was still alive when he dropped him off.

1 dead, 2 injured in motorcycle club shooting

LEXINGTON(AP) — One man is dead and two others were injured after they were shot at an eastern Kentucky motorcycle club.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the shooting at the club in the Stone community of Pike County happened Sunday during a meeting.

Kentucky State Police have charged 24-year-old Daniel Ward with murder in the shooting. He was taken to the Pike County Detention Center, which did not have attorney information listed in online records.

Ward is accused of killing 29-year-old Bradley Coleman, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The wounded men weren’t identified, and their conditions weren’t known.

The shooting remains under investigation.

Group seeks tax incentives for ark park

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The group seeking to build a proposed Noah’s Ark theme park in Grant County is once again seeking approval of tax incentives.

The Courier-Journal reports Ark Encounter is expected to return to Frankfort on Tuesday to seek the incentives.

Three years ago, the group won approval of incentives for its entire $172.5 million project. But because of funding problems, it withdrew that application and now is seeking approval for a $73 million first phase of the biblical theme park.

Ark Encounter is applying to participate in a program that allows eligible tourism attractions a rebate of 25 percent of the sales tax they collect on admission tickets, souvenirs, food and other things over 10 years. For this application the rebates would be as much as $18.25 million.

“We can begin construction as soon as we get preliminary approval,” said Mike Zovath, Ark Encounter’s project coordinator. “And we expect to get that because the project fits all the criteria for the tourism act.”

The park is expected to open in the summer of 2016.

Postal Service issues hot rod envelope

LOUISVILLE (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service is offering a commemorative envelope this week in Louisville in honor of the 45th annual Street Rod Nationals.

The vintage cars and trucks are returning to Louisville, where the convention runs Thursday through Sunday.

The limited edition envelope features flames, polished chrome and classic details of a traditional hot rod and has the 2014 Hot Rods Forever stamp with one of two 1932 Ford Deuce roadsters.

The envelope and pictorial postmark will be available after the Street Rod parade on Wednesday, then at the Kentucky Exposition Center throughout the convention. The envelopes cost $10.

Kentucky education chief recognized for leadership

FRANKFORT (AP) — Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday is being honored by the National Association of State Boards of Education as Policy Leader of the Year.

The award will be presented this fall in Denver at the association’s national conference.

The association’s executive director, Kristen Amundson, says in a release from the state Education Department that Holliday’s achievements and work to improve public education are known around the country. Amundson says work by Holliday along with the state Board of Education have made Kentucky a national leader.

The Policy Leader of the Year Award has gone in the past to Gen. Colin Powell, former North Carolina Gov. James B. Hunt and former first lady Barbara Bush.

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