Thursday, June 20 2013 5:01 AM EDT2013-06-20 09:01:31 GMT
A Warrick County man is dead following a canoe accident in Harrison County. It's the second death in the Blue River this week. Indiana conservation officers say 69-year-old William Chappell of BoonvilleMore >>
Indiana conservation officers say 69-year-old William Chappell of Boonville was canoeing with his wife Wednesday when they struck a log and flipped over.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 8:30 AM EDT2013-06-18 12:30:38 GMT
It happened around 2:30 this morning at the kangaroo express on south kentucky. You can see a heavy police presence at the scene. Officers say a white male in his late 20's, early 30's walked into theMore >>
Officers say the suspect walked into the gas station, implied he a weapon and demanded cash.More >>
A tropical depression has formed off the coast of Belize and forecasters say it is expected to bring as much as five inches of rain to parts of Belize, Guatemala and northern Honduras.More >>
Tropical Storm Barry bore down on Mexico's Gulf Coast early Thursday as civil defense workers readied emergency shelters and forecasters warned of the possibility of deadly flash floods and mudslides.More >>
RIVER FALLS, AL (WSFA) -
A 91-year-old south Alabama mayor has pleaded guilty to stealing more than $200,000 from the city she leads. River Falls mayor Mary Hixon turned herself in to authorities Wednesday.
The District Attorney's office confirmed that Hixon, who has been in office for more than 30 years, pleaded guilty to one count of theft of property in the first degree Thursday morning.
Hixon resigned as mayor and was sentenced to five years in prison, though that prison time was suspended because she cooperated with the investigation and because of her age. She is required to pay back the stolen funds. Her estate will remain responsible should she die before the refund is made in full.
The news has no doubt shocked the town of River Falls, a town with a population of around 500 people near the Florida state line.
"It is the talk of the town. Waiting to see what happens next," says Tina Chandler, who works at Gary's Cafe in River Falls.
She admits she has been suspicious of Mayor Mary Hixon for a while.
"Just a lot of people talking. You hear people talk here and there. Little things that go on and it just makes you wonder," adds Chandler.
According to an affidavit, an article published by the Andalusia Star News on August 18, 2012 regarding town property being sold by Mayor Hixon to Richard Moss, a man who lives with her, spawned the investigation.
The Opp Police Department began looking into the matter at the request of the District Attorney and uncovered a massive theft of public funds.
The investigation found that Hixon used the money to pay the salary, approximately $20,000, of Charlie Calloway. Calloway, an employee of HCH Development, is said to have "provided no services to the Town of River Falls for this salary." Hixon was also said to be associated with the company, and listed as an employee.
From October 2009 to present, Hixon used public funds totaling more than $3,000 to pay electric bills at Conecuh Feed and Bait, owned by Richard Moss, as well as more than $10,000 on electricity at the house rented where she lived with Moss.
The investigation also revealed that Moss was earning a salary of $450 per week as a "nighttime policeman" for River Falls, though he had no such official capacity with the town. His pay? More than $80,000.
In June of 2010, Moss's Coffee County-issued police vehicle was involved in a wreck, which Moss reported to the County Sheriff as damaged by the "garbage man" in River Falls. While no police report existed documenting the wreck, Mayor Hixon issued a check to the Coffee County Commission for more than $1,7000 to pay for the damages.
The mayor kept vehicles not owned by the town in working order by paying for repair service with town funds to the total of approximately $800.
Authorities say the mayor also wrote checks to town citizens who would cash and then return to her the money. The amount from those fraudulent transactions totaled more than $20,000.
Even the mayor's daughter was mentioned in the affidavit, said to have been illegally hired to handle the town's water works billing.
The affidavit says all the listed allegations against Mayor Hixon were supported by facts including bank records and a "concerned citizen" wearing a hidden audio recording device. The person met with the mayor, who incriminated herself. The mayor then paid the citizen $525 to "keep him quiet".
"It's a hard pill to swallow," says Chandler.
Some locals don't believe the story ends there. They think there could be more evidence of misappropriated funds. Officials say the investigation is ongoing.
"We're going to continue to look at that and of course along the way if we find more evidence of other people involved then we will pursue those arrests and prosecutions as well," says Merrell.
WSFA 12 News reached out to Hixon's attorney. He preferred not to make a statement.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 7:10 PM EDT2013-06-19 23:10:09 GMT
The National Weather Service says there is some minor damage on Grand Isle after a waterspout Wednesday afternoon. WWL-TV in New Orleans says that the Grand Isle Fire Department is reporting a powerMore >>
The National Weather Service says there is some minor damage on Grand Isle after a waterspout Wednesday afternoon.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:18 PM EDT2013-06-20 03:18:30 GMT
(RNN) - Celebrity chef and southern food connoisseur Paula Deen was back in a controversial spotlight Wednesday, alleged of using racial slurs as jokes in her restaurants in front of employees. AccordingMore >>
Celebrity chef and southern food connoisseur Paula Deen was back in a controversial spotlight Wednesday, alleged of using racial slurs as jokes in her restaurants in front of employees.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 2:55 PM EDT2013-06-19 18:55:05 GMT
The Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office says a man was killed after he broke into a home and was shot in the face by the homeowner.Authorities say it all started when a woman who lived on Tanglewood RoadMore >>
The Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office says a man was killed after he broke into a home and was shot in the face by the homeowner.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 11:39 PM EDT2013-06-18 03:39:25 GMT
We've got good news about the Ohio County toddler who authorities say swallowed a powerful ingredient used to make meth. This is a story 14 News has been keeping an eye on. That little girl, Frankee,More >>
The Facebook page, Frankee's Voice, continues to post updates on Frankee's condition. And on Monday, they gave an update that many are glad to hear.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 10:08 PM EDT2013-06-20 02:08:26 GMT
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Four people have been shot in an condominium complex, according to MetroSafe. MetroSafe confirmed the shooting was reported at 4:27 p.m. Wednesday in the Lakeview condominium complex,More >>
Louisville Metro Police say the victims are a juvenile girl, an adult woman and an adult man.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 9:17 PM EDT2013-06-20 01:17:08 GMT
Major demolition inside the old McCurdy Hotel in Downtown Evansville should begin in just a few months. The Kunkel Group plans to convert the almost 100-year-old building into high-end apartments. It'sMore >>
It's run down right now with some windows boarded up, but a little over a year from now, the old McCurdy Hotel along Riverside Drive should be restored to its former glory.More >>
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:09 PM EDT2013-06-20 03:09:53 GMT
A grassroots movement is gaining momentum in Posey and White counties on Wednesday night to get the New Harmony Bridge back open for business between Indiana and Illinois. Citizens from both sides ofMore >>
A grassroots movement is gaining momentum in Posey and White counties on Wednesday night to get the New Harmony Bridge back open for business between Indiana and Illinois.More >>
A 13-year-old boy was arrested and charged with second degree murder after his 5-year-old sister died Sunday. Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Detectives say the boy admitted to practicing "WWE" moves on theMore >>
A teen boy was arrested and charged with murder after his younger sister died. Detectives say he admitted practicing "WWE" moves on her, even after she said she was in pain.More >>
1115 Mt. Auburn Road
Evansville, IN 47720