State Audit finds misuse of funds by former leader of Benton Development Group

first_imgA state audit finds the former executive director of the Benton Development Group used thousands of dollars of the organization’s money to make purchases for herself.State Auditor Mary Mosiman says Ranae Becker had been laid off from the Benton County economic development organization, but continued working on a volunteer basis. She says board members discovered some issues as they tried to prepare a budget in 2014.“They did not receive the necessary financial information from Miss Becker. So, some of these board members volunteered to gather these financial records from the Benton Development Group’s office, as well as doing some cleaning and organizing,” Mosiman says. “And while they were doing this, they found some credit card information and credit card receipts in the trash.” Mosiman says the credit card receipts appeared to be for personal items bought by Becker. The auditor’s office was eventually called to check over the situation.“Our investigation identified $38,689 of improper disbursements and $10,944 of unsupported disbursements, for a total impact to the Benton Development Group of $48,779.” Mosiman says. Some of the money was improper payroll payments, but Mosiman says the rest was improper credit card use.“She was using the credit card for personal purchases. She had purchases that were at retail and convenience stores. Some of the purchases were for the Benton Development Group, other purchases where at stores like Best Buy, Game Stop, T.J. Max — stores that would have no business transactions for the Benton Development Group,” according to Mosiman. Several receipts were for purchases in Virginia, which were linked to Becker.Mosiman says they determined that the receipts came during annual trips by Becker to Virginia to see her family. The audit covered January 1st, 2009 through August 31st, 2014.The results of the audit were turned over to the Vinton Police Department.Share this:FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

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Yorkie stays with missing toddler all night, alerts search party with ‘weak bark’

first_img Related @MSHPTrooperE/Twitter(QULIN, Mo.) –A loyal Yorkshire terrier stayed with a missing 3-year-old girl in a dense cornfield in Missouri all night — and heroically led a search party to them with a “weak bark,” authorities said.Remy Merritt and her dog, Fat Heath, had gone missing Thursday night in Qulin, triggering a desperate search that brought in some 150 volunteers, authorities said.But it wasn’t until Fat Heath responded to barks from one of the search dogs that rescuers ended the 12-hour ordeal and found Remy and her trusty companion.“One of the dogs barked and a weaker bark was returned,” Clark Parrott, a sergeant with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, told ABC News. “We came to find out it was [Remy] and her Yorkshire terrier Fat Heath … down beneath the corn stalks.“That dog stayed with her all night long,” he said.Remy had gone missing about 8:30 that night, authorities said.That’s when everyone in the small farm town chipped in to try to find her.“Everybody knows everybody here and so when they hear of one of their neighbors in trouble, whether you know them or not — you just stop what you’re doing and show up,” Parrot said.The MSHP dispatched a chopper to circle over the farm acreage near Remy’s home and used infrared radar, Parrott said.After the search into the night initially proved “unsuccessful,” the team — consisting of devoted locals and law enforcement — resumed at dawn and used a grid search through the cornfield filled with 5-foot high stalks, Parrott said.After about three hours and a quarter mile from Remy’s home, one of the canines barked — and a sound of hope could be heard in response.Fat Heath cried for help, and drew the search party to the missing [email protected]/TwitterUpon learning of the discovery, Parrott remembered feeling a mixed sense of relief and concern.“The dogs yapping at each other is a neat little moment,” he said.Fat Heath and Remy, who had only been bitten by mosquitoes and suffered some dehydration, were in good shape, Parrott said.“A lot of bites and a little thirsty, but she got a clean bill of health and was returned back to her home afterward,” he said.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMaticolast_img read more

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