Passing of Bill Mardis, longtime Commonwealth Journal editor

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SOMERSET, Ky. (WTVQ) – Bill Mardis, longtime Commonwealth Journal editor, has died. The 89-year-old passed away Tuesday at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, according to Southern Oaks Funeral Home.

Mardis’ career in media spanned more than eight decades, with his time at the Commonwealth Journal surpassing 50 years of service.

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U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released a statement, saying in part, “For nearly six decades, Bill Mardis chronicled the story of Pulaski County and the families who call it home. He was the consummate community journalist, prizing truth and integrity over sensation and spin. Those qualities endeared him to his loyal readers and his scores of friends. I was proud to count myself among both.”

“From his humble origins to the top of the masthead, Bill led a true Kentucky life. He refused to slow down and was the hardest worker in the room. He seemed happiest with his name printed in the byline of a masterful column that spoke to and for his people,” said McConnell. “Even when Bill asked the tough questions, I always enjoyed our conversations about his work and the community he loved.”

According to Southern Oaks Funeral, Mardis leaves behind his wife of 63 years, Linda Mardis, sons, William Michael Mardis of Lancaster, Steve “Doug” Mardis (Kelly) of Melbourne, FL, sister, Pauline Graves of Campbellsville, grandchildren, Amanda, Matthew and Katie Mardis.

Visitation will be held Friday, February 5 from 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. in the Chapel of the Southern Oaks Funeral. A funeral service will follow at 1 P.M. with Bro. Randy Smith officiating. His burial will then take place in Southern Oaks Cemetery.

Southern Oaks Funeral Home is entrusted with the arrangements for William (Bill) O. Mardis.

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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. Erica also anchors News at Midday from 12-12:30pm. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at ebivens@wtvq.com. Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!