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Public money, personal palace: A look at luxurious features inside 'Living the Dream'

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COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — The Upper Cumberland Development District in Putnam County is selling a "dream" to rid itself of a nightmare.

The senior living facility once known as Living the Dream must be sold by April 21 or relinquished to the bank as officials try to recover almost $1 million the district stands to lose as a result of what its leaders have called public money spent for personal benefit.

Authorities say former executive director Wendy Askins tried to turn the facility into her personal palace. She faces federal and state charges in an associated investigation launched by federal authorities, the Tennessee comptroller's office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in 2012.

New executive director Mark Farley said the facility, now renamed "Twin Magnolia Farms," is being readied for sale -- if the district is lucky -- to a buyer in the next three weeks.

Read more from our partners from the Times Free Press.

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