Tuesday, February 08, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...2-9-'11
- Eighty year old John B. Marcum was pronounced dead at Logan Regional Medical Center after he lost control of his pickup truck near Lenore in Mingo County and went over a hill into Laurel Lake Monday evening.
- The parents of 15 year old Sara Isner are offering a $1,000 reward in the search of their hearing-impaired daughter who was reported missing January 30th and is believed to be with 20 year old Josh Duff, of Nitro, who also is hearing-impaired. Authorities say Duff is suspected of stealing a brown 2000 Saturn that was found abandoned last week near the Ritchie-Gilmer county line.
- Appalachian Power Company has sent out a letter with a forecast of what consumers can expect over the next 12 months. The state Public Service Commission is currently considering a 5.5 percent base rate hike, and a decision is due out in April. Spokesperson Jeri Matheney says general operating expenses have not raised since 1992, but, come March 1st, they'll be requesting an almost 8 percent increase for their operating costs. Matheney says the cost of coal spiked in 2008 and in 2009, and an 8 percent increase shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.
- One person is dead after an accident on Centerville Road in Prichard, in Wayne County, Tuesday afternoon. The driver was going around a curve when he lost control of his car then rolled into the front yard of a home.
- Justin Roberts, 25, and Erika Ellis-Rudolph, 37, have been arrested after police say they robbed the BP gas station on Fifth Avenue in Huntington early Tuesday morning. Roberts has been charged with first-degree robbery, obstruction and battery on a government official, while Rudolph is charged with accessory.
- Jury selection began Tuesday morning as Joshawa Clark was in court accused of aiding Dustin Shaver in the October 2009 armed robberies at Marquee Cinemas in Pullman Square in Huntington. By afternoon, officers with the Huntington Police Department were testifying. Detective Cass McMillian showed jurors surveillance videos of the robberies as well as Clark's phone records showing multiple calls to Shaver. When Clark was originally brought in for questioning by police, he admitted he gave Shaver a ride home.
- Michael Andrew Blair, 28, of Beckley was taken into custody Monday afternoon after he allegedly mugged a woman in the parking lot of the Walgreens Pharmacy on Robert C. Byrd Drive. The pharmacy was robbed at knifepoint Sunday night.
- Travis Ray Wickline of Sissonville has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree robbery, and Travis Goodwin has been ordered to undergo a 60-day evaluation at the Anthony Center, a facility for youthful offenders, after pleading guilty to malicious wounding. Prosecutors say they beat and robbed Benjamin Craig, who was traveling from Illinois, where he was a college student, to North Carolina for spring break on March 17, 2010.
- Criminal complaints have been filed against two Marshall University basketball players. Cody Bays of Kenova alleges Deandre Kane and Shaquille Johnson physically assaulted him during an altercation outside the Thirsty Whale in Huntington on January 30th, causing him to suffer a swollen left eye and lacerations to the left side of his face. Kane and Johnson are facing battery charges.
- A trial is set for April 4th after Frederick Butts, of Charleston, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 274 counts of incest and sexual assault in both the first and second degrees. Prosecutors say Butts abused a family member for nine years. His bond is set at $274,000 in property or cash.
- Tuesday morning, an April 18th trial date was set for former Huntington police captain, 80 year old Foster "Pete" Bowen, who was arrested in August charged with sexually abusing young boys. Paul Farrell will be sworn-in as a Cabell County Circuit Court Judge Monday, replacing Dan O'Hanlon who retired last year. Farrell will preside over the trial.
- Senators voted unanimously Monday to mandate a bittering additive for antifreeze beginning in 2012. The bill would also limit lawsuits that may result from the addition of the required bittering agent.
- There is currently a total of $664 million in West Virginia's Rainy Day funds. A bill, approved by the Senate Transportation Committee Tuesday would require the transfer of some of the annual surpluses from the state Rainy Day funds to the state Road Fund. Senator Bob Williams, D-Taylor County, one of the bill's sponsors, says surplus funds are rarely moved into the Road Fund. The state DOH says it needs about $800 million to make all of the repairs on the state's highways and bridges that are necessary. The bill says the money could only be used on secondary roads and bridges. Under the measure passed, the bill would have to be reconsidered in 2015.
- House of Delegates Speaker Rick Thompson has officially entered the race for the Democratic nomination for governor. Thompson, who is from Wayne County in southern West Virginia,currently has approximately $660,000 in his campaign treasury. As of Tuesday afternoon, the list of those who had taken at least some steps with filings with the Secretary of State's Office included the following:
Randolph County State Senator Clark Barnes, a Republican
Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, a Democrat
Former Secretary of State Betty Ireland, a Republican
House Speaker Rick Thompson, a Democrat
Putnam County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Sorsaia, a Republican
Mountain Party Candidate Jesse Johnson
Kanawha County Delegate Patrick Lane
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