Thursday, February 10, 2011
EKB...Capsule News...West Virginia...2-11-'11
- Kenneth Scott Samples, 30, of Elkview, has been charged with attempted sexual assault and also assault during the commission of a felony. An employee of Patty's Hot Spot #2 in Jefferson told Kanawha County Sheriff's deputies that Samples entered the business at about closing time, at 2:00 A.M. Thursday morning, and she asked him to leave, but when she turned her back, he grabbed her in a choke hold from behind and used a cattle prod on her neck, then demanded she perform a sexual act on him. The victim told police she fought with him until he fled the business. Police trackrd his footprints to the Jefferson Motel. Samples is a registered sex offender because of a 1999 conviction for attempted first-degree sexual assault. He served 13 months in a correctional facility and five years of probation.
- A jury has convicted Joshawa Clark on two counts of conspiracy and two counts of armed robbery in connection with the two robberies at the Marquee Cinemas at Pullman Square in Huntington in 2009. Clark was an employee there. Dustin Shaver testified against Clark, saying they planned the robberies together and split the money. Clark took the stand Thursday morning. The incidents occurred July 13, 2009, and October 19, 2009.
- The Kanawha County Ambulance Authority has treated its first patient with a synthetic marijuana overdose. Mike Jarrett, head of the Ambulance Authority, hosted a news conference Friday morning with the medic who took the call. There are no state emergency protocols for dealing with synthetic marijuana, but the medic contacted a poison control center to get help for the person who was suffering from an overdose of K2.
- Thirty-one year old Brad Nieman of Wellsburg, a former science teacher at Follansbee Middle School, has been sentenced to 10 to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty in Brooke County Circuit Court on Wednesday to 10 counts of third-degree sexual assault. He admitted having sex with a 15 year old girl in March, April and May 2010. Nieman could be eligible for supervised release after three years but must register as a sex offender for life.
- Kanawha Sheriff's Sgt. C.J. Savilla went to an apartment on Riverview Drive in St. Albans Thursday to check on the well being of the woman and child who lived there. After knocking and receiving no answer, he forced his way into the home and found Shannon Leanna Cox, 32, passed out in her bed. Her 2 year old child was found sleeping in a crib in the next bedroom. Cox was arrested and charged with child neglect creating the risk of injury.
- Timothy Chapman, 34, of Scott Depot, who threatened to bomb the St. Albans Kroger last year, will be monitored by the court as he undergoes treatment for mental health issues. Two psychologists found Chapman not criminally responsible for his actions. He could have been sentenced to one to three years in jail, and has already spent two months in jail. Just two days before walking up to the service desk at the grocery store and demanding cash, Chapman had been released from Thomas Memorial Hospital's mental health unit. Employees told police he demanded money, threatened to kill them and said he would blow the place up.
- Kanawha Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman has revoked home confinement for Richard Walker, 30, after learning that he was drinking alcohol a month after being sentenced. Walker was convicted of shooting Joshua Dearien, 21, at the Impulse Club in November 2008 after his wife was kicked out for being drunk and disorderly. Kaufman imposed the sentence recommended in November by Assistant Prosecutor Tera Salango of two to 10 years in prison.
- Under a bill state lawmakers are considering, West Virginia smokers would pay $1 more per pack in taxes, while nearly tripling the state tax on cigarettes from 55 cents to $1.55 to raise funds for programs that fight substance abuse. It would also raise the tax on smokeless tobacco from the current 7 percent of the wholesale price to 50 percent. Members of the House of Delegates' Health and Human Resources Committee were set to take up the legislation Wednesday, but committee Chairman Don Perdue, who sponsored the bill, pulled it from the agenda because the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free West Virginia and a lobbyist representing behavioral health providers requested a public hearing.
- West Virginia currently is one of several states that do not require insurers to cover treatment of children of autism. Legislation mandating that insurance companies provide coverage for treatment of children with autism easily cleared the state House of Delegates Thursday with a vote of 96-1. House Bill 2693 requires insurers to pick up the cost of treatment up to $30,000 per year or no more than $2,000 a month. Insurance providers warn a mandate will mean rate hikes for all policyholders. One industry group estimated mandates raise rates at least 1 percent. They also argue that autism is best addressed through the public school system rather than through medical providers.
- Putnam County Delegate Brian Savilla wants lawmakers to reconsider the state's ban on corporal punishment. The state outlawed the practice of physically reprimanding students in 1994, ending paddling in schools. Savilla introduced House Bill 3081, which would allow for reasonable corporal punishment in schools. The bill calls for the teacher administering the punishment to be of the same gender as the student being punished. The punishment would have to be supervised by a teacher or administrator of the opposite gender. Savilla says current methods of detention, suspension and expulsion have been shown to be ineffective.
- The West Virginia Parkways Authority has again rescheduled a meeting on the Route 35 expansion project that was scheduled for Thursday, moving it to Friday, February 18th. Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Mike Hall, R-Putnam County, and Senator Karen Facemyer, R-Jackson County, have introduced a bill to use the state's rainy day fund as collateral for a loan to finish Route 35. Senator Hall believes tolls are not needed and that the state has the money to finish the project. Hall estimates it would take $77 million to finish the construction.
- Karen Bowling, the former CEO of Raleigh General Hospital, is being named Mountain State University's new Dean of Health Sciences. Bowling served as the Chief Executive Officer of Raleigh General from 2002 through December 15, 2010. She worked for RGH for 15 years.
- U.S. Representative Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., the leading Democrat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, announced Thursday that the committee is coming to West Virginia as the first stop on a 10-state tour focused on long-term surface transportation needs as it crafts a bill in Washington, D.C. that includes new long-term reauthorization of highway, highway safety, transit, and rail programs. The first stop is Beckley where a meeting is set for Monday, February 14th. It will begin at 8:00 A.M. inside the theater at Tamarack.
- Judge Joseph Goodwin has issued a 14-day temporary restraining order preventing Bayer CropScience from resuming production of MIC at the Institute Industrial Park. Sixteen West Virginia residents filed a lawsuit in federal court in Charleston on Tuesday asking a judge to prohibit Bayer CropScience from restarting the production. Bayer says it's disappointed with the decision and believes such an action is not warranted and could have an immediate and adverse impact to its site and to the farmers who depend on their products to help produce crops. Bayer says it will review its options in response to the court's ruling.
- West Virginia Board of Education members Thursday unanimously appointed 62 year old Jorea Marple the next state superintendent of schools, making her the first female state superintendent in West Virginia history. After an hour and 15-minute executive session, member Lowell Johnson made the motion to hire Marple. Board vice president Jenny Phillips seconded it. Marple is currently deputy state superintendent and a former Kanawha County teacher, administrator, principal and superintendent. She is entering her 34th year of marriage with state Attorney General Darrell McGraw.
- West Virginia hunters bagged 1,126 turkeys last fall, but the Division of Natural Resources says that reflects a drop of about 7 percent from the previous year. Assistant chief for game management Paul Johansen says the total for fall 2009 was 1,208 birds. Top counties for 2010 were Greenbrier, with a take of 92, Preston with 80, Monroe with 59, Randolph with 58 and Pocahontas with 47.
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