Friday, February 11, 2011
EKB...Capsule News...West Virginia...2-12-'11
- Alpha Natural Resources says MSHA issued a citation for an imminent danger at its Brooks Run Mining Co.'s Saylor Mine on February 4th. Alpha says MSHA inspectors alleged that crumbling roof, wall and floor conditions prevented a complete examination of the Webster County mine. Alpha says no one was injured and all safety examinations were completed as required. The order was lifted Wednesday. Alpha agreed to buy Massey Energy last month for $7 billion.
- A Charleston federal jury has convicted Roger L. Atkinson, 36, of Spencer, in Roane County, after a trial showed he passed a fake $50 bill at Spencer Livestock Market. The jury returned guilty verdicts on two counts of the indictment finding that Atkinson conspired with Lawrence E. Holbrook to manufacture and pass counterfeit money. Holbrook had already pleaded guilty to his role, and both are scheduled to be sentenced May 4th.
- After more than 30-years, Denzil McCormick, 54, of Boone County, was in Boone County Circuit Court Friday morning charged with assaults that allegedly took taken place between 1974 and 1976. McCormick was arrested on December 6, 2010 on charges that include two counts of crimes against nature, two counts of first-degree sexual assault, two counts of third-degree sexual assault and four counts of incest after he allegedly sexually assaulted a female relative. His pre-trial date has been set for March 8th, and his trial date is April 6th.
- West Virginia House of Delegate members have questioned why Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin awarded $1 million of state money to Jim Justice’s Old White Charities. The appropriated money was budgeted by the former Governor Joe Manchin's administration for Justice’s non profit organization. House Republicans said the legislature had spoken on the issue, and was unaware the money had been “buried deep in the budget” and unknowingly presented this legislative session after delegates voted down the proposed measure during the last special session. Delegate Kelli Sobonya says to just give out money to private business owners sets a bad precedence, and a million dollars could go a long way elsewhere in the state.
- Friday, Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin ordered flags across West Virginia to be lowered to half-staff on Saturday in remembrance of the late former state Senator Ralph Williams who died Monday at the age of 82. Williams served in the Senate from 1971 until 1986, representing the 11th District. He also served as chairman of several committees, including Finance, Education and Banking and Insurance.
- Wives of police officers in West Virginia say they want tougher penalties for criminals who assault officers on duty. The current law calls for sentences of three to five years for criminals who assault officers, but a group known as Kanawha Law Enforcement Officers' Wives says that isn't enough. The group supports HB 2129 which would mandate a 15 year sentence for people who maliciously assault officers. That includes stabbings and gun wounds. For lesser assaults, criminals would be required to serve a 10-year sentence. KLEOW started in 2009 after Charleston Patrolman Jerry Jones was killed in the line of duty.
- Grady Whitlock, 83, of Raleigh County, faces 28 charges after authorities discovered 28 dead horses on his farm in Greenbrier County. A veterinarian determined that the horses died of starvation.
- West Virginia could join 17 other states and allow drug felons to draw such federal benefits as food stamps after the Senate voted 27-6 to opt West Virginia out of the federal law. Supporters say it's meant to help the children of these felons, but opponents called the bill a hug-a-thug measure.
- The West Virginia state Board of Dental Examiners has gained access to more than 6,000 abandoned patient files several weeks after the national chain Allcare Dental & Denture abruptly closed its doors over the New Year's weekend. Marc Harman, the state dental board's executive secretary, says, when Allcare offices closed, they left active files and patients with unfinished work they had already paid for. Patients have the choice to complete treatment with about 16 dentists statewide who have volunteered to complete unfinished dental work, or to have their records forwarded to a dentist of their choice.
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