Wednesday, March 30, 2011
EKB Capsule News....West Virginia...3-31-'11
- Brenda Good, the mother of one of Donald Good’s two children, and West Virginia State Police Sgt. Mike Parde, the lead investigator in the Huntington Mall rape case testified Wednesday. Brenda Good testified Donald Good hauled junk cars, carried a greasy smell and had a certain physical characteristic that matched the man whom two women say attacked them in early 1987. Parde followed her testimony, recounting the chain of custody for one woman’s skirt and the other’s panties, both with DNA left on them matching that of Good’s known DNA. Parde’s testimony detailed who had possession of the evidence from early 1987 to present day. That included transport to various testing facilities in Maryland, California, Florida and Boston.
- Raymond Adkins Jr., 31, was sentenced Wednesday to at least three years in jail on breaking-and-entering charges of breaking into three Lincoln County houses from May to December of 2010. Adkins escaped custody last week when he used the chain on his handcuffs to choke a Hamlin police officer who was escorting him to a squad car outside the courthouse after a Lincoln County magistrate arraigned him on a fourth breaking-and-entering charge. Adkins was charged with several other felony counts, including malicious wounding of a police officer, which will be presented to a grand jury next month.
- Dennis J. Cooper, 36, of Verdunville, in Logan County pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to distribute Oxycodone at a home in Mud Fork. He also admitted to selling several oxycodone pills to an informant for more than $700 in cash between October 6, 2009 and March 29, 2010. Cooper faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine when sentenced June 30, 2011.
- Brandon Rakes, 25, of Ranger, has been arrested in connection to nearly two-dozen cable copper wire thefts in the Lincoln County area. Rakes was pulled over on W.Va. 10 in West Hamlin around 9:30 A.M. on Wednesday after officers were told he was transporting stolen copper in his vehicle. Police found about 300 pounds of burned copper wiring in the vehicle, along with several tools and items commonly used to steal wire. Representatives of Frontier Communications identified the recovered copper wiring as cable consistent with their stolen property. Rakes was charged with receiving stolen property.
- Harold Daniel Toney, 49, of Harts, has been charged with night-time burglary after investigators say he forced his way into a house located off Six Mile Road near Danville. Boone County Sheriff Rodney Miller says Toney confessed to consuming "Bath Salts" before committing the crime.
- State Treasurer John Perdue said Wednesday he wants West Virginia residents to sign petitions asking the state Public Service Commission to freeze utility rates for electricity, water and natural gas companies until January 1, 2012. At a Wednesday press conference outside the PSC office in downtown Charleston, Perdue said the PSC should reject a rate increase of 8.9 percent requested by American Electric Power. If the PSC approves AEP's latest request, West Virginia customers will be paying $131.60 for every $100 they paid AEP in 2008. Perdue says he recently asked Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin to intervene on behalf of West Virginia customers, but he has done nothing. After the PSC approved a 3.5 percent rate increase for West Virginia American Water in 2009, the water company also is now asking the PSC to approve a new increase of 15.1 percent in water prices. AEP says it needs more money, but Perdue says they made a $1.2 billion profit last year and increased their CEO's salary from $7.5 million to $9 million." Mark Dempsey, Appalachian Power's vice president for external affairs, says, nationally, the average residential rate is 11 cents for each kilowatt-hour of electricity, while the current rate in West Virginia is 9.1 cents per kilowatt-hour and would only increase to 9.8 cents per kilowatt-hour if the PSC approves AEP's latest request.
- Several law enforcement agencies have launched a joint effort to address drug trafficking on U.S. 19. Task Force 19, which was spearheaded by the Fayette County Sheriff's office, has recruited 31 officers who, in eight-hour increments, have been patrolling 30 miles of U.S. 19 periodically since March 21 in hopes of curbing the steady flow of drugs making their way across state lines. In its first three days, the task force handed out 225 traffic citations, some resulting in arrests for small amounts of controlled substances, but, during one routine traffic stop, a handgun was confiscated from William Kendall Bane, 39, of Hico, who recently had been released from prison after doing time for a cocaine trafficking conviction.
- The Charleston Board of Zoning Appeals is expected to vote April 28th on plans for a Sheetz convenience store to be built a the former Chi-Chi's location on MacCorkle Avenue in Kanawha City. If the plan is approved, Highland Hospital would build a parking lot on the rest of the property. Sheetz recently opened new locations in Milton and Hurricane and is now in the process of trying to build another location near the Mt. Vernon Road area of Putnam County.
- The city of Hurricane is getting a $20,000 grant from the state, half of the money going to the police department to buy equipment like Tasers and bulletproof shields. Chief of Police Mike Mullins says assaults against police officers are on the rise, and officer safety is the reason behind the purchases.
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