Saturday, April 09, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...4-10-'11
- Police say Laura Marcum, 45, of Pinch, was driving northbound on Elk River Road in Elkview Friday morning when she veered across the yellow lines and collided head on with a KRT bus. Police say Marcum's vehicle spun and flipped on its side after the collision, while the bus went off the road and into an embankment. Marcum was pronounced dead on the scene. The driver of the bus and two passengers were taken to Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital.
- International Coal Group Senior Vice President Gene Kitts says those in the coal industry are looking for reasonable regulations when it comes to mountaintop removal mining operations, and they also believe there has to be a balance between environmental protection and the development of natural resources. Kitts was on Capitol Hill Thursday to testify in front of a subcommittee of the U.S. House Energy and Mineral Resources Committee, the group that oversees the budget for the federal Office of Surface Mining. The Office of Surface Mining is handling attempts to revise surface mining rules that have been in place for decades. Kitts says he told them such revision attempts was essentially misguided and ill advised, and mountaintop removal mining is being unfairly targeted. Kitts says mining is being done in a responsible manner, that reclamation is being accomplished successfully and that the industry has adapted to properly mining the coal reserves left in Appalachia.
- Severe storms hit central and southern West Virginia Friday, leaving behind plenty of damage. At one point, Interstate 64 near the Oakwood Road exit in Charleston was flooded, bringing traffic to a standstill while city workers removed debris that was covering the drain to allow the water to recede. In South Charleston, downed trees and power lines closed Jefferson Road at Davis Creek for hours. Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued for Putnam, Boone, Lincoln, Cabell, Logan, Wayne and Kanawha counties. Those storms included up to golf-ball sized hail and winds up to 70 miles per hour. A tornado watch was issued for 15 counties Saturday. Counties under the tornado watch were: Boone, Cabell, Fayette, Greenbrier, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Putnam, Raleigh, Summers and Wayne.
- Sandra Shaffer, the woman who owns the Sissonville property that Charleston Police have had sealed off while digging for about two weeks, is preparing paperwork that will seek damages for property taken and destroyed from her home during the investigation into a 2003 sniper shooting death. Charleston Police obtained a sealed search warrant on March 28th to search Shaffer's 53 acre Hughart Drive property. In the search warrant, Charleston Police are looking for a Dodge pickup truck, a .22 caliber rifle and ammunition believed to belong to 35 year old Shawn Lester, the Kanawha County man charged with the 2003 sniper shooting death of Jeanie Patton. Patton, along with Okey Meadows Jr. and Gary Carrier Jr., were killed sniper style with a rifle during a one-week period in August 2003, but, so far, Lester has only been charged with Patton's murder.
- After deliberating for less than an hour, a Fayette County jury acquitted Billy Spade of Hico Friday of battery charges for spitting on a member of the Westboro Baptist Church during a protest outside Charleston Catholic High School, across from Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral, last April. In the wake of the explosion that killed 29 miners at Massey Energy's Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County, Westboro members traveled from Kansas to stage protests at various locations in the area, including the April 11th event in downtown Charleston. Spade says, after seeing signs saying "Thank God for dead coal miners" and "Thank God for dead Marines," he took aim at Shirley Phelps-Roper's sign and spat at it.
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