Sunday, April 17, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...4-18-'11
- According to a new report released by the state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, titled "West Virginia Correctional Population Forecast, 2010-2020," West Virginia has the second fastest growing prison population in the nation. At the end of 2010, the state Division of Corrections had custody of 6,681 inmates. The number of prisoners is expected to increase to 8,251 by 2015 and to 9,732 by 2020. In 2000, there were only 3,870 inmates in the state's prison system. If the department's predictions are correct, the state's prison system in 2020 will be more than 2 1/2 times its size in 2000. Convictions in the categories of murder, sex crimes and robbery have dropped in recent years, while more convictions have been made for assault. The proportion of new prisoners convicted for nonviolent drug crimes increased from 15.7 percent in 2004 to 21.9 percent in 2010.
- The family of 55 year old James "Bo" Butler from Hill Top, in the Lick Creek area of Summers County, is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to his whereabouts. Butler has been missing since April 3rd after failing to show up for work in Pineville. Authorities did an air and foot search last week for Butler's vehicle, a red 1990s model S-10 pickup truck, but West Virginia State Police says authorities have no leads in Butler's disappearance. If you have any information about Bo please call 304-466-2800.
- Randolph County School Superintendent James Phares says a drug testing policy for students is needed. If approved, the policy would require student drivers, athletes and participants in extra-curricular activities in middle school and high school to submit to random drug tests by hair sample. The testing would consist of 2 percent of the total student population that participates in extra-curricular activities and drives, or about 60 students in the entire county. On the first offense, the parent or guardian will meet with the principal and driving privileges will be revoked until the guardian submits proof the student has been referred to the Randolph County juvenile probation office and is receiving drug counseling. For a second offense, all privileges will be suspended for 90 days. After that, the student can take another drug test. A third offense will result in the student being suspended from driving or participating in the activity for one year. The county board of education will consider the final reading of the policy Monday night.
- Pounding rain and a rising Mud River forced the Ona Speedway to postpone the opening day of its 2011 racing season after the Mud River swallowed up the ticket booth, the pit area and the parking lot. Bill and Lynn Bauer, who are in their fourth season as track owners, say they will now open the racing season at the historic paved oval track on Saturday, April 30th with racing of Hobby Stock, Elite Modified, U-Car, and Classics.