Tuesday, May 10, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...5-11-'11
- Heavy rain started shortly after 5:00 P.M. in Charleston Tuesday, bringing rush hour traffic to a near-halt as about a half-inch of rain fell over the city in a 15-minute period, along with pea-sized hail, lightning and wind. Power was out for 950 customers in the area of Patrick Street Plaza and a water rescue was underway at Florida Street and Madison Street. Over 1,000 customers in Kanawha County were without power as of 5:40 P.M.
- Charles Poore of Charleston was sentenced Tuesday to serve a definite term of 15 years, the maximum for voluntary manslaughter, after fatally shooting 22 year old Robert Veltri last June. Kanawha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey also sentenced him to between one and five years for unlawful wounding, the terms to run back-to-back.
- Philip Doran Taback of California had been scheduled to go to trial Tuesday, but he pleaded guilty last month in U.S. District Court in California to transmitting a threat across state lines. Taback admitted phoning the offices of then-U.S. Senator Carte Goodwin on July 22, 2010 from Orange County, California. Prosecutors say he threatened to blow up Goodwin, his wife and children. Goodwin had been sworn in just two days before, filling a vacancy left by Robert C. Byrd's death. Taback's sentencing is set for June 20th.
- International Coal Group General Counsel Roger Nicholson confirmed Tuesday that shareholder lawsuits challenging ICGs proposed $3.4 billion takeover by Arch Coal Inc. have been filed in Delaware and Putnam County. St. Louis-based Arch and ICG announced the deal May 2nd. Arch says the combined companies would be the nation's second largest supplier of metallurgical coal. Nicholson says ICG plans to defend itself against the cases, which the company believes have no merit.
- The Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation labor group says it should be allowed to be part of a contract and prevailing wage dispute against the state Department of Transportation. ACT has been fighting the state Division of Highways and a contractor since late 2004 on how a contract was awarded to build the Red Jacket section of the King Coal Highway in Mingo County. ACT maintains it was illegal for the DOH to enter into a contract without competitive bidding and without paying workers prevailing wage. The federal court and circuit court have ruled the organization has no real standing into the case because it's not the union that represents the workers in question. The Foundation took its argument to the state Supreme Court Tuesday where ACT attorney Vincent Trivelli argued ACT does represent the workers. He says it does because the individual unions are affiliated with ACT and the workers actually pay out of their paychecks to support ACT. Attorney Forrest Roles, who represents the contractor in the case, told the High Court that ACT is not a labor union, and the people who might have worked on the highway construction job are not its members. The Supreme Court will hand down a written opinion later this year.
- Valley Forge, Pennsylvania-based PJM Interconnection, a group that controls the electrical grid for a 13-state region, says power should keep flowing during this year's peak summer months. PJM says this year's expected completion of the Trans Allegheny Line from southwestern Pennsylvania, through West Virginia and into Virginia, plus the upgrade of a Virginia substation will improve electrical supply to the greater Baltimore to Washington, D.C., area. PJM says it has 180,400 megawatts of generating capacity to meet demand. The all-time record for electricity use was in 2006 when 144,644 MW was used. PJM's region covers 54 million people.
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