Wednesday, May 18, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...5-19-'11
- Mingo County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Ronnie Lane Perry Wednesday morning after they say he fatally shot Harvey Jack Riffe in Verner. Deputies say Riffe was asleep in his vehicle just before 5:00 A.M. when Perry shot him with a handgun. Perry followed Riffe, shooting him again, as Riffe got out of the car and tried to escape. Perry has been charged with first degree murder. Investigators say Perry told deputies at the scene that he had "eliminated" the victim.
- Jerry Godby, 64, of Chapmanville is facing charges of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting of his wife, Delores Godby. A criminal complaint filed against Jerry Godby alleges the Godbys had been in a heated argument when, “at some point Mr. Godby went into his bedroom closet where he retrieved a brown and black leather bag containing a loaded .38 special revolver. Godby then removed the firearm, walked past his wife in the kitchen and pointed the gun at her. She reportedly asked, "are you going to shoot me?” The complaint says Jerry Godby turned and immediately fired one shot directly into Delores Godby’s chest. She was taken to Logan Regional Medical Center where she later died. Godby lost re-election to the Logan County Board of Education in 2002 and began working for the Logan County Commission on Hazard Mitigation Grants. He later left that job and was employed by the Public Service Commission in 2007 and by the State Senate during the 2009 session.
- An argument over a girlfriend is believed to have been at the heart of an Wednesday morning murder in the Kanawha County community of Chesapeake. Joshua Brian Long, 27, of Chesapeake was arrested and charged with the murder of William Proctor, 30, of Witcher Creek. Police say Long approached Proctor's vehicle while it was stopped at the intersection of 116th Street and MacCorkle Avenue just after midnight. Police say Long stabbed Procter with a large knife, known as a K-Bar, in the right side of his neck and shoulder area. Proctor was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center's General Hospital where he died. Chesapeake Police Chief Jack Ice says the girlfriend, Natalie Brown of Chesapeake, was in the car with Long, but left his car and climbed into another vehicle with Proctor and his father.
- Thursday, South Charleston City Council will vote on two ordinances that would prohibit the selling or possession of bath salts, a synthetic drug believed to induce psychosis and mimic the effects of cocaine, and K2, an incense or potpourri with a chemical makeup similar to marijuana. The ordinances will support a state law passed in April making synthetic drugs a misdemeanor to sell or own with a punishment of up to six months in prison and a fine up to $1,000. Last week, the South Charleston Police Department shut down a Citgo gas station on MacCorkle Avenue after they seized more than 100 bottles of bath salts, numerous packages of K2 and other drug paraphernalia.
- Cynthia Fite filed a lawsuit Monday in Kanawha County Circuit Court against the state Division of Natural Resources. Her 8 year old son, Austin Cliff Runyon, was attending a pool party at Chief Logan State Park last August when he apparently fell into the pool and drowned. The lawsuit alleges the pool was improperly lit, park officials allowed the party to go on after the pool's normal hours of operation and only one lifeguard was on duty.
- About 100 people angry over proposed natural gas wells along the Monongahela River and near Morgantown's drinking water treatment plant gathered Wednesday in front of the Monongalia County Courthouse. Those attending contend state regulators aren't up to the job of properly overseeing the industry and preventing air and water contamination. It was the first significant protest in West Virginia over the rapidly growing exploration of the Marcellus shale field, a vast, mile-deep natural gas reserve underlying much of Appalachia. The protest was prompted by the recent discovery that Charleston-based Northeast Natural Energy plans to sink wells in the Morgantown Industrial Park, about 1,500 feet from a drinking water intake. Protesters were angry they had no input before the permit was approved, and they questioned the Department of Environmental Protection's ability to regulate effectively.
- Corley Distributing of Mabscott, a Raleigh County beverage distributor, has been sold and the new owner, Mountain Eagle of Beckley, is moving its operations to Nitro. Jim Linsenmeyer, one of the new owners comprised of several beer and wine distributorships, says the move will bring 25 jobs to a rented warehouse in Nitro. Corley Distributing is being renamed Mountain State Beverage. Linsenmeyer says former Corley employees will be given the chance to transfer.
- Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin announced Wednesday that West Virginia Insurance Commissioner Jane L. Cline is stepping down June 30th. Cline, who is retiring after 30 years in state government, has served as insurance commissioner for the past decade. She was appointed insurance commissioner in 2001 by then-Governor Bob Wise. She also served as Division of Motor Vehicles commissioner during the 1990s. During her tenure as insurance commissioner, Cline oversaw the privatization of West Virginia’s workers’ compensation program and addressed medical malpractice and other insurance issues.
- The West Virginia Board of Pharmacy has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy to participate in the Prescription Monitoring Program Interconnect system which will allow the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy to be linked to other monitoring programs across the country to try to fight prescription drug abuse. Most state prescription monitoring programs, including West Virginia’s, collect prescription data so doctors and pharmacists can track a patient’s controlled substance use, but most systems lack the sharing that helps to identify doctor shoppers.The PMP Interconnect, which will be funded through grants obtained by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Foundation, is planned to launch in July.
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