Friday, June 10, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...6-11-'11
- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit issued an opinion Friday that Massey Energy, now owned by Alpha Natural Resources, is entitled to restrictions placed on its appeal of federal investigation of the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion. The company has asked for restrictions, barring the federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission from taking photos and collecting dust samples from the site of the April 2010 Upper Big Branch mine explosion.
- Bonnie Lou Vaughan, a former Department of Health and Human Resources economic service worker in Nicholas County, pleaded guilty to a charge of mail fraud, admitting she used the DHHR computer system to create benefits accounts for herself totaling over $20,000. Vaughan admitted Friday that in February 2008, she created an application for someone to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. She listed three other people as siblings of the applicant who lived in the applicant's household knowing that none of the individuals she listed had actually applied for benefits. Vaughan listed the individual's address as her own, and received the SNAP benefits in the form of an EBT card which she used on a regular basis to make purchases for herself at retail stores. Vaughan admitted to receiving $16,537 on the card. Vaughan also admitted to falsifying claims for Non Emergency Medical Transportation benefits. She would submit claims by clients and have the money mailed to her house. She was mailed a total of $6,212.30. She faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when sentenced September 15th.
- McDowell County Sheriff's Deputies arrested Brian Hunley and charged him with wanton endangerment and manufacturing and possessing marijuana. After receiving reports of gunfire around 3:00 A.M. Friday, Deputies went to the Jenkinjones area where they found processed marijuana, marijuana plants and more than $12,000 in cash.
- A new Kanawha County ordinance for pawn shops went into effect Friday. In an effort to prevent criminal activity in communities, and to impede the sale of metals, jewelry, electronics and other valuable items stolen from local businesses and residences, all pawn brokers located in unincorporated areas within Kanawha County must electronically report their transactions every day to local law enforcement. The ordinance includes penalties for shops that don't comply. They either face a citation or an arrest, with a fine of up to $500 dollars.
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