Saturday, June 18, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...6-19-'11
- John Hayes is now being held at the Southwestern Regional Jail after being arrested Monday in Tennessee after telling the sheriff’s department there that he killed his wife’s uncle, 58 year old Robert Workman, in Mingo County. He is charged with first degree murder and concealment of a deceased human body. The Mingo County Sheriff’s Department believes he killed Workman on May 30th or 31st while he and his wife were in the Beech Creek area visiting family.
- Friday, United Mine Workers of America voted to ratify a new five and a half year collective bargaining agreement with the Bituminous Coal Operators Association that includes $6 per hour pay raises for workers. The deal was approved by 70 percent of the union members. UMVA International President Cecil Roberts says members will receive the largest pay increase in the 121-year history of the union and will be able to preserve full health care benefits for active and retired members and their dependents, as well as preserve pensions for current and future retirees with no cuts in benefits. Even though the agreement is initially only with BCOA companies, several other coal companies will fall under the pension plan. Patriot Coal, Alpha Natural Resources, Cliffs Natural Resources, Jim Walter Resources and others are bound by the pension agreement because they are part of the UMWA Health and Retirement Funds.
- Charleston Police arrested 19 year old Brandon Levert "BG" Gray Friday evening and charged him with the killing of 29 year old Timothy Thompson. Thompson's body was found last Thursday after police say Gray fatally shot him several times in the chest and head in an alleyway near Stockton Street and First Avenue on Charleston's west side. Gray maintains he's innocent of killing his friend's brother, but Police say they have phone records indicating Gray and Thompson were in contact shortly before the killing, and Thompson might have been meeting Gray to buy drugs.
- The West Virginia State Police are getting set to work with federal and local law enforcement agencies during marijuana eradication season. The Superintendent of the state police, Col. Jay Smithers, asks residents to report sightings of marijuana plants to the nearest state police detachment.
- Brickstreet, the state-created insurance program for workers' compensation coverage, has said it plans to stop covering volunteer fire departments after July 1st. The West Virginia State Firemen's Association says at least three other carriers are offering the coverage. Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed legislation in April making $5 million available to the fire departments for premiums. Tomblin says the assistance will be available in "a matter of weeks." Volunteer fire departments looking to offset anticipated increases in their workers' compensation insurance premiums can turn to a website launched by the office of State Auditor Glen Gainer.
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