Tuesday, July 05, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...7-6-'11
- Huntington Police are investigating after a body was found floating in the Ohio River near some barges near the West 17th Street Bridge around 3:00 P.M. Tuesday. The body has been sent to the West Virginia State Medical Examiner’s Office for examination and identification.
- A Kanawha County Sheriff’s Deputy conducted a traffic stop Saturday on Campbell’s Creek and discovered about 120 Hydrocodone pills, empty prescription bottles throughout the car and hundreds of dollars in cash. The driver, Samuel E. Harris, 53, of Charleston, told the deputy the pill bottle belonged to his sister’s boyfriend, but Harris couldn’t remember the man’s name. Harris was charged with the possession of prescription narcotics with the intent to deliver.
- Roger Nicholson, a former executive for International Coal Group Inc., is rejoining Charleston law firm Jackson Kelly PLLC August 1st after six years as senior vice president and general counsel at ICG. Nicholson, who has more than 25 years of experience in the coal and natural resources industries, including multiple roles at Massey Energy, acquired last month by Alpha Natural Resources, is also admitted to practice law in Kentucky.
- Senator Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., has been relatively silent on the nation’s budget crisis, but late last week, he submitted to the Senate 18 specific proposals he says could shave more than $1 trillion from the deficit during the next 10 years. The proposals include a mix of options such as closing tax loopholes, reining in tax abuse and eliminating special tax breaks for the wealthy and big companies. Rockefeller has publicly criticized Republican budget plans that include cuts to programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. He says his plans will not cut any program for the elderly, poor or working families. He says big corporations and the wealthy must start paying their fair share.
- Keith Gwinn attended his first cabinet meeting Tuesday as the cabinet secretary of the newly formed state Department of Veterans Assistance. Gwinn served as director of the state Division of Veterans Affairs under former Governor Joe Manchin. When veterans affairs was under state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety Gwinn would have to go through that state agency first with budget and hiring requests, but now veterans have a direct voice to the governor's office with their own state agency. Gwinn says the department will have two major events later this year including the official ceremony dedicating the new female soldier statue at the state capitol and the opening of the Donel Kinnard Memorial State Veteran Cemetery in Kanawha County in December.
- According to a graph by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, documenting electric power from February 2010 through February 2011, wind energy production has increased by approximately 25.4 percent in the past year in West Virginia. For March 2011, the table states that West Virginia produced 215,000 megawatt hours, up from 171,000 megawatt hours in 2010. Jeff Herholdt, director of the West Virginia Division of Energy, says West Virginia has about 580 megawatts of wind-generated capacity, and another 300 megawatts have been permitted. According to an American Wind Energy Association fact sheet published in May, the state currently has 431 megawatts online with 101 megawatts that were added in 2010. There are issues with the permitting process which can take up to a year and a half from start to finish. Dave Friend, CEO of U.S. Wind Force, says an operator must give a 30 to 60 day notice to file for a permit and conduct several studies to see what impact the wind farm will have on the local ecology, and another challenge comes from political changes that happen in the duration of the process.
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