Sunday, March 13, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...3-14-'11
- Shortly before 4:30 A.M. Sunday, a series of shootings were reported at a house located in the area of Stockton and Madison Street in Charleston. A list of persons of interest has been released by Charleston Police: Tyrese Phillips (24), Brian Terry (25), Charles D. Williams III (28), Jamar Adams (22), Kenyoda Holmes (20), Michael M. Johnson (20), Reno Walls Jr. (19) and Trey Avery Davis (22). Police learned that an altercation happened earlier in the evening between Davis and Walls Jr.
- State lawmakers ended the 2011 legislative session at midnight Saturday without passing major bills, including help pay for workers compensation insurance for volunteer fire departments, Marcellus shale regulations and erasing $8 billion in unfunded liability in the state's other post-employment benefits (OPEB) program for state retirees. Nearly 1,900 bills were introduced during the session's 60 days, but only about 190 are on their way to Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin's desk to either be signed into law or vetoed. Tomblin says a lot of his legislation made it through. He did express disappointment concerning the rejection of his teacher loan program, but noted a dropout prevention program was approved.
- Twenty-three year old Charles Bocook has been charged with child neglect causing injury after his two year old nephew fell out of a third story window. Police say the little boy landed on his feet but broke one of his legs. He is also charged with child neglect creating risk of injury because police say his three year old daughter was left by herself in the apartment building. Bocook was placed on a $200,000 bond. While investigating the incident, police found drug paraphernalia and heroin belonging to 30 year old Donald Abrams. He is charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and was placed on a $25,000 bond.
- West Virginia lawmakers have passed legislation that would establish criminal penalties for protesting at funerals, despite a recent 8-1 U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding such pickets. If acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signs the measure, demonstrating at a funeral or memorial service would be a misdemeanor. The measure responds to numerous anti-gay protests by the Westboro Baptist Church a Kansas-based fundamentalist group which has picketed military funerals and last year celebrated the death of 29 coal miners in the Upper Big Branch mine disaster. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the group's protests were protected by the First Amendment.
- Saturday, the West Virginia Legislature approved a police oversight bill aimed at preventing officers from moving from department to department without the Law Enforcement Professional Standards Subcommittee reviewing their personnel file with the previous department to find out why an officer left the department and then deciding whether to decertify the officer. It also gives the subcommittee subpoena powers to investigate incidents and require a database be kept of all certified officers and made available to all departments. The bill would keep police agencies from hiring officers who have abused their authority or caused problems at other departments.