Tuesday, March 22, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...3-23-'11
- Lamar Jackson, 31, originally from Detroit, was killed in a stabbing in a home on Rural Avenue in Huntington Tuesday morning. Police arrested Ciesha Shana Brown, 20, of Huntington and charged her with first degree murder. Brown was arraigned in magistrate court and denied bond. She is due back in court March 31st.
- Thomas Harrah, 45, of Seth, a former Upper Big Branch Mine foreman, has been charged with two felonies in connection with the federal investigation of the mine. The two-count information charges Harrah with making false statements to an FBI investigator with the Mine Safety and Health Administration, as well as making a false statement on a form required by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act. According to court documents, Harrah performed foreman’s duties at UBB from January 2008 to August 2009, and he signed examination reports, despite the knowledge that he was not qualified to do so. Each count against Harrah carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
- Cable company Suddenlink has filed for damages from NTELOS and FiberNet. The filing claims NTELOS misrepresented how the company would conduct business after it acquired FiberNet and that FiberNet has interfered with Suddenlink’s ability to conduct business with customers and potential customers in West Virginia. FiberNet has made claims against Suddenlink that the company denied in the filing.
- The state Supreme Court has canceled an April 15th filing deadline in a legal case brought by New Martinsville lawyer H. John Rogers seeking to bar Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin from being paid to act as governor. Tomblin became Acting Governor when Joe Manchin stepped down in November to become a U.S. Senator. Rogers contends the Constitution calls on Tomblin to act as governor, not to assume the post and its $150,000 annual salary and perks until a replacement is elected. Monday, the court said the matter is ready for consideration without additional filings.
- Tellis Larry, 30, of Millwood, in Jackson County, was sentenced to 44 months during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Charleston Monday. He was arrested on January 30, 2008 following a traffic stop in Ravenswood where police seized approximately 21 grams of crack cocaine from his vehicle, which he admitted he intended to distribute in and around Jackson County. Larry pleaded guilty in December 2010 to a one-count information charging him with possession with intent to distribute a quantity of cocaine base. The sentence will run consecutively with a June 2010 conviction of first-degree sexual abuse.
- Christopher Cunningham escaped from the custody of the Charleston Work Release Center on March 11th when signed out for work but never returned. Cunningham was captured by the Mercer County Sheriff’s Department Tuesday in Princeton.
- Jett Alan Wilcher of St. Albans was in Kanawha County Circuit Court Tuesday charged with exposing himself and public masturbation. Wilcher had allegedly been spotted by parents outside Weimer Elementary in St. Albans a few times when the students let out and one person said she saw him exposing himself and masturbating near her car. Wilcher plead not guilty on two misdemeanor indecent exposure charges.
- The West Virginia Attorney General's Office says, since the state Supreme Court revised its appeals process, its workload has spiked, and additional staff has been hired to handle the workload. New rules adopted by the court late last year require responses to every appeal, even if the justices decide not to hear a case. Deputy Attorney General Barbara Allen says, between December 1, 2010, and early February, the office wrote about 81 responses to criminal appeals. That's as many as in all other months of 2010.
- The Obama administration may need to call for an expansion of the debt ceiling later this spring to avoid potential defaults on the national debt. The Treasury Department estimates the current debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion will be reached by May 31st. During a speech at the University of Charleston Monday, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin said, until Congress adopts a viable, long-term plan to reduce the nation's deficit, he will oppose any future votes to raise the federal debt ceiling. Manchin said we must get our fiscal house in order.
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