Thursday, April 28, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...4-29-'11
- After nearly six hours of deliberation, a jury returned a verdict Thursday convicting former Huntington Police Captain 81 year old Foster "Pete" Bowen of 34 counts of sexual abuse on boys, occurring more than 20 years ago. Bowen's attorney, Jay Love, says an innocent man was convicted on very weak evidence, inconsistent evidence and evidence so far beyond the realm of belief of common sense. Cabell County Prosecutor Chris Chiles said it took courage for the victims to get on the witness stand in front of 14 strangers and tell them about the terrible things that happened to them. Bowen could face a maximum sentence of well over 400 years when sentenced June 23rd.
- U.S. Marshal's Service task force members, acting on a tip, apprehended 32 year old Crystal Seigler Clark without incident at 10:30 A.M. CDT Thursday at a motel in Jackson, Tennessee, about 90 miles northeast of Memphis. Clark's 13 month old daughter, Chloe Clark, was found unharmed and was turned over to Tennessee Child Protective Services. Clark was transported to the Madison County sheriff's office for processing on a fugitive from justice warrant and to await extradition proceedings back to Mingo County, West Virginia, where she's charged with first-degree murder in the death of her husband, David Clark.
- National Weather Service investigators have confirmed a tornado touched down Wednesday about five miles north-northeast of Richwood in rural Nicholas County. According to the preliminary storm survey, the twister touched down at 10:58 P.M. and skipped up and down off the ground several times before lifting some 1300 yards later. Maximum wind speeds with this storm were rated at 110 miles per hour which would place it as an EF-1 rating on the enhanced Fujita damage scale. At its maximum width, the tornado was estimated at 100 yards wide.
- Forty-nine year old Sherry Lou Smith, her 25 year old daughter Cassandra Smith, and Cassandra's 23 year old boyfriend, Anthony Lambert of Montrose, will stand trial May 31st in Elkins on charges related to a February 16th shootout that killed U.S. Deputy Marshal 24 year old Derek Hotsinpiller and 50 year old Charles E. Smith. Federal and state officials had gone to Smith's Elkins home to arrest him on charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine. The three suspects pleaded not guilty earlier this week on charges including conspiracy to obstruct justice, making false statements and possessing a machine gun.
- Law enforcement officials will be posted at several locations in the Kanawha Valley Saturday to accept unwanted or expired prescription drugs as they participate in the second annual U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's nationwide "Take Back" initiative. Last year the program netted a little more than a ton of pills in West Virginia alone. The nation as a whole turned in more than 121 tons of pills, according to the Office of Diversion Control, which operates under the DEA. A survey conducted by the Office of National Drug Control Policy shows one-third of the people aged 12 and over who used drugs for the first time in 2009 started by abusing prescription drugs. More than 70 percent of people who abused prescription pain medications got them from family members or friends while only 5 percent got them from a drug dealer or over the Internet.
- More than 5,000 customers were without power Thursday morning in the wake of severe storms that moved across West Virginia. Appalachian Power's website reported 5,360 customers were without electricity, the majority in Kanawha County, where 1,228 customers had no power.
- Police are investigating after a gas station on Charleston's West Side was robbed at gunpoint just before 9:00 P.M. Wednesday. Police say a black man walked into the Exxon gas station in the 1400 block of Kanawha Boulevard West and brandished a handgun at the store clerk, demanding money from the register before fleeing on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.
- Police arrested 22 year old Kelly Lynn Redman of Ripley on April 21st after Ripley Patrolmen Michael Cummings and Brian Anderson say they found her small children, who were 1 and 2 years old, sitting naked and eating cookies off of a floor covered with garbage, used diapers and animal feces. Redman faces a felony charge of child neglect creating a risk of injury. Cummings and Anderson were responding to Kelly Redman's home on a call of a domestic disturbance between Redman and her husband Albert.
- The Cabell County Commission has voted to challenge the constitutionality of Huntington’s one-percent occupation tax. The 2-1 vote came during Thursday’s Commission meeting. Commissioners Bob Bailey and Nancy Cartmill voted in favor of taking legal action against the Home Rule Board and the City of Huntington. Commissioner Anny Yon says she supports the tax. The one-percent tax is supposed to take effect July 1st.
- A West Virginia coal miner has been disciplined by state regulators who found he falsified credentials to work as a foreman. The Coal Mine Safety Board of Appeals on Wednesday suspended four certificates held by 40 year old Ronnie Britton. The panel also barred Britton from seeking any supervisory certificates for three years. While the state said Britton never held a valid foreman's certificate, he claims to have worked as a foreman for 17 years.
- The Affordable Housing Program has announced nearly $800,000 in grant money that will be used to create housing for low income individuals across the state. Once spent, the money will create 148 new living spaces.
$81,200 to restore 10 homes and make them energy efficient
* Algoma Apartments, Northfork
$250,000 to build eight low income apartments
* Fairmont Southside Home Rehab Program, Fairmont
$98,483 to restore seven homes
* The Flats, Wheeling
$41,370 to convert building into 18 housing units for the homeless
* The Healing Place, Huntington
$250,000 to transform Old Lincoln High School into 100 rehab units
* White Sulphur Springs AHP Project, White Sulphur Springs
$70,000 to build four new homes with Habitat for Humanity and restore another
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