Friday, May 13, 2011


EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...5-12-'11

Phillip Brandon Falgiani, 22, of the War area of McDowell County, was arrested Tuesday and charged with child abuse and neglect resulting in serious bodily injury, unlawful wounding, domestic assault and domestic battery. West Virginia State Police troopers in Welch say Falgiani's 6-week-old son was brought to Welch Community Hospital Sunday with a fractured skull, two fractured legs and a healing rib fracture.
The infant was then flown to Charleston Area Medical Center Women and Children's Hospital, where he continues to be treated for multiple seizures caused by head trauma. Falgiani was taken to the Welch Holding Facility and placed on a $20,000 bond.

Twenty years after being hired under a court-ordered affirmative action program, Chuck Overstreet has become Charleston's first black fire chief. One of two senior assistant chiefs vying for the top job, Overstreet scored highest on a written exam two weeks ago and needed only to get medical clearance to get the job. Overstreet had a heart attack about five weeks ago, but, Tuesday, doctors gave him the go-ahead.

Ernest Vance, Sr., 62, and his son, Ernest Vance, Jr., 35, both from Logan County, pleaded guilty Tuesday to federal drug charges, admitting to aiding and abetting the distribution of Oxycodone. Prosecutors say they were responsible for the distribution of more than 5,000 and up to 18,000 Oxycontin 80 milligram pills in and around Verdunville. Each faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine when sentenced in August.

Scott Depot-based International Coal Group announced Wednesday it's postponing its annual shareholder meeting indefinitely because of its proposed $3.4 billion takeover by St. Louis-based Arch Coal Inc. as agreed to on May 2nd. The annual shareholder meeting had been set for May 18th. ICG runs mines in Appalachia and Illinois. Arch operates primarily in Appalachia and Wyoming. The merger is designed to exploit growing demand for high-priced coal used to manufacture steel. Arch says the combined companies would be the nation's second largest supplier of metallurgical coal.

Kanawha County prosecutor Mark Plants has hired former U.S. Attorney Charles T. Miller to replace assistant prosecutor Scott Reynolds, whom Plants fired on Monday after Reynolds was arrested early Sunday for driving under the influence of alcohol. Miller, a federal prosecutor for 26 years, served as the lead U.S. attorney for West Virginia's Southern District from 2005 to 2009. He became an assistant U.S. attorney after current U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin was appointed. Miller said he is retiring from the U.S. attorney's office, but didn't want to quit working.

West Virginia State Police were called to a home on Kelly Hollow in the Blair community of Logan County Tuesday night, where they found the home had been broken into and an elderly man stabbed. The victim was taken to Logan Regional Medical Center and then flown to Charleston Area Medical Center General for treatment.

Clendenin Police Chief David Brinkman says hundreds of lottery tickets were stolen from a Clendenin retailer and cashed in at two Charleston stores. Brinkman says four tickets were cashed at the Kroger on Delaware Avenue for $239. Another 20 tickets were cashed at the One Stop on Lee Street for a total of $44. Police are looking for two people connected to the theft.

The Law Enforcement Division of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is investigating after a hunter was shot in the back by another hunter in the Nellis area of Boone County around 8:00 A.M. Wednesday morning. The injured hunter was transported to Charleston Area Medical Center.

Wednesday, police officers, sheriff's deputies, State Police and deputy U.S. Marshals gathered at the state Capitol in Charleston for Law Enforcement Appreciation Day to pay tribute to Deputy U.S. Marshal Derek Hotsinpiller and 136 other law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty in West Virginia. Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, the guest speaker, offered words of condolence to the families of Hotsinpiller, who was killed on February 16, 2011, Charleston Police Officer Jerry Jones, who was killed by friendly fire in August of 2009 and others, along with praising the dozens of law enforcement officers on hand for the memorial service for the jobs they do every day. After the service, an honor guard followed by the Hotsinpillers and the Jones families laid a wreath at the foot of the state Police Officer Memorial at the Culture Center.

During a hearing Wednesday, West Virginia Chamber of Commerce president Steve Roberts told members of Congress the EPA's decision to revoke the permit issued to Spruce No. 1 Mine, owned by Mingo-Logan Coal, could result in the loss of thousands of jobs. Testifying before the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment at the "EPA Mining Policies: Assault on Appalachian Jobs Part II" hearing, Roberts, along with Ohio Coal Association president Mike Carey, professor of natural resources at University of California-Berkley David Sunding and Reed Hopper of the Pacific Legal Foundation, warned the committee of the dangers the EPA's actions could have on jobs and the economy. Roberts said more than 6,000 coal mining jobs could be lost in West Virginia if the EPA continued its "war on coal." Carey argued that a study by Penn State University showed that for every coal mining job lost another 11 spin-off jobs also are lost. Nancy Stoner, deputy administrator in the EPA's Office of Water, said the agency's goal was not to end coal mining, but to make communities healthier by decreasing pollution. President Barack Obama has inherited about 140 mining permits to be approved or vetoed, but Representative Nick Rahall said those permits might not mean much if the EPA can revoke them at will.

The Dow Corp. told members of the South Charleston Economic Development Committee Tuesday that it plans to invest a total of $40 million at its South Charleston location in the next four years. South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens said he’s not sure of the company’s schedule, but he knows several $2 million and $3 million projects are planned for the plant through 2014, and he considers it’s a great sign which indicates they’re going to be there for a while.

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