Sunday, May 15, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...5-16-'11
- According to Secretary of State Natalie Tennant's office, turnout for the special gubernatorial primary election on Saturday was about 16 percent. There are about 1,216,000 registered voters in West Virginia, and 188,109 voters cast their ballots Saturday. Of that number, about 125,000 were Democrats, while more than 60,000 Republicans voted. The Special Primary Election this weekend was the fourth for West Virginia voters in the past year.
- State Mine Safety and Health officials have identified the miner killed Saturday night at Guyan Surface Mine near Yolyn in Logan County as 37 year old Richard Young. MSHA officials say Young was struck by a piece of mining equipment. The Guyan Surface Mine is operated by Apogee Coal, a Patriot Coal subsidiary. Young's death is the second coal-mining related death in West Virginia in 2011 and the fourth coal-mining death in the United States this year.
- On May 6th, federal agents and West Virginia State Police troopers arrested Igor Shevchuk, Arsen Bedzhanyan and Sargis Tadevosyan at a South Charleston car lot and charged them with health-care fraud, conspiracy and aiding and abetting. Authorities say they were part of a health-care fraud scheme designed to bilk Medicare and Medicaid out of more than $2 million. The men are thought to be connected with a "false-front provider" scheme, where someone sets up phony companies to file fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid claims. Federal investigators discovered five fake companies set up in Charleston, South Charleston and Dunbar purported to be Medicare providers. Offices for all five companies had been rented by Konstantin Kalaydzhiev, who provided identification saying he was from California, but authorities believe the real Kalaydzhiev is no longer in the United States, and the man who rented the local offices, who is Asian, is using Kalaydzhiev's identity. The doctors who supposedly provided the medical services told investigators they'd never heard of the companies, and when agents went to the companies' addresses, all they found were empty offices.
- Representative Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., will host a summit to look at the problem of prescription drug abuse. The summit will run from 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. Wednesday, May 18th, at the Twin Falls Resort State Park conference center. According to statistics, approximately 76,000 West Virginians are using prescription drugs for “non-medical reasons” every year. An estimated 9,000 of those people are children between the ages of 12 and 17. During the April 30th Prescription Drug Take-Back event, 3,178 pounds of prescription drugs were collected statewide. Booth Goodwin, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, will join Rahall at the summit. The summit is open to the public.
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