Thursday, June 09, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...6-10-'11
- Martin Engineering gave $25,000 and its partner SCP Engineering announced a $5,000 donation Wednesday to the Upper Big Branch Mining Memorial Group. SCP also issued a challenge for other businesses that supply to the coal industry to match the donation. The non-profit Upper Big Branch Mining Memorial Group was formed in February 2011 to raise funds to establish a memorial for the 29 miners killed in the explosion of the Upper Big Branch Mine in April 2010. The memorial group will officially kick off the fundraising efforts at the end of summer. Organizers hope to have the memorial finished by next April.
- The March on Blair Mountain continued on Thursday, as marchers headed toward Blair on the border of Boone and Logan counties. Rebecca Rast, a spokeswoman for Appalachia Rising, the group coordinating the 50-mile march, says the number of marchers has grown from 75 people to 325, and they're expecting 1,500 people in Blair on Saturday. Saturday morning, marchers and other people will gather at the baseball field in Blair at 10:00 A.M. for a rally and a march up the mountain later in the day. The march commemorates the famous Battle of Blair Mountain, waged in late August and early September 1921 between union miners, on one side, and deputies and coal company guards from Logan County. Rast says goal of the march is to save Blair Mountain and stop mountaintop removal mining.
- Just before 3:30 P.M. Thursday afternoon, police responded to the scene of a shooting at the Oakwood Terrace Apartments on Leslie Road in Charleston where a man had been shot in the abdomen. The man was transported to Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital. He told police he didn't know who shot him, but a Charleston detective says the man's wound was self-inflicted.
- Police arrested John Barnett and charged him with first degree robbery after they say he entered the Rite Aid along Washington Street West in Charleston around 3:40 P.M. Thursday, pulled out a knife and demanded prescription pills. Barnett told police he wanted to be arrested because he is homeless.
- Police say a car and coal truck collided Thursday morning on Cabin Creek Road near Dry Branch in eastern Kanawha County, killing one person.
- State Police in Calhoun County say Thomas Husk, 45, of Big Bend, fatally shot John Cyrus, 45, from Chloe, during a fight on Trippett Road on Wednesday night. Troopers say Cyrus approached Husk's vehicle and started punching him and that's when Husk shot Cyrus three times. Husk is charged with second degree murder.
- Charleston Police are looking for a suspect after a murder occurred on the city's West Side around 12:30 A.M. Thursday morning. Police say 26 year old Timothy Thompson of Amandaville was discovered outside a home at the intersection of Stockton and 1st Avenue after neighbors reported hearing gunshots. Thompson, who was dead when police arrived, had been shot several times.
- Ersel Prince Jr., 61, of Neibert, in Logan County, pleaded guilty Wednesday to the illegal distribution of prescription drugs. Prince admitted that on three occasions in February and March he distributed Oxycodone and that he sold at least 400 OxyContin pills and 500 to 600 Roxicodone pills in the past two years. Prince also said he had firearms in his home to protect his drug distribution operation. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine when sentenced September 28th.
- John Oliver Brown, 36, of Charleston, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for conspiracy to sell marijuana. Brown admitted he sold one pound of marijuana for $1,750 on July 22, 2010 to a confidential informant with the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team and two pounds of marijuana for $3,500 on August 2, 2010. Officers went to Brown’s apartment to make the purchase and found him with a 10-pound bag of marijuana he later told them he planned to sell, digital scales, more than $19,000 cash and a loaded firearm.
- Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper has called on Janet 'JT' Thompson, the Democrat candidate in Charleston's mayoral election, to substantiate her claims that May's election was not fair. Thompson was the only candidate running against Republican Danny Jones in the May 17th election in which Jones won nearly 70 percent of the vote. Thompson has filed a 'notice of election contest' with the city of Charleston and the county. Carper sent a letter to Thompson inviting her to Thursday's regularly scheduled commission meeting to clear up her disputes. He also says that if Thompson does not have proof of her allegations, she should withdraw her complaint and apologize.
- Several crews were on scene with bloodhounds Thursday morning searching for 76 year old Bud Adkins of Wyoming County who was last seen on Tuesday. Sheriff's deputies said Adkins left his house in Key Rock to go to the doctor and never returned.
- Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies say Coy Adkins died as the result of the accident which happened Wednesday night on Route 971 in Lynco. The driver of the vehicle was transported to a hospital for treatment.
- Twenty-four year old John Anthony Donohue of Martinsburg, a former West Virginia State Police trooper, is free on $10,000 bond and has waived his right to a preliminary hearing on charges he solicited sex and nude photos from two 16 year old girls. Donohue resigned at the end of March after being accused of having sexual contact with one girl on March 18th and attempting sexual contact with the other. Sgt. D.E. Boober says Donohue had face-to-face discussions and text-message exchanges with the girls although he knew they were underage.
- American Electric Power, the parent company of Appalachian Power, released the company's compliance plan Thursday, saying it would have to close several power plants, including some in West Virginia, in order to comply with regulations proposed by the federal EPA. The plan includes retiring nearly 6,000 megawatts currently produced at coal-fired power plants. AEP says it would permanently retire the Kanawha River Plant at Glasgow in eastern Kanawha County, the Phillip Sporn Plant at New Haven in Mason County and the Kammer Plant in Moundsville by December 31, 2014. Part of the plan would be to rebuild the Kentucky Big Sandy power plant at Louisa to burn natural gas instead of coal by the end of 2015. AEP says its compliance plan could cost as much as $8 billion. AEP says compliance by 2014 instead of 2018 or 2020 will hike West Virginia customer's electric bills by up to 15 percent, in Kentucky up to 35 percent.
- During a ceremony Wednesday night in Charleston, the West Virginia Department of Education recognized 86 teachers who earned National Board Certification in 2010. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards establishes the highest and most rigorous standards for what teachers should know and do. The National Board Certification is the highest certification in the nation. Across the country, about 91-thousand of the nation's most effective teachers have met the highest teaching standards by becoming National Board certified, including about 600 in West Virginia.
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