Wednesday, June 01, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...6-2-'11
- The $7.1 billion buyout of Massey Energy was finalized Wednesday when shareholders from both companies approved the deal. Alpha CEO Kevin Crutchfield and acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin helped unveil the new Alpha sign outside the former headquarters of Massey Energy in Boone County early Wednesday afternoon. Alpha Natural Resources now has five billion tons of coal reserves, including 1.7 billion tons of metallurgical coal, making it the third largest supplier of metallurgical coal in the world. The deal comes with a lot of questions including how will Alpha deal with Massey's safety issues and the fallout from the independent report blaming the company in part for the disaster at the Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County in April 2010 where 29 miners were killed. Crutchfield says the new company will operate under Alpha's Running Right program. The new company has 14,000 employees. Crutchfield says 83 percent of Alpha shareholders voted Wednesday and 98 percent were in favor of the deal while 77 percent of Massey shareholders voted with an approval rate of 99 percent.
- Scott Depot-based International Coal Group and St. Louis-based Arch Coal announced Wednesday that the the antitrust waiting period on Arch's proposed $3.4 billion takeover of ICG has expired. Arch agreed to buy ICG on May 2nd and has since started a $14.60-a-share tender offer. The offer expires June 14th. Arch says the combined companies would be the nation's second largest supplier of metallurgical coal.
- Barboursville Police say a man walked into the Federal Credit Union on Mall Road about 3:45 P.M. Wednesday afternoon, handed the teller a note and then fled with an undetermined amount of cash, but he didn't show a weapon. Police believe this man is possibly the same suspect that robbed the South Charleston Credit Union on May 26th.
- West Virginia State Police say 59 year old Glenn Cline has not been charged in connection to Tuesday night’s shooting death of 40 year old John Campbell of Charleston, but the case will likely be presented to a Kanawha County grand jury. Witnesses said Glenn Cline and John Campbell were arguing before neighbors heard gun shots. The shooting happened at Gap View Drive in Campbells Creek. On May 25th, Glen Cline's neighbor called 911, reporting that Jonathon Campbell was on Cline's porch and refused to leave. The next call came Tuesday night when Cline told dispatchers he had shot Campbell twice after Campbell attacked him on his property.
- Julie Eplion, 23, of Huntington, has pleaded guilty to selling more than 100 Oxycodone pills. Eplion admitted that, in August 2009, she sold 93 80-milligram oxycodone pills and 14 40-milligram Oxycodone pills to an informant working with the West Virginia State Police who gave her $5,500 cash to settle a previous drug debt. Officers executed a search warrant at Eplion's home and found the $5,500 cash the informant gave her, along with more than 1,000 more Oxycodone pills. Eplion faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1million fine when sentenced October 11th.
- James Adam Roberts, who told police his name was Justin C. Roberts when he was arrested on February 8, 2011, pleaded guilty Wednesday to second degree robbery and was sentenced to 5 to 18 years in prison. Police say Roberts robbed Clark's BP Station in Huntington on February 9th and threatened to shoot the clerk if he didn't give him all the money in his hand and in the cash register. Roberts got away with between $300 and $400. Erika Ellis Rudolph was also charged. Her case is still pending.
- Former Logan County Delegate Joe C. Ferrell was sentenced Wednesday afternoon to two years in prison. He'll also have to pay a $250,000 fine, forfeit $527,540 and pay the Internal Revenue Service $75,000 in unpaid employment taxes. U.S. District Judge John Copenhaver turned down Ferrell's request for home confinement. The defense called one of Ferrell's doctors to the stand. His podiatrist testified Ferrell needs critical foot surgery and it can't be put off for long. The condition is one reason why Ferrell's attorneys were requesting Ferrell be sentenced to home confinement so he can have the surgery and recover at home, which the doctor testified would take at least 6 months. Ferrell admitted last year to racketeering and tax evasion charges in connection with his video lottery business, Southern Amusement.
- Marmet Police say, Tuesday night, 33 year old Angela Dawn Selbe died after being struck by a CSX train. Police say it appeared Selbe was talking on her cell phone and was walking west toward Charleston on the railroad ties when the train approached her from behind. Marmet Police Detective Charles Buttrick says Selbe made no attempt to get out of the way. The Marmet Police Department has ruled the death accidental.
- State Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis says she will seek reelection next year, although she admits she considered other options, including a possible challenge to U.S. Senator Joe Manchin in the Democrat Primary Election in 2012. Davis says the state Supreme Court has made so much progress over the past 15 years, including the recent overhaul of appellate court rules that had not been done in 34 years, and, if she's going to be a public servant doing what is right for the people of West Virginia, she needs to stay where she is. Davis, a Boone County native and a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan and West Virginia University, was first elected to the state Supreme Court in 1996 for an unexpired term and reelected to a full term in 2000. Her current 12 year term on the Supreme Court will end next year. She says she will seek re-election.
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