Tuesday, June 21, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...6-22-'11
- Philip Doran Taback, the man who threatened to blow up then-Senator Carte Goodwin D-W.Va. was sentenced Monday to six months in prison after pleading guilty in April to a charge of transmitting a threat across state lines. Authorities say he called Goodwin's Washington D.C. office from California and threatened to blow up Goodwin and his family. In addition to the prison term, Taback will serve a year in a mental facility and be monitored by the court for three years. Taback's threat centered on Congress' vote on unemployment benefits. Orange County, Calif. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joe McNally says Taback, who has a lengthy mental health history, probably would not have acted on his threats, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't be punished. McNally says once Taback is released he will be watched closely, and, if he violates any court orders, he will be taken back into custody.
- Jury selection began Tuesday morning in Beckley in the case of 38 year old Christopher Bowling of Daniels, in Raleigh County. Bowling is charged with the January 2010 shooting death of his wife Tresa. Raleigh County Circuit Judge John Hutchinson declared a mistrial in May after an issue with one of the jurors left only eleven people on the panel. The jury had already heard a week of testimony. Prosecution witnesses testified during the first trial that Bowling physically and emotionally abused his wife, and the two were heard arguing just minutes before Tresa was killed, but Bowling claims he accidentally shot his wife while cleaning a gun at their home.
- In a letter Tuesday, Senator Joe Manchin urged President Barack Obama to end nation-building efforts in Afghanistan and step up reducing troop levels. Manchin also wants a more rapid timetable than what Obama plans to outline Wednesday. Obama is expected to withdraw roughly 10,000 troops this year, and may announce steps toward recalling 20,000 more. The White House plan would return Afghanistan's control of its own security by 2014.
- Two people died Monday afternoon in a collision on Sand Hill Road in the Letart area of Mason County. West Virginia State Police say 34 year old Steve Jordan, of New Haven, crossed the center line and hit 63 year old Floyd Knapp's car head on, causing both cars to burst into flames. Knapp was from Letart.
- Keri Amanda Winnell, 31, of Dunbar, has been charged with child neglect with the risk of injury and possession of methamphetamine. Police say her five year old son was found about 3:00 P.M. Saturday wandering in the streets alone near the 7-11 store at the intersection of West Washington Street and Roxalana Drive. Deputies took the boy to his home about a mile away where they found Winnell asleep, and they could not wake her up. The child told Kanawha County Sheriff's Deputies his mother was asleep at his house so he walked to the store to get milk.
- Drew Allen Paugh, 27 of Lesage, in Cabell County, has pleaded guilty to federal drug and weapons charges, admitting that last July he went to the Smokin' Aces store in Huntington to arrange a drug deal involving Oxycodone. He also admitted to making a telephone call to an acquaintance who came to the store to complete the transaction, as well as taking one of the pills from the acquaintance. The acquaintance then sold the pills to an undercover agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Paugh also admitted to participating in 20 more drug sales, including Oxycodone, crack cocaine and heroin, at the Smokin' Aces store between May and September of 2010. Paugh admitted to selling a revolver to an undercover ATF agent for $75. He faces up to 30 years in prison when sentenced in October.
- Lamont Honeycutt, 40, of Charleston has been sentenced to 42 months in prison for aiding and abetting the possession of marijuana with the intent to sell. Metro Drug Unit officers say, on April 23, 2009, they witnessed a person putting luggage in Honeycutt’s backseat before leaving a bus terminal. A uniformed officer then stopped the vehicle for a traffic violation and smelled marijuana. Officers seized seven vacuum-sealed bundles of marijuana, weighing more than 18 pounds.
- Verizon Wireless has completed fourth-generation (4G) long-term evolution (LTE) network in Charleston and South Charleston. The network offers cell phone speeds that are 10 times faster than Verizon's 3G network. Mark Frazier, president of Verizon Wireless' Ohio-Pennsylvania-West Virginia region, says it gives users the ability to move large files faster and enjoy smooth mobile video conferencing. Verizon 4G network users will have access to download rates of five to 12 megabits per second, and upload speeds of two to five megabits. The company plans to make 4G available to its entire 3G coverage area by December 2013.
- The University of Charleston has hired Dr. Charles Stebbins, a former UC provost and dean of faculty, as the new dean of the business school. Stebbins will begin his new job July 1st. Since 2005, Stebbins has served in a variety of roles at UC. Prior to that Stebbins had a career in the Air Force as a brigadier general. Stebbins, a Charleston native, taught seven years at the U.S. Air Force Academy, served a year in Vietnam and spent four years at the Pentagon as a military planner. He also served four years on the National Security Council Staff at the White House, specializing in arms control and nuclear policy. He also spent 12 years as a corporate vice president of the Northrop Grumman Aerospace Corp. Stebbins returned to Charleston in 2002.
- Michael Riley, a member of the staff of the state Insurance Commission who played a key role in the privatization of workers' compensation in West Virginia, has been named acting state insurance commissioner. Riley will take over for longtime state Insurance Commissioner Jane Cline who will retire June 30th. Riley, who joined the Insurance Commission in 2001 and worked his way up the ladder to become Assistant Commissioner of Regulation, was project manager of the workers' comp privatization efforts a few years ago.
- Independent Marla Ingels of Mason County and Harry Bertram of the American Third Position Party have gathered enough voter signatures to obtain spots on the October 4th ballot for governor. They join acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, a Democrat, Morgantown businessman Bill Maloney, a Republican, and former Richwood mayor Bob Henry Baber, a member of the Mountain Party. Ingels is a public school counselor and former special educator. This is her first campaign for statewide office. Bertram, who rejects such terms as "white supremacist,'' says he is a white nationalist.
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