Friday, June 24, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...6-25-'11
- West Virginia State Police have confirmed Brent Travis Collins, 41, was caught in West Hamlin around 8:30 A.M. Friday. State Police in Lincoln County were on high alert Thursday night when they learned a van, stolen from Huntington with two young children, ages 3-years and 9-months, inside, was headed their way. The van, and it's suspected driver 41 year old Brent Collins of Chesapeake, Ohio, was the subject of an Amber Alert issued out of Huntington about 7:00 P.M, Thursday night. State Police discovered the van pulled over alongside the road in West Hamlin about 4:00 A.M. Friday morning. The two children were inside the van, and the van had a passenger standing outside the van. Police secured the van and children and arrested the passenger identified as Steve Huffman who faces a charge of obstruction. He told troopers Collins had about a 30-minute head start on them. Police launched a manhunt using the State Police helicopter. Around 8:00 A.M. Friday morning police had no luck and no more leads. Police then received a call that Collins was in West Hamlin near a BP Station. A trooper went there and found him outside, texting and he didn't have a clue the State Police was near him. Collins was arrested without incident. Collins faces a range of charges.
- State officials have recognized the Public Service Commission's Transportation Enforcement Division for winning a national safety award in May. Each year, the federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration presents the award to the most productive safety enforcement program for interstate and intrastate motor carriers. This is the first award for West Virginia. State PSC Chairman Mike Albert says the leadership award shows the diligence of the officers and staff in keeping state roads safer for the general public. Albert says the number of fatal accidents on state roads was as high as 52 in 2007. In 2008, 48 people died on state roads, and in 2009, that number fell to 36. Seventy-two officers conducted about 33,000 safety checks of trucks and other vehicles last year.
- Charleston photographer Stephen R. Ross is the target of a suit filed June 23rd in Kanawha County Circuit Court by West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw. McGraw sued Ross and his modeling agency because of several violations of the West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act after consumers filed complaints saying Ross had failed to deliver photographs, portfolios, modeling jobs and other services promised to customers. The suit seeks to have the business cease illegal activities as well as pay full refunds to affected customers.
- Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has named Keith Gwinn of Hurricane as the cabinet secretary of the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance. Gwinn is the first secretary to head the newly created department. His appointment will begin July 1st. Tomblin says Gwinn, who has worked in the Division of Veterans Affairs for the past 11 years, has the depth of experience and enthusiastic commitment to do all he can to assist West Virginia’s veterans in any way possible. Gwinn will be in charge of the Veterans Home in Barboursville, the Veterans Nursing Facility in Clarksburg, 17 field offices, two claims offices, the Veterans Outreach Program, the Veterans Van Transportation Program, and the new State Veterans Cemetery currently under construction in Institute. Gwinn is retired from the U.S. Navy and has worked for the Division of Veterans Affairs since 2000. He has served as the division’s director since 2009.
- The Remember the Miners Scholars Program got a financial shot in the arm Thursday from Little General Convenience Stores. The company used its annual golf outing as the backdrop for a check presentation to the program which grants a twice-yearly scholarship to a student pursuing higher education in the mining industry. Jason Parsons, director for Remember the Miners, says more than 100 golfers participated in the Little General Golf outing.
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