Monday, June 06, 2011
EKB Capsule News...West Virginia...6-7-'11
- In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday, Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources says two subsidiaries acquired in its takeover of rival coal producer Massey Energy received citations for serious safety violations on the day before the $7.1 billion deal closed and a third on the day the deal was closed. Alpha says federal Mine Safety and Health Administration inspectors cited Independence Coal's Justice No. 1 mine in Boone County and Martin County Coal's White Cabin No. 9 mine in eastern Kentucky on May 31st. The deal closed on June 1st, and Alpha says MSHA cited Elk Run Coal's Roundbottom Powellton Deep Mine in Boone County that day. Alpha says all three violations involved potentially dangerous roof conditions, and all three have been corrected.
- Federal mine investigators say 56 year old Bill Dooley, of Oak Hill, an experienced roof bolter, was killed at the Kingston No. 1 mine in Fayette County on October 11, 2010 when a large piece of the mine roof fell on top of him. MSHA investigators say the roof was unstable after a change in mining height. Part of the area had been mined the Friday before and there had been a roof fall over the weekend. When Dooley and a co-worker arrived at the area the following Monday morning, they were attempting to secure the roof when the accident occurred. The rock that killed Dooley was 30 inches high, by 66 inches long and was 4 to 7 inches thick. The Kingston mine, owned by Alpha Natural Resources, received two citations for the operator's failure to follow the approved roof control plan.
- Charleston Police Lt. Steve Cooper testified during a bond hearing Friday that Shawn Lester, the man charged with the murder of Jeanie Patton, was planning another drug related murder only weeks before he was arrested. Detectives have an audio recording from March 5th of Lester soliciting help from an unnamed individual to obtain weapons such as a stun gun and handcuffs. The plan was to force a West Side man to lead them to his stash of what Lester believed to be thousands of prescription pills then kill him. Days after the recording, city police executed a search warrant on the man's home, found several hundred prescription pills and arrested him to thwart Lester's plan. Three weeks later Lester was arrested and charged with the murder of Patton.
- Friday, West Virginia State Police arrested and charged James Whitt with the killing of Michael Richard whose body was found along Route 44 in Switzer in Logan County Thursday evening. Troopers believe they may have found the weapon in the Guyandotte River that was used to kill Richard.
- Kanawha County Sheriff's Deputies say 78 year old Donald Ray Jones, Sr. of Sissonville died Friday night after a World War II-era Willys Jeep he was driving near his home on Geraint Lane experienced mechanical problems, drifted backward, hit an embankment, ejected Jones and rolled on top of him.
- Vanessa Stanley of Huntington was sentenced Monday to 55 days in jail, with credit for time served, after pleading guilty in April to the lesser charge of domestic battery after originally being charged with child abuse and neglect in January of 2010. West Virginia State Police say she squeezed her 15-month-old boy's cheeks and left severe bruises. Stanley also lost custody of the child. Her boyfriend, Joey Watts, is also charged in the abuse. Police say he bit the child's nose hard enough to leave bite marks. He is set to appear in court later this week.
- Christopher Lynn Pino of Ramsey, in Fayette County, was taken to Charleston Area Medical Center around 12:15 A.M. Sunday morning where he was listed in stable condition after being shot while allegedly trying to burglarize a residence on Back Forty Ranch in the Summersville area of Nicholas County. Deputies say Howard Harris held Pino at gunpoint waiting for police to arrive. They say Pino then charged at Harris who shot him in the head. Pino is charged with burglary and grand larceny.
- Putnam County Sheriff’s Deputies say an argument between Gary Taylor and his estranged wife Joyce Taylor Sunday resulted in a stabbing that led to both Taylors and their 4-month-old granddaughter being taken to Charleston Area Medical Center. Deputies say an argument occurred after Joyce Taylor brought the infant to visit Gary Taylor in Red House. Putnam County Sheriff's Chief Deputy G.K. Barnett says the argument turned physical, and Gary Taylor broke a dinner plate, injuring both his estranged wife and the child. He said Joyce Taylor received cuts on her head, while the child was cut on the thigh. Joyce Taylor and the baby were released Monday.
- Greg Carl Hinkle of Gap View Drive in Campbell's Creek was released on bond Monday after being arrested Friday. Hinkle is accused of breaking into the home of 38 year old Rebecca Kessel, pointing a pistol at her family and stealing items before making threats and leaving. Lt. Sean Crosier of the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department says, once Hinkle left the Kessel residence, he fired shots from his pistol. When deputies located and arrested Hinkle, he was carrying a .45-caliber pistol.
- Kent Carper, the president of the Kanawha County Commission says the county will vigorously fight a lawsuit filed against sheriff's deputies and other county officials on behalf of Sandra Shaffer. The lawsuit claims Shaffer's Sissonville property was unreasonably, unnecessarily, negligently and recklessly damaged when law enforcement officials executed a sealed search warrant looking for evidence in the 2003 sniper shootings of Jeanie Patton, Gary Carrier Jr. and Okey Ray Meadows Jr. Officials say they were searching for a truck, rifle and possibly bodies that a source had said was buried on Shaffer’s property. The searched yielded none of those. Carper says he acknowledges Attorney Mike Clifford's right to file the lawsuit, but it was not necessary to accuse a Charleston police officer of punitive, willful and outrageous conduct and sue him individually. Clifford's suit directly names Charleston Police Detective James Hunt and county employee David Armstrong. Some question whether Clifford should be involved in the case at all since he was the county prosecuting attorney in 2003 when the sniper investigation began.
Links to this post: