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A ruling by the National Labor Relations Board means jobs and back pay for more than 80 former workers at Horizon Natural Resources in Kanawha County. In the ruling, the board found that Massey Energy and its subsidiary, Mammoth Coal Company, broke the law by refusing to hire workers who had been part of the United Mine Workers of America, when Horizon went bankrupt and Massey bought it in 2004. In a statement, the UMWA president called it a victory for the workers . The companies also have to recognize the UMWA and bargain with the union, if requested, under the ruling. Alpha Natural Resources now owns the site since Alpha bought Massey last year.
Coal production is down and that may drag down revenue growth this budget year. Tax collection numbers for September were released Monday and they show most categories at or just below estimates, and coal is the exception. State Deputy Revenue Secretary Mark Muchow says $21.2 million in severance tax revenue was collected last month and coal makes up part of that. He says that total is about $11 million below estimates for the month and 50 percent less than last year at this time. The downward trend in coal is having a dramatic impact on the entire revenue picture this budget year.
Kanawha County schools are applying for $25 million in federal Race to the Top education funds. The money would be aimed at cutting down on the high school dropout rate and instillinga a career-minded mentality early on by exposing students to things like auto mechanic and other trade-based skills sets while they're still in elementary school. Kanawha County will request their share of $400 million in federal funds under President Obama's Race to the Top program later this month, and there are plans to start internships with local businesses. You may also see career fairs at middle-schools and revised course material that is more career-focused. The grant money is awarded in December.
The reasons that the mother and son were said to be in the Thomas Memorial Hospital waiting room at the same time are said to be pure coincidence. Talton Pratt was there with his girlfriend, and Marcia Chandler was there visiting her mother. There was a confrontation that day last may, and Talton is accused of attacking his mother and throwing her to the floor, then beating her until she lost consciousness. Pratt pleaded not guilty to several charges Friday and trial has been set for December 17
A longtime grocery store has shut its doors for good. The Oakhurst IGA, just off Corridor G, has been open for decades and even survived a gas explosion in the early eighties. That caused the store to close for three years during the rebuilding process, but it eventually reopened. This time the owner of the store sold the building and a new tenant will take over, and decided against making it a grocery store. The Oakhurst IGA closed for good on Saturday evening.
50-year old Eric Brian Pauley of Winfield has been sentenced to life in prison after telling a judge he shot and killed his girlfriend in 2011 because she interrupted his sleep. Pauley pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Friday in Putnam County Circuit Court and told the judge he shot 52-year-old Debra Rosiek because he was mad that she woke him up in the middle of the night. Pauley will be eligible for parole after 15 years.
Hundreds turned out over the weekend for the Kanawha County cleanup. The effort kicked off Saturday in Sissonville where everything from tires to household trash, electronics and scrap metal was collected to be sent off for recycling. It's a free service, and it wasn't the last. There are more cleanup sessions planned this fall, including one October 13 in Cabin Creek behind the Go-Mart, and another October 27 at the Rehab Center in Institute.
More now about the death of a 71-year-old Boone County man. The body of Jimmie Cooper was found last week, first discovered after co-workers became concerned that they hadn't seen him for several days. Detectives now say a woman killed him to sell his belongings for drug money. Twenty-year-old Maura Shea Perry of Hamlin has been charged with first degree murder. Boone County Sheriff's Deputies think Perry had an ongoing relationship with Cooper and stole property after the murder, then pawned it to get money for drugs. Cooper's car was found at a park and ride in Scott Depot and several items have been recovered from pawn shops around the Kanawha Valley, according to the sheriff's department.
A man has been arrested after making threats to a crowd at a Sissonville High school football game over the weekend. 41-year old Shawn Patrick Foglesong of Kelley's Creek was arrested Friday after reportedly telling his therapist he planned to attend the game and shoot people in the crowd. A report from the Kanawha Bureau of Investigation notes the therapist was compelled by law to report the threat to local police. Foglesong's plan was to force officers to shoot him to stop the violence, according to the news release. Officers got a warrant and arrested Foglesong at his home without incident before he attended the game.
The Democratic party complained about fake accounts, and Twitter shut them down. Accounts set up under the names of West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw and state Sen. Walt Helmick were fakes, and they are no more. Twitter has also suspended at least three other accounts operated by West Virginia Republicans. Most of the accounts had just a few followers and hadn't sent too many tweets when they were suspended. If you want to know whether an account is the real deal, look for that little blue verified check mark.