Breaking Local News

Former Prison Guard Sentenced for Incident with an Inmate

A former guard at the Federal Prison Camp in Alderson will spend more than a year behind bars for improperly touching an inmate. Richard Canterbury pleaded guilty in January to abusive sexual conduct involving a ward. He was sentenced on Wednesday in federal court in Beckley to 14 months in prison and must register as a sex offender, according to U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.

Hurricane Man Gets $20K in Unclaimed Property

State Treasurer John Perdue gave a 77-year-old Hurricane man an unclaimed property check for more than $20,000. John Legge's check was the result of liquidated stock shares and unredeemed dividends. After a lack of activity it was sent to the state Treasurer's Office. To search for unclaimed property, you can go to go to and click on the unclaimed property icon. A partial list of rightful owners is also published and inserted in newspapers twice a year.

Freedom Industries' Bankruptcy Plan is Rejected

A judge has rejected a $6.7 million bankruptcy plan by Freedom Industriesl. In a Charleston federal bankruptcy court filing Wednesday, Judge Ronald Pearson said Freedom Industries and state environmental regulators haven't agreed on cleanup terms at the Charleston spill site. Pearson ordered Freedom to comply with state cleanup orders. Freedom's plan would have offered spill victims $2.7 million. Professionals hired for the bankruptcy case would have received $2.2 million. Among other distributions, $150,000 would go toward spill site cleanup. Regulators want $1 million. An insurance settlement would provide $3.2 million. Ex-Freedom officials would contribute $3.1 million, which Pearson said initially seems inadequate.

Prosecutors Are Opposed to Blankenship's Trip

Federal prosecutors are opposing former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship's request to go home to Las Vegas for Memorial Day. A prosecution motion filed this week in Beckley federal court says Blankenship owns homes in several states. But there's little evidence of his ties to Las Vegas, other than his claiming residency there. Blankenship's attorneys asked U.S. District Judge Irene Berger last week to allow him to travel to Las Vegas to attend to personal matters, including a trip to a dentist. Blankenship is charged with conspiring to violate safety standards at Upper Big Branch, a former Massey mine where an explosion killed 29 men in 2010. During his case, his travel is restricted to West Virginia, Pike County, Kentucky, and Washington, D.C. Other travel requires judicial approval.

Diesel Spill Cancels Classes at Schools Wednesday

Two schools in Kanawha County canceled classes Wednesday after a diesel fuel spill. A food delivery truck spilled the fuel behind Cedar Grove Elementary School and that school, along with Cedar Grove Middle School dismissed students early. Kanawha County deputy emergency manager C.W. Sigman says an estimated 25 to 30 gallons of diesel fuel spilled and the schools were evacuated as a precaution.

Patriot Coal Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Patriot Coal Corp. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for the second time in three years. The company made the filing Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. It had emerged from an earlier bankruptcy case in December 2013 in Missouri. Patriot says it is involved in active negotiations for the sale of its operating assets to a strategic partner. Patriot has eight active mining complexes in West Virginia. It is based in Scott Depot and employs about 2,900 people. United Mine Workers of America spokesman Phil Smith says the union was reviewing the filing. He declined immediate comment.

State Police Look for Suspect That Stole a Patrol Vehicle

West Virginia State Police say one of its vehicles along with two guns and an officer's badge were stolen during a traffic stop. State Police issued an advisory Tuesday saying the blue-and-gold marked 2014 Ford Explorer was taken about 9 a.m. on U.S. 522 in Berkeley Springs. Police are searching for Dustin Hinckel and say he's considered armed and dangerous. He's got brown hair and a scar on his left arm. The vehicle was equipped with an AR-15 rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun.

Mom Files Suit on Behalf of Son for 2013 T-Shirt Incident

The mother of a teenager who was arrested for wearing a National Rifle Association T-shirt to school has filed a lawsuit against the Logan County Board of Education. The Charleston Gazette reports Tanya Lardieri filed the lawsuit in federal court last month on behalf of her son who was charged with disrupting an educational process and obstructing an officer after he was asked to turn the shirt inside out or face suspension by Logan Middle School staff two years ago. A judge dropped the charges. The lawsuit seeks $200,000 in compensatory damages and $250,000 in punitive damages.

Gov. Tomblin Leaves on Trade Mission Today

A trade mission to Japan starts today for Governor Tomlin, and continues through May 21. There will be several meetings with potential investors to try to attract more companies to West Virginia. The delgation is also hosting a seminar at Japan’s largest automotive trade show. The Charleston Gazette reports another highlight of the visit will include an address by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to the Nagoya Chamber of Commerce, and a reception hosted by the West Virginia University alumni chapter in Tokyo. The trade office in Japan opened in 1990, under then-Gov. Gaston Caperton, and a spokesperson says in that time West Virginia has seen over $2 billion in new investments from Japanese companies. Today, 20 Japanese companies operate in West Virginia and employ over 3,000.

WV Grads Earn Less

A new study puts says several West Virginia universities are near the bottom when it comes to how well grads exceed expected earnings. The Brookings Institution released the report last month and said among the seven West Vrignia public institutions on the list, only West Virginia University and Marshall University graduates are making higher mid-career earnings than alumni of roughly similar schools that accept similar students. West Virginia State University and Fairmont State University were among the worst. The Charleston Gazette reports the median WVU graduate actually makes 9.1 percent more than expected, at $78,600.

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