Breaking Local News
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin named Rocco Fucillo the acting Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources last month, and now a restructing appears to be taking place. The top three administrators there are on reassignment leave. That includes John Law, assistant secretary for communications; Susan Perry, deputy secretary for legal services; and Jennifer Taylor, general counsel. Former Secretary Dr. Michael Lewis announced his resignation as secretary for health reasons.
A Georgia company that makes chemical compounds can't sell it's products in West Virginia. A preliminary injunction was issued in Putnam County Circuit Court, and keeps Nutragenomics Manufacturing, LLC from selling bath salts and other synthetic chemicals here. The State Attorney General's office also says the company has to reveal a database of West Virginians who bought products from the company dating back to 2008. This injuntion is part of a broader lawsuit against the company for distributing synthetic drugs.
West Virginia agriculture leaders want your input about the use of poultry litter and swine manure. A new rule would keep it three miles away from primary poultry breeder operations, unless the litter and manure have been certified as free of disease by the state veterinarian. It's an effort to prevent diseases like salmonella and avian influenza, that can be spread through poultry and swine litter. You have until August 10 to comment.
A body found in the Elk River has now been identified as that of a man who was reported missing recently. Sheriff's divers combing the river near Walgrove and Blue Creek Roads found the body, which has been I-D'd as that of 48-year-old Rex Hughes. Hughes lived nearby and his personal effects were found on the river bank near where divers located his body. Family members said he swam there occasionally and reported him missing when he failed to return home from a trip down to the river.
Ernest Young Jr. has pleaded guilty to second degree murder in the death of 81-year-old Wilfred Naylor. Young is accused of beat Naylor to death with a nightstick at his home in June 2011. Young claims Naylor made advances toward him and attacked him. After striking a plea deal with prosecutors, Young's charges were reduced to second degree murder. He offered testimony in another Kanawha County murder case to get the deal. Young will be sentenced in August and will have to spend between 10 and 40 years behind bars. The state has recommended 20 years
A body has been found in the Elk River. Search crews with the Kanawha County Sheriff's office searched the river last night after a man was reported missing. All of the man's belongings were found at his home nearby and the search was conducted near Walgrove and Blue Creek Roads. It hasn't been confirmed yet that that body found is that of the missing man.
William Dale Clere of Charleston was sentenced this week to 10 to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing his teenage stepdaughter. Clere pleaded guilty in May, and this week at the sentencing hearing showed remorse and asked the judge for mercy. After a decade plus in jail, Clere will also be required to register as a sex offender and will be on supervised release for twenty years.
A Lincoln County Commissioner Thomas Ramey is expected to plead guilty to charges related to a voting fraud scheme. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced Tuesday that Thomas Ramey has been charged with knowingly making false statements to investigators, saying he didn't know who altered absentee ballot applications after they were filed with the Lincoln County Clerk's office. Investigators believe Ramey told someone to make the changes. The US Attorney's office has requested a hearing as part of the plea deal process.
Nitro residents have a new way to stay connected. Police briefed the city council this week on a new text-alert system that sends updates about everything from emergency alerts to local community events. Nitro Police are coordinating with St. Albans police on the same alert system for what they call "geographically specific" emergencies. Everyone hopes there's not a next time, but if the June 29 storms and power outages happen again the new system would provide a way to stay updated. Text "nitrowvpd" to 888777 to get signed up.
State lawmakers are talking about the Abandoned Land Mine Trust fund, and the cap that Congress implemented recently. More than 20 other states are affected by the cap and will lose federal money that they've become accustomed to, West Virginia included. The new bill limits total annual AML payments to certified states or Indian tribes to no more than $15 million. According to the Interstate Mining Compact Commission, funding will have to be forfeited by uncertified coal-producing states. West Virgnia stands to lost $102 million. Wyoming stands to lose the most, at $700 million over 10 years.