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Judge Michael Thornsbury is set to plead guilty today to his alleged role in covering up drug allegations against the late Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum. This story has started to make national news now - ABC News for one. The US Attorney's Office says there is a plea agreement with Judge Thornsbury, meaning he'll plead guilty to violating the Sixth Amendment by depriving a criminal defendant his right to legal counsel of his choice, and other charges will be dropped. The maximum penalty for Thornsbury's accpeted charge is 10 years. Prosecutors say Thornsbury, along with Mingo County prosecutor Michael Sparks and County Commissioner David Baisden, came up with a scheme to save Crum's reputation by stopping an FBI informant from revealing drug deals he allegedly made with the sheriff.
The same group that sued to overturn Virginia's marriage ban in August announced Tuesday that three West Virginia couples are suing. Lambda Legal is suing on behalf of the same sex couples, arguing that not allowing same sex marriage leaves the couples feeling like second class citizens. Nancy Michael and Jane Fenton of St. Albans, a along with their 6-year-old son, Drew, are among the couples suing.
Ten people are still recovering after a Sunday car accident.at Quincy Hollow and Route 60 in Kanawha County. Deputies say a Chevrolet Silverado pickup driven by 29-year old Heather Marchal of Campbell’s Creek, hit a vehicle in front of her which was stopped at an intersection. The impact forward damaged three other cars. Cpl Brian Humphreys says Marchal, her five children (aged 8 months to 11 years), and four others in the other vehicles were taken to area hospitals. Deputies found heroin in Marchal's car, but so far there are no charges. An investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact Deputy S. W. Hunter at 304-357-0169.
More now on a fatal accident that happened Monday night. The Kanawha County Sheriff's office says a driver who lost control was killed in a rollover accident on Bellwood Drive in the Lakewood area. When first responders arrived they found a black Toyota Avalon overturned in a ditch along the roadside, after hitting a metal storm water pass-through and becoming airborne.
The driver has been identified as 19 year old Ethan Charles Glenn, who died before first responders arrived. A passenger, 19 year old Donovan Goodwin, had just minor injuries.
Mingo County Commissioner David Baisden appeared in court Tuesday and pleaded guilty to a federal extortion charge. In court, Baisden admitted to demanding Appalachian Tire sell him tires for his personal vehicle at a discounted rate reserved for government vehicles. Baisden will be sentenced in January, and will face a maximum of 20 years in prison. He also has to resign from the Mingo County Commission before his sentencing. The investigation is ongoing into whether the late Sheriff Eugene Crum received prescription painkillers illegally. Baisden has also been mentioned in that investigation, as part of a possible cover up.
A foundation was set up after a settlement following the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster, and now the grants are starting to be awarded for research. US Attorney Booth Goodwin announced about $10 million in mine safety research grants have been awarded so far, that will help scientists work on making mines safer. West Virginia University and Virginia Tech are among those receiving money to conduct studies. Alpha Natural Resources funded the foundation as part of its $209 million settlement that helped them avoid prosecution after the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster in 2010.
It's October 1, and that means the federal Health Insurance Marketplace is active, under President Obama's Affordable Care Act. To find out your health insurance options, just go to www.healthcare.gov and fill out your financial information, and it will tell you what health insurance options are available. If you're eligible for Medicaid - which in West Virginia is a $32,000 salary for a family of four - the website will help you apply. If you already have health insurance and like your coverage, there's no reason to log onto the marketplace. But if you want to window show, you can see if lower-cost options are available.
Changes in West Virginia's economic landscape will be explored today at the 20th annual Economic Outlook conference, held at the Embassy Suites in Charleston. Andy Bauer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's Baltimore branch will lay out the national picture. Economists with the West Virginia University Bureau of Business and Economic Research will then give their predictions on the outlook for the state. In the broad scopt, the conference will focus on important topics such as job and population growth, which industries are growing and which aren't, and West Virginia exports.
A driver who lost control was killed Monday night in a rollover accident in Kanawha County. It happened on Bellwood Drive in the Lakewood area, according to Metro 911 dispatchers. The driver died at the scene after losing control and flipping into a ravine. One passenger had minor injuries.
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that wanted to preserve benefits for bankrupt Patriot Coal's active and retired miners. The United Mine Workers of America filed the lawsuit last year, saying the companies set up spinoff companies to rid themselves of their benefits obligations. The lawsuit argued they were still responsible for those benefits under the federal Employee Retirement and Income Securities Act. But the judge sided with Peabody Energy and Arch Coal, ruling the law doesn't protect a pension fund's financial stability.
UMW President Cecil Roberts told The Charleston Gazette the union plans to appeal.