Breaking Local News
Police have arrested eight mountaintop removal mining protesters for trespassing at Alpha Natural Resources headquarters in Bristol, Virginia. For two hours Friday morning, protesters from Mountain Justice and Radical Action for Mountains and People's Survival say they blocked the entrance to Alpha. They oppose the opening of two new mines on Coal River Mountain in southern West Virginia. Both activist groups are based in West Virginia. The protest didn't prevent anyone from getting to work, but several locked themselves together and another dangled from a flagpole and hung a flag saying, "Save Coal River Mountain."
A former Mingo County judge who pleaded guilty to a corruption charge is appealing his 50-month prison sentence. The Williamson Daily News reports that Michael Thornsbury's attorney has filed a notice of appeal with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. Thornsbury pleaded guilty to conspiring to deprive campaign sign maker George White of his constitutional rights. Prosecutors said Thornsbury participated in a scheme to protect the late Sheriff Eugene Crum from accusations that the sheriff bought prescription painkillers from White. U.S. District Judge Thomas Johnston earlier this month agreed with prosecutors who argued that Thornsbury deserved more prison time than the 30 to 37 months suggested by federal sentencing guidelines.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning residents about a flood of counterfeit $10 bills. Morrisey says a Charleston bank recently alerted his office to a large number of bogus bills being passed at stores in the area. He says the bills all have the serial number IL 31448733B. The U.S. Secret Service says anyone who receives a counterfeit bill should try to note the description of the person passing it as well as any relevant license plate number. The recipient should then write his or her initials and the date in the white border area of the bill, place it in an envelope and turn it over to police or the Secret Service.
FestivALL got going in Charleston over the weekend, and despite the rainy start, the crowds turned out for concerts, 5K, and parade. Sunday the local chefs were showcased as part of Taste-of-ALL. Today you can catch the Dawn-til-Dusk East End Garden Showcase on the historic East End, and those participating gardens will be open all week. There's also a Meet-N-Greet for the Disney Jungle Book characters Baloo and Mowgli, and film screenings of Oscar-nominated animated shorts. Todand and tomorrow are also the days for West Virginia Squares, similar to the game show Hollywood Squares, but all of the questions will be West Virginia-based. Peter Marshall hosts, and PBS will be filiming it. Find out more at www.festivallcharleston.com
West Virginia state police are investigating after they say a trooper was injured in a hit-and-run accident along the West Virginia Turnpike. State police spokesman Lt. Michael Baylous says in a news release that Trooper D.R. White of the Parkways Authority detachment had stopped his cruiser to remove debris on Interstate 77. White was struck while walking back to his cruiser shortly after 5 a.m. Thursday north of Princeton. Baylous says the driver of the vehicle failed to stop and render aid. State Police are seeking information on the driver. State Police say White crawled back to his cruiser, where he called for medical assistance. He was treated and released from a hospital.
A lawsuit filed by two former Department of Health and Human Resources employees for raising concerns about an advertising contract has been dismissed. Kanawha Circuit Judge Jim Stucky granted the DHHR's motion for summary judgment last week. Former DHHR deputy secretary Susan Perry and former general counsel Jennifer Taylor filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the DHHR in 2012. Taylor, Perry and former DHHR spokesman John Law were reassigned in July 2012 after they objected to the handling of a six-figure advertising contract. They were eventually fired. The Charleston Gazette reports Stucky's dismissal order says Taylor and Perry "were engaged in wrongful conduct" when they intervened in the contract.
A Fayette County man has been charged in the death of a Bradley man whose body was found inside his business. Media outlets reported the Raleigh County sheriff's department charged Don Douglas Dicken, 34, with murder on Wednesday. The body of Glenn L. Farrow, 47, was found May 16 inside People's Auto Garage off State Route 16 in Bradley. Police said Farrow had been beaten. Dicken was lodged in the Southern Regional Jail pending a bond hearing. Jail records didn't indicate whether Dicken has an attorney.
A family court judge has kept the domestic violence protective order against Kanawha County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants. The petition was granted several weeks ago at the request of Plants' ex-wife Allison, after an incident involving the couple's son in February. The domestic violence petition has been extended through September 17th.
The Putnam County Sheriff's Office has identified an accident victim this week. Deputies said Gabriel Michael Collins of Hurricane was cutting a 24-foot tree on Tuesday that had been debranched, and it apparently rolled downhill and on top of him. Collins died of blunt force trauma to the head. The accident happened on Buff Creek Road outside of Hurricane.
A Department of Health and Human Resources official says the agency might need additional funding to implement new drinking water safety legislation. The law requires water systems across the state to craft plans to protect their water supplies. The DHHR's Bureau for Public Health oversees the plans' creation. The bureau's director of public health regulations, Ann Goldberg, says the bureau projects the program to cost nearly $1.9 million in its first year. The cost is expected to decline in future years. The Legislature allocated $1.5 million for the bureau's work after the January 9th chemical spill.