Law - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Obama administration says health subsidies will continue despite federal appeals court ruling

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The majority opinion concluded that the law, as written, "unambiguously" restricts subsides to consumers in exchanges established by a state. That would invalidate an Internal Revenue Service regulation that tried to sort out confusing wording in the law by concluding that Congress intended for consumers in all 50 states to have subsidized coverage. More>>

WV DHHR caseworker in Logan County admits to filing fake claims, pocketing more than $58,000 in benefits

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Shannon Collins, 41, of Logan, a former caseworker in West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Logan County office, obtained more than $58,000 in benefits by filing false claims.

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UPDATE: Youth Services Systems Responds After Corrections Officer Accused of Sex Crime Video included

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A West Virginia Division of Corrections officer has been charged with having sexual contact with a female juvenile inmate at the Lincoln Detention Center in Wheeling. More>>

Beckley man faces up to 20 years in federal prison for dealing heroin in Stanaford, WV

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Jason Kaylor, 31, of Beckley, West Virginia, is facing up to 20 years in prison after admitting in federal court he sold heroin to a police informant in Raleigh County.
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Pursuing justice in Mingo County

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Michael Sparks, the former Mingo County prosecutor whose testimony toppled corrupt politicians charged with using public office for private gain, said the reason he didn’t request immunity from prosecution was simple enough. More>>

Website, operator win appeal in defamation suit

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Huddleston Bolen recently scored a victory in a long-running legal battle over content posted on an online gossip website, TheDirty.com. More>>

Proposed settlement would use $2.9 million in insurance money from Freedom Industries for projects benefiting the public

ELBERT MOSLEY / WOWK-TV ELBERT MOSLEY / WOWK-TV
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A proposed settlement filed Friday in the Freedom Industries class action lawsuit would use $2.9 million in insurance proceeds to fund projects for the public good, like assessing the long-term consequences of the Jan. 9 chemical spill that contaminated drinking water in a nine-county region of southern West Virginia.
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71-year-old attacked with baseball bat, robbed outside Maysel, West Virginia nightspot

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West Virginia State Police are looking for an armed robber who assaulted a 71-year-old businessman in Maysel, West Virginia, with a baseball bat. William B. Vineyard, 71, said he’d just left Jesse Sez Restaurant/Bar in Maysel  after closing when an unknown white male approached him, struck him with the bat and robbed him of a large sum of money.
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Ohio drug dealer who bit WV State Trooper during 2012 traffic stop loses appeal of 35-year prison sentence

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Robin Earl Slater, 52, of Langsville, Ohio, had a felony record, six loaded guns, thousands of dollars in cash and detailed drug ledgers in his possession when he bit a state trooper in the arm during a traffic stop in St. Albans, West Virginia, in 2012.
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Customers throughout E-ZPass network in eastern U.S. report phishing emails

Patrick Morrisey Patrick Morrisey
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Consumers who receive phishing emails purporting to be from E-ZPass should report the email to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, as well as the state Consumer Protection Division, Attorney General Patrick Morrisey advises. More>>

4th Circuit Court of Appeals dismisses former Upper Big Branch mine superintendent Gary May's appeal

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A federal appeals court has dismissed former Upper Big Branch mine superintendent Gary May’s appeal of his 21 month prison sentence.
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2 Indicted on Murder Charges in 1999 Disappearance of 2 Lewis County Women

Charles Freeman Charles Freeman
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Two men have been indicted by a Lewis County grand jury on murder charges.Charles Steven Freeman, 51, of Archbold, Ohio, was re-arrested Wednesday on murder charges and Joseph Metz, of Weston, was re-arrested on the charge in January 2014 in connection to the 1999 disappearance of Mary Friend, 46 and Maxine Stalnaker, 69.The men were indicted in the July term of the grand jury on July 15, according to the indictment in Lewis County Circuit Court. Freeman, Metz, 39, and David Hughes, 58, were ... More>>

Three sentenced in Beckley to federal drug law violations

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Three men were sentenced to prison for federal drug violations while a fourth entered a guilty plea this week in federal court in Beckley, U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin reports.  More>>

Morrisey: Apple Inc. settlement is an important victory for electronic book consumers in WV

Patrick Morrisey Patrick Morrisey
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Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said West Virginia consumers could receive as much as $1.7 million as part of a $400 million settlement between Apple Inc. and 33 states and territories to resolve a price-fixing lawsuit against the company. More>>

Businessman, former Mountain Laurel warehouse manager admit paying kickbacks

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Stephen B. Herndon, 37, and Scott Ellis, 44, both of Holden, West Virginia,  face up to five years in  federal prison after admitting they structured hundreds of thousands of dollars in withdrawals in order to pay kickbacks to obtain contracts at Arch Coal's Mountain Laurel complex. More>>

Six arrested during warrant sweep based on prostitution stings in Huntington

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Huntington Police arrested six people during a warrant sweep earlier this week on Sixth Avenue, bringing the total number of prostitution arrests since March to 20. More>>

Trial Postponed for Fairmont Man Charged in Locust Avenue Quadruple Homicide Video included

Sidney Muller Sidney Muller
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The trial for a Fairmont man charged in a Harrison County quadruple homicide has been postponed. More>>

Huntington man sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for dealing heroin in his community

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 Brandon S. Keaton, 28, was sentenced to 15 months behind bars after admitting he sold heroin in his community.
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Hearing Examiner Appointed to Clarksburg Code Enforcement Complaint

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A hearing examiner has been named to handle a complaint filed by the West Virginia Fire Commission about the city of Clarksburg's Code Enforcement office.  More>>

Two plead guilty to lying to federal agents probing Mountain Laurel mining complex kickback scheme

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A man who paid kickbacks to the general manager of Arch Coal’s Mountain Laurel mining complex and another who accepted them each pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents. Ronald Barnette, 53, of Holden, West Virginia, and Gary Griffith, 62, of Oceana, West Virginia, each face up to five years in prison. More>>

Trial Begins in October for Superintendent Indicted by Grand Jury Investigating Steubenville Rape Case Video included

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A trial date has been set for Mike McVey, the Steubenville City Schools superintendent who was indicted by the Grand Jury investigating the Steubenville rape case. More>>

Trial For Bridgeport Mayor Rescheduled for December

Mario Blount Mario Blount
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The trial date for former Bridgeport Best Care pharmacist Mario Blount and his two co-defendants has been rescheduled for December 1.  More>>

Motorists advised to ignore email purporting to be from E-ZPass

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Scammers are trying to frighten E-ZPass users by telling them they owe unpaid tolls and asking them to click on a link to get more information and pay the fees. The email, however, is not legitimate. More>>

Hinton, West Virginia man sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for dealing drugs

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Michael Harshaw, 38, of Hinton, West Virginia, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for using his phone in October 2012 to make arrangements to sell five oxycodone pills to a person cooperating with police, while Tiffany Rose Arbogast, 24, of Lewisburg, faces up to 20 years in prison after admitting to distributing heroin in Lewisburg in December 2012. More>>

US jails struggle with role as makeshift asylums

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Experts have pointed to rising numbers of inmates with mental illnesses since the 1970s, after states began closing psychiatric hospitals without following through on promises to create and sustain comprehensive community treatment programs. More>>

WVU doctoral candidate finds link between inmate ink, recidivism

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Studying the link between inmate tattoos and recidivsm has earned Kaitlyn Wolf, a doctoral candidate in economics at West Virginia University, an invitation to the fifth Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences, a gathering of Nobel economics laureates from all over the world. More>>

Sparks provides crack in criminal Team Mingo schemes

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Government prosecutors recently described 44-year-old Michael Sparks as the “crack in the wall of silence” that brought down a lawless judge, county commissioner and magistrate — the guy on the inside, privy to the inner workings of a corrupt political organization known as Team Mingo and willing to tell authorities what he knew and when. More>>

Hunt for Heroin: Special task force targets dangerous drug

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Police in Kanawha County are on the hunt for heroin to get it off the streets. More>>

Two admit to heroin trafficking in White Sulphur Springs, Alderson communities

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Amanda Nicole Canaday, 26, of White Sulphur Springs, and Joshua Daniel Osborne, 31, of Lima, Ohio, admitted to trafficking in heroin in West Virginia. Canady had 56 packets of heroin in her apartment that she intended to sell there, while Osborne said he drove to Columbus to get heroin to sell in the Alderson area.

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New magistrate sworn into office in Mingo County

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Jim Harvey, top vote-getter in the Democratic primary election in May, was sworn in Thursday, July 10, as the new Mingo county magistrate. More>>

Public swearing in held for new Mingo Circuit Judge Miki Thompson

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Thompson was originally sworn in June 11 as judge of the Thirtieth Judicial Circuit in a private ceremony so she could start work that day. This week, a public swearing-in was held to celebrate her appointment. More>>

Tips from neighbors lead to arrest of 3 people on drug charges in Huntington

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Huntington authorities credit “numerous tips” by residents concerned with drug activity in their neighborhood led to the arrests of three people, two of them from Detroit. More>>

Logan County businessman involved in Arch Coal kickback scheme pleads guilty to not collecting employment taxes

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Alvis Porter, 61, of Logan, owner of Quality Oil Inc., could spend up to five years in prison for not collecting federal employment taxes. Porter is one of 10 people charged in connection with a kickback scheme at Arch Coal's Mountain Laurel mining complex. 

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Landlords Suing City of Morgantown Over New Developments at WVU

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David and Richard Biafora of Metro Rentals, and Dan Shearer want the city to inspect and charge certain inspection fees on development associated with WVU. More>>

Logan man involved in Arch Coal kickback scheme admits filing fraudulent tax returns

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Gary Roeher, 52, of Holden, Logan County, West Virginia, admitted his role in a kickback scheme at Arch Coal’s Mountain Laurel Mining Complex. He faces up to three years in prison after admitting to filing fraudulent tax returns in 2010 and 2011. More>>

Bluewell, West Virginia, man sentenced to eight years and a month for possessing child pornography

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Johnny Richard Rowe, 61, of Bluewell, Mercer County, West Virginia, man  was sentenced to eight years plus one month in prison after authorities caught him with 728 images and 14 videos of children engaged in pornographic acts. More>>

Federal prisoner sentenced to additional 15 months in prison for possessing homemade knife

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Billy Williams, 25, an inmate at the federal prison at McDowell was sentenced to 15 additional months behind bars for possessing a weapon, a homemade knife, while incarcerated.   
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WVU establishes Forensic & Investigative Science department

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West Virginia University has established a Department of Forensic Investigative Science, recognition of the growth of forensic and investigative sciences as a career path over the past two decades. More>>

WV Supreme Court says Pocahontas County residents must pay refuse service fees

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The state Supreme Court rejected an appeal by some Pocahontas County residents who don't think they should have to pay mandatory garbage fees if they recycle, compost and make use of "free days" at the local landfill.  More>>

Claims office opens in Nitro to assist residents, students and workers get benefits for Monsanto dioxin exposure

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Beginning Tuesday, July 8, the court-appointed administrator of the Nitro Class Action Settlement, Thomas V. Flaherty, will have an office in Nitro, WV through Oct. 31 to help individuals who qualify obtain benefits. More>>

Former Mingo prosecutor Michael Sparks sentenced to 12 months in prison

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Judge Thomas Johnston said he would have given Sparks a longer sentence if it would have been possible under state statute. Sparks also was sentenced to one year of probation after his release along with a $500 fine.  More>>

Fugitive Arrested in Monongalia County, Confesses to Burying Infant in National Forest

Joseph Christy Joseph Christy
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Joseph Christy was a fugitive from justice for escape in Colorado Springs, Co. He had also stolen a vehicle from Iowa. More>>

WV enters into 31st concealed carry handgun reciprocity agreement

Patrick Morrisey Patrick Morrisey
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Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said July 7 West Virginia has full gun reciprocity with Nebraska, making it the 31st state to have an agreement with the Mountain State. Morrisey said the agreement ensures citizens’ concealed handgun licenses issued by either state will be recognized by the other. More>>

Federal judge in Martinsburg, West Virginia, sends 10 to prison for violating probation

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Nine Martinsburg, West Virginia, residents and another from Keyser were sentenced to federal prison for breaking the law while they were on supervised release or probation. More>>

Federal judge sends 6 to prison in WV for violating terms of their probation

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Six defendants had their probation or supervised releases revoked in U.S. District in Elkins and Martinsburg in June for violating the terms of their release. More>>

Four headed to federal prison for violating terms of their release

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Four men are headed to prison for violating the terms of their supervised release or probation, U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld reports.  More>>

August trial set in Kanawha park timbering case

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David Russell Bowen is charged with destruction of property, wrongful injury to timber and obtaining by false pretenses. More>>

Former Mingo judge Michael Thornsbury, 3 other public employees stripped of pensions for job-related felony convictions

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Disgraced Mingo County judge Michael Thornsbury has been stripped of his nearly $95,000 a year pension, along with three other public employees convicted of wrongdoing. More>>