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A man accused of sending threats and racial slurs to President Obama and his family is from West Virginia, and will be in court today before a federal magistrate. 20-year old Ryan Kirker McMechen of Marshall County is accused of sending a letter to the President in April, with the phrase "KKK forever," along with threats and profanity. An affidavit from a U.S. Secret Service agent said forensic experts also determined that Kirker had written of his plan to someone named John in late March. That letter allegedly mentioned a weapon and his ability to obtain armor-piercing ammunition.
A naturalization ceremony Monday morning at the Robert C. Byrd Courthouse in Charleston gave US citizenship to 45 people. Those folks took the oath of allegiance for citizenship before US District Judge, and included people from India, Croatia, and Pakistan. Some of them registered to vote after becoming official West Virginia residents.
In a second fatal train accident of the weekend, a 55-year old man was hit and killed Saturday afternoon. Police said Michael Pierson of St. Albans was sitting next to the tracks, and got up and tried to cross the tracks as the train approached. He stumbled on the tracks and didn't make it off the tracks in time. It happened just west of B street. About four months ago in the same area, another man died after walking along the tracks.
An accident involving a train Friday evening left a pedestrian dead. It happened Friday around 9pm on Paint Creek Road and MacCorkle Avenue in Hansford. The victim died at the scene after CSX workers said an Amtrack train struck the person, and investigators are looking into the possibility that it may have been suicide. Witnesses said the conductor sounded the horn and started to slow down, but the man never moved.
There will be no moonshine distillery in Ravenswood. Appalachian Mountain Distillery had entertained the idea of putting in the distillery, but decided to look for another site in Jackson County after some Ravenswood residents opposed the idea. Mayor Michael Ihle said the city's zoning ordinance also was a factor. The proposed site isn't zoned for a wholesale distillery. The distillery would have been located near the Independent United Brethren Church and a church member led a petition drive to keep the distillery away. The company still wants to find a site in Jackson County.
More jobs could be on their way to Charleston as a company expands. Energy Corporation of America broke ground Friday on its new area headquarters at the Northgate Business Park, and with the expansion it's expected to add at least 50 new high paying jobs to its workforce of 150. The Clay Center also recently received a gift of $600,000 rom Energy Corporation of America for a new exhibit that will be energy and education focused.
A man is facing charges for selling bootleg movies. WSAZ.com reports Damon Brown was selling the movies on DVD, in the parking lot of several businesses in Charleston. Tips came in with a description matching Brown's, and an off-duty St. Albans police officer was approached by Brown. A search of his vehicle turned up a box filled with more than 460 DVDs. He's been charged with unauthorized transferal or recorded sounds; sale and possession
The FBI is honoring two West Virginia State Police troopers who were killed during a 2012 traffic stop. Cpl. Marshall Bailey and Trooper Eric Workman were remembered Thursday at the FBI's complex in Clarksburg at an annual memorial ceremony for fallen West Virginia officers. Bailey and Workman were fatally shot last August following a traffic stop near the Interstate 79 interchange at Wallback. Their assailant also shot and wounded a Roane County deputy and a tow truck driver before he was killed in a shootout with other officers.
The head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration said one Lincoln County coal mine had several violations when federal inspectors showed up unannounced. Coal River Mining's Fork Creek No. 1 mine got four closure orders and 10 citations during special impact inspections last month. That included 31 locations where cords were entwined in bolt rollers and hangers, which creates a potential fire and smoke inhalation hazard. Inspectors also found hazardous conditions on conveyor belts, and cited failures to follow ventilation and dust-control plans, among other things.
Federal highway data show that nearly 1,000 bridges in West Virginia are structurally deficient. On a sufficiency scale of 0 to 100, the Federal Highway Administration rates seven bridges in the state as 0. But West Virginia Department of Transportation spokesman Brent Walker told the Charleston Gazette that the federal ratings don't mean the state's bridges are unsafe. The ratings serve as a guideline to prioritize the use of federal funds. Any bridge that scores below 80 is eligible for renovation or rehabilitation. A score below 50 makes a bridge eligible for federal replacement.