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A West Virginia State Museum construction subcontractor appealed after the company was ordered to pay its employees West Virginia prevailing wages. That appeal has been rejected by the state Supreme Court. The ruling upholds a Kanawha Circuit Court ruling ordering Themeworks Inc. of High Springs, Fla., to pay 33 employees over $222,000 in back wages. Employees were paid between $10 and $20 per hour to work on a project at the museum, and a Division of Labor audit in 2009 concluded they should have been paid the state prevailing wage as carpenters, which is $38.06 per hour.
Two former Lincoln County officials will wait to learn their fate. Sentencing for former Sheriff Jerry Bowman and ex county clerk Donald Whitten will be delayed until later in the summer to give federal prosecutors more time to develop the defendants' cooperation in a vote fraud investigation. The sentencing date had been set for tomorrow, but now it's August 29th. Three months ago Bowman pleaded guilty to conspiring to stuff the primary ballot box while running for circuit clerk, and Whitten pleaded guilty to lying to an investigator for the Secretary of State about it.
There were two accidents last night on Interstate 77 near Sissonville. A tractor-trailer jackknifed, then there was a rollover crash that shut down both lanes of Interstate 77 at the Edens Fork Road Exit. Both north and southbound traffic was shut down at that exit for a time.
A semi ran off the road last night on Interstate 77 and landed on New Stone Ridge Road, which had both southbound lanes shut down. The big rig hit an empty SUV that was sitting on the side of the road, then went over the hill and crashed, according to emergency crews. The truck driver was taken to the hospital, and there's no word on his condition.
Last week a decision came down that bans tobacco use on West Virginia University's main campus in Morgantown. Other schools could follow suit. Marshall University has announced plans to study limiting smoking, or imposing an all-out ban on its campus. Marshall Chief of Staff Matt Turner tells the Associated Press that WVU's ban probably will bring the issue more to the forefront at other institutions, including Marshall. The student body president at Marshall concurred.
The interim President of Mountain State University in Beckley says the school is overcoming the problems of the past. Changes include a new administrative structure, smaller teaching loads and and new planning processes, according to the Register-Herald. Interim President Richard Sours wrote in a letter to the community that the phrase "the new MSU" applies. A decision is pending on whether Mountain State it will keep its accreditation after the school was put on "show-cause'' status last year over what the board said were weaknesses in governance, leadership and faculty. A decision could come in July.
In a few weeks you may notice new artwork on display at Charleston's East End. Photographs of the original art will be reprinted on metal signs on lamposts on Washington Street East. It's the first time this type of artwork has been attempted in Charleston. The photos will go up sometime after June 17 and will stay up indefinitely. The original art is on display now in a Facebook album to give the public the chance to view the art now, ahead of the East End Main Street art auction. Prebidding is on now, and fetches anywhere from $25 to over $2000. The auction is a fundraiser for the art celebration, and 50 percent of the proceeds go to the artist. The East End Main Street StreetWorks Art Auction is this Sunday evening at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
A memorial service is planned for Robert Snow today as police continue their investigation into his murder. The service will be at 1 p.m. at Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home. Prima Marketing LLC and 7-Eleven, Inc. are offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who provides information resulting in apprehension, arrest and conviction of the person responsible for his death. He was a district manager of 7-11 stores in the Kawnawha Valley.
The West Virginia Department of Agriculture is taking nominations now for the 2012 West Virginia Women in Agriculture program. Nominations should include as much detail as possible about the nominee's agricultural career. Induction is granted to women who have made significant contributions to the establishment, development, advancement or improvement of the state agriculture industry. Nominations are due by this Friday, June 15.
The accident that killed a politician over the weekend is still under investigation. Marion County Democratic Party Delegate Don "Butch" Furbee of Fairmont, was killed after his SUV left MacCorkle Avenue and hit the side of Faith Missionary Baptist Church early Saturday. A release from the Kanawha County Sheriff's Department says it happened at 1:43am Saturday. Furbee's car was heading West Bound, left the road, crossed both lanes of traffic before hitting the church. Furbee was not wearing his seatbelt. He was pronounced dead on the scene. State Democratic Party Chair Larry Puccio confirms that Furbee left a party reception earlier that night and was dropped off at the Charleston Marriott. No one knows where he went from there or why he would be in Saint Albans. The investigation continues.