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Agencies continue to analyze their response to the June 29 storms to see how the emergency responses were handled, and what should be improved upon. Beckely city officials have put together a report that identifies strengths and will provide recommendations for improvement in the face of power outages, blocked roads, limited communications, and restricted supplies of water and ice, in case there is a next time. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin is in the process of appealing a recent FEMA decision to deny a request for individual assistance to help homeowners impacted by the storm.
Meetings all day on Saturday turned out to be productive for union workers who were trying to avoid a strike against Special Metals. There are reports that members of the United SteelWorkers have reached to a tentative agreement on a contract with Special Metals and that would keep 700 workers at work, instead of sending them to a strike.
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller revealed more about his stance on the coal industry in a recent interview withThe Associated Press. Rockefeller has reached out to the coal industry for help drafting upcoming legislation to cut down on carbon dioxide and still achieve the benefits of coal. Rockefeller has been critical of coal operators for being negative, and for claiming there's a war on coal.
A Salt Lake City man was sentenced Friday to two years and three months in federal prison for mortgage fraud. Michael S. Hurd was sentenced in federal court in Charleston for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. Court records show Hurd was involved with a Utah man and a woman from Hurricane in the scheme. Deborah Joyce of Hurrican has already been sentenced to nearly four years for selling property in a Hurricane subdivision at inflated prices.
A homicide on Charleston's west side has police investigating. Investigators say 36-year old John Allen Rogers Jr. was found dead on the railroad tracks about 8 a.m. Saturday near the corner of Wyoming and Madison Streets, and had been shot multiple times. Someone reported hearing shots about 7 hours earlier, but police didn't find anything then. Daylight led to the body being discovered. Rogers may have previously lived in Rand but was currently staying in Charleston near relatives, according to police.
Federal assistance has been denied to individuals after the June 29 storms, and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has called the for federal government to reconsider that decision. West Virginia's congressional delegation supports the Governor. All five West Virginia Congressional representatives wrote a joint letter to President Barack Obama appealing the FEMA decision, and requested a meeting with FEMA administrator W. Craig Fugate.
Two men who were part of the Constellium strike have been arrested. Police took the two into custody last night along a picket line in Ravenswood for damaging three delivery trucks and injuring a driver. Robert Mason Sullivan, II of Evans and Michael Robert Fowler of Mount Alto face felony destruction of property for throwing jack rocks, which are nails welded together at the trucks that were trying to leave the Constellium plant on Wednesday, according to a press release from the West Virginia State Police. One of the drivers was left with an injured eye. The strike starte early this week after failed contract negotiations.
Charleston police have now arrested three out of four suspects they think are responsible for a robbery. 27-year old Angela Dawn Young and 26-year old Terrance Lowell Ramsey were taken into custody Wednesday evening, after 25-year old Bryan April Pugh was arrested. Police are still looking for Pugh's boyfriend, 39-year old Ronald Edward Tinsley. The four are accused of robbing a man July 25 in the 400 block of Elm Street, according to police. Anyone with with information on Tinsley's whereabouts should call Charleston Police.
Kristen Vieweg is an attorney who has worked in Kanawha County Magistrate Court for the past five years, and officially took over the slot vacated for by Carol Fouty yesterday. Fouty resigned Aug. 3 after 26 years. Fouty faces ethics violations, and submitted a resignation last week citing health reasons and a desire to spend more time with family. Vieweg has been sworn in as a new magistrate and will fill the rest of Fouty’s term - five months.
A new report from the Institute for a Competitive Workforce gives a failing grade to West Virginia colleges and universities. Mountain State was one of only four in the nation that received an "F" for not meeting the standards employers demand from four-year institutions. Two-year colleges didn't do a lot better, receiving "D's." College graduates in West Virginia who receive a bachelor's degree earn just $12,700 more annually than those who just graduate from high school. And the report shows college graduates here have an unemployment rate that is a mere two points better than those high school graduates. The West Virginia Legislature has already increased its oversight of higher education with a new bill passed in the 2012 session.