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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus announced last month it was going to stop using elephants in its shows. So this weekend at the circus in Charleston, the elephants may be making their last stop in Charelston. The regulations over elephant-handling methods are the reason for the decision to go without elephants according to the Charleston Gazette, since the regulations can change across the country and there are different bans when it comes to control devices like leashes and bullhooks. Hundreds turned out Thursday to watch the elephants in the annual Pachyderm Picnic outside Charleston Town Center. The circus runs through Sunday at the Charleston Civic Center.
Brazilian petrochemical company Odebrecht and plastics maker Braskem say they will re-evaluate an ethane cracker they proposed to build in West Virginia. The companies say in a statement that a re-evaluation of the project's configuration is needed under current energy scenarios. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's spokesman, Chris Stadelman, says the re-evaluation is understandable because of changes in worldwide energy markets and the magnitude of investment. Cracker plants crack or convert ethane into ethylene, a widely used chemical compound. Ethane is a byproduct of natural gas drilling. The proposed ASCENT project would include an ethane cracker, three polyethylene plants and associated infrastructure. The complex would be located in Wood County. Stadelman says Tomblin and Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette will continue to work with the companies.
Sentencing has been delayed for a Charleston pharmacy owner who pleaded guilty to making a false statement in a health care matter. The Charleston Daily Mail reports a federal judge in Charleston pushed back the sentencing for Paula J. Butterfield from May 28 to Aug. 4. Butterfield faces up to five years in prison and also pleaded guilty on behalf of her business, Trivillian's Pharmacy, to health care fraud and misbranding drugs. The pharmacy faces a fine, up to 10 years of probation and restitution, and Butterfield herself faces up to 5 years in prison. Prosecutors have said Butterfield admitted the pharmacy dispensed compounded drugs and generic drugs and billed Medicare and Medicaid for brand name drugs, which are more expensive. Butterfield submitted false claims to Medicare on her own behalf.
A federal jury has ordered an assistant police chief in Gilbert to pay $7,500 in medical bills apiece for two Mingo County men who claimed their civil rights were violated when they were beaten by officers in 2011. The Charleston Gazette reports the jury in Charleston also ordered assistant police chief Nathan Glanden to pay $2,500 apiece in compensatory damages and $2,500 in punitive damages to Bobby Lester and Jimmy West. Lester and West filed a lawsuit in 2013 against Glanden, the town of Gilbert, another officer, the West Virginia State Police and one of its troopers. Glanden accused the men of stealing his gun, then brought other officers to the men's home.
The University of Charleston is breaking ground on a replacement for its gymnasium this week. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for today for a new arena and learning center called the Russell and Martha Wehrle Innovation Center. Construction is expected to start next month. The $15.5 million complex is scheduled to be completed in fall 2016. The arena will replace the Eddie King Gym, which was built in 1947 and is the oldest facility on campus.
A suspect in a fatal shooting in Elkins has been captured in Webster County. Derek Adamson was arrested around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. Police say the victim died from a gunshot wound to the head. The shooting occurred around 1 a.m. Tuesday at the downtown Elkins Railyard Depot. Elkins Police Chief Craig Cross tells media outlets that the suspect stole a car from a convenience store parking and fled after the shooting.
The annual picnic featuring elephants from the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus is happening tomorrow, after a rainy forecast changed the plan for it to happen today. The Pachyderm Picnic lets the elephants dine a picnic of fresh fruits and vegetables, and bread from Panera Bread company. Anyone can show up and watch, and the Charleston Town Center hosts at 1:30 p.m. Thursay at the Clendenin Street mall entrance. Before the elephants get their picnic, celebrity chefs will compete in an Iron Chef style competition. The circus perofrms a the Charleston Civic Center Thursday through Sunday.
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is backing Hillary Clinton as the Democratic Party's nominee in the 2016 presidential race. Manchin waited until the 2008 Democratic primary was a foregone conclusion before extending his support to President Barack Obama. Clinton had already thrown her support behind Obama at that point. In 2012, Manchin said he wasn't sure he would vote for Obama, and chose not to attend the Democratic National Convention. Clinton announced her candidacy earlier this month.
There's a benefit concert coming up tonight at 8 at the Empty Glass on Elizabeth Street in Charleston. There's a $10 cover, and proceeds will help the Mountaineer Food Bank to help with its cash crunch. The money problems have been so bad that the food bank could even close. The food bank serves 48 of West Virginia's 55 counties, and hundreds of food pantries depend on Mountaineer Food Bank to survive.
After a robbery at Foodland in Kanawha City in August 2014, five people have pleaded guilty. The robbery and shooting left clerk Shawna Sampson wounded with a gunshot to the chest. WCHS TV reports John Paul Proctor, who fired the shots, and Levi Lanham and Telisa McCauley pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery with the use of a firearm in Kanawha Cirtcuit Court on Monday. Ricky Jerome Patterson pleaded guilty to conspiracy, and Alisyn Proctor pleaded guilty to assault in the commission of a felony. Sentencing is set for July 25.