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REGISTER HERALD THE

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Beckley, West Virginia ◆ Single copy: 75 cents

UC-Beckley to add sports in fall Tomblin rejects

advisory council idea for funding drug treatment

By Jim Workman ASSISTANT MANAGING EDITOR

The Golden Eagles will fly in Beckley, beginning this fall. On Wednesday, UCBeckley announced its plan to add athletics, starting with the 2013-14 school year. “We are very pleased to field sports in Beckley beginning this fall,” said University of CharlestonBeckley President Dr. Jerry Forster. “Intercollegiate athletics is a vital piece of campus life. The recruitment of student-athletes to UC-Beckley is very important to building a strong academic institution. “To rebuild on the oncampus numbers and enhance the student experience, we’re excited about athletic programs playing a role in that,” he added. The first teams to wear UC-Beckley jerseys will be men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. Other sports are being explored for the future as well. The recruitment for coaches and student-athletes will begin immediately, according to Dr. Forster. Because UC-Beckley is a satellite campus of the University of Charleston and falls under the same accreditation as UC, Beckley-based teams this fall will initially be of junior varsity level, competing under NCAA Division II standards. Application by UC-Beckley to the NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics), the athletic governing body that Mountain State University competed under, was denied. It was a lengthy process which began last fall, shortly after UC announced its intentions to participate in a teach-out plan for MSU students and ultimately take over the Beckley campus following MSU’s closing Dec. 31. The rejection came this week.

Governor: Still committed to addressing problem

RICK BARBERO/THE REGISTER-HERALD

Dr. Jerry Forster, University of Charleston-Beckley president, shows off athletic equipment and apparel during a press conference Wednesday where he announced that sports will be added at the Beckley campus this fall. “Our central administra- sity enjoyed athletic suctive offices are in cess, especially in men’s Charleston,” Dr. Forster basketball where the explained. “The reason we Cougars became a national are a satelpower at lite campus On Page 1B the NAIA is for effilevel, claimciency pur- ■ Former MSU coach Bolen ing the naweighing options after poses. We t i o n a l UC-Beckley announcement c h a m p i don’t have the unneconship in essary administrative 2004 and competing in the overhead. Our accredita- national tournament on a tion is under one umbrella. regular basis. “We’re not an independ“They were a powerent institution (at UC- house in the NAIA and a Beckley). That’s what shot point of pride for everyone (the NAIA application) in the Beckley area,” Dr. down. It was a full blown Forster said. “The sports application.” we’re adding today are Mountain State Univer- hopefully just one part of

something really special we feel like we are building in Beckley.” UC-Beckley currently offers 12 academic programs, ranging from associate to master’s degrees. The Golden Eagles are in discussions with the YMCA of Southern West Virginia and plan to play and practice soccer at the Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex. The basketball teams and the volleyball team are currently planning to be on campus at Van Meter Gymnasium. — E-mail: jworkman @register-herald.com

CHARLESTON (AP) — Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is rejecting recommendations that he fund solutions to West Virginia’s growing drug problem by tapping the state’s $913 million rainy day fund and raising taxes on alcohol and cigarettes. Spokeswoman Amy Shuler Goodwin tells the Charleston Daily Mail that Tomblin won’t embrace those two suggestions from the Advisory Council on Substance Abuse, which he organized in 2011, but he is committed to addressing the problem. A council report released last week made nine recommendations, including two aimed at building treatment centers for some 150,000 addicts. The experts said raising cigarette taxes could create revenue for prevention or recovery programs. But council member Rick Staton says he didn’t expect Tomblin to embrace the ideas. The Wyoming County prosecutor and former legislator said the council understood funding decisions were Tomblin’s to make, and rejecting the proposal isn’t a “deal breaker.” “I anticipate there will be some funding,” Staton said, “even if there’s not funding mechanisms.” The council also recommended: giving local police more power to enforce alcohol control laws; reducing the flow of paper money to welfare recipients through debit cards; finding alternatives to driver’s license revocation for people who don’t pay fines so they can remain employed; and measuring the outcomes of state-funded drug treatment programs. See TOMBLIN, 13A

■ GREENBRIER COUNTY

Co-defendant testifies in trial alleging arson of cars at State Police lot By Tina Alvey REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER

Wind, rain, snow keep wary eyes on weather By Sarah Plummer REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER

Most of southern West Virginia is keeping a watchful eye on wind, water and winter weather as last weekend’s surreal spring gets swept away and temperatures again drop. Mercer, Monroe, Greenbrier and Summers counties are under a wind warning through 4 p.m. today, according to Ken Batty, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. Winds are expected to continue around 40 miles per hour with gusts up to 50, which is enough to cause minor damage in areas where outdoor items are not secured and to greatly impact high profile vehicles in interstates, said Batty. F. BRIAN FERGUSON/THE REGISTER-HERALD Widespread wind damage, however, is not expected. A pickup truck splashes through high water on Maple Avenue in Oak Hill Wednesday afternoon. As wind exits, forecasters warn of flooding See WEATHER, 13A and say up to 3 inches of snow may arrive by Friday morning.

WEATHER

Volume 133 Number 226

Mostly cloudy, 50% chance of snow High 28. Low 14. Details, Page 13A

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LEWISBURG — Closing out the first day of a trial in Greenbrier Circuit Court, a confessed arsonist gave chilling testimony about the night a State Police detachment’s parking lot full of vehicles went up in flames. Ray Goff spoke in a hurried monotone on the witness stand Wednesday, the opening day of the arson trial of David Clayton White, 48, of Meadow Bridge. Goff admitted his part in torching “five or six” vehicles in the parking lot of the Rainelle detachment of the West Virginia State Police in the early morning hours of Dec. 15, 2011, but said he was only following White’s instructions. White is charged with arson in the second degree; conspiracy to commit arson in the second degree; eight counts of arson in the third degree; nine counts of intimidation of and retaliation against public officers and employees; conspiracy to commit arson in the third degree; and conspiracy to commit intimidation of and retaliation against public officers and employees. The 29-year-old Goff earlier entered into an agreement with the state to plead guilty to three counts of arson and serve a total of 3 years in See ARSON, 13A

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REGISTER HERALD THE

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

UC-Beckley president talks about challenges

Beckley, West Virginia ◆ Single copy: 75 cents

Watch cat

Building enrollment base, athletics key to success By Sarah Plummer REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER

University of Charleston-Beckley’s President Jerry Forster spoke to Beckley Rotary Club Tuesday about where the branch campus stands now and what its future may hold. He said the success of UC-Beckley rests on attracting residential students, adult and commuter students and online students. And one of the biggest challenges UC-Beckley faces is building campus-based student activities, including sports. “Right now we have nine students on a campus with 400 beds. You can’t recruit a young, college-aged man or woman without being able to tell them we have a campus life they will enjoy,” he explained. And growing enrollment will be crucial to UC’s stability, he explained. “The financial challenge is significant. We have 520 students enrolled and we need 1,000 to break even. There are $2 in expenses for every $1 in revenue for this first semester, but we feel this emphasizes the university’s commitment to the opportunity. This may be a step back for UC initially, but we are confident it is going to be a step forward two or three years down the road,” Forster shared. Forster also said there are programs UCBeckley has been able to roll with this semester, like culinary arts, business management and social work, but there are many “academic pipelines” the budding school needs to reopen.

F. BRIAN FERGUSON/THE REGISTER-HERALD

A fashion-conscious feline shows off its colors while watching over the comings and goings on Court Street in Fayetteville Tuesday morning.

White convicted of Rainelle arson By Tina Alvey REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER

LEWISBURG — After deliberating less than an hour, a Greenbrier County jury found a Meadow Bridge man guilty of arson and related crimes in connection with the 2011 torching of vehicles in a State Police parking lot at Rainelle. David Clayton White, 48, faces between 47 and 105 years in prison when he is sentenced March 6 for his part in the fiery destruction of eight vehicles at the Rainelle detachment of West Virginia State Police. The nine-woman, three-man jury convicted White on all 21

counts of an indictment that charged him with second and third degree arson, intimidation of and retaliation against public officers and various conspiracy crimes. Upon hearing the verdict, Greenbrier County Prosecuting Attorney Patrick Via immediately advised the court that he intends to file an information later this week charging White as a habitual offender. That charge carries a life sentence. “We’re very pleased,” Via later said of the verdict, noting, “We’re always pleased when the jury listens attentively and delivers a just verdict.” He added, “Each trial has its

own little bumps, but we presented the evidence we intended to present. We dispense justice; we present the evidence, and it’s up to the jury to render a verdict. We certainly accept this one.” Via said he expects trials for two of White’s co-defendants — Joshua Redden, 26, and Jennifer White, 32, both of Meadow Bridge — to be placed on the docket soon. “I don’t know what to expect about the disposition of those two cases — whether there are other resolutions possible,” Via said. “Neither has reached a plea bargain at this time.” See ARSON, 14A

See FORSTER, 14A

Court: Negligent mine inspectors liable, can be sued

By Vicki Smith

By Vicki Smith

F. BRIAN FERGUSON/THE REGISTER-HERALD

Dr. Jerry Forster, president of UC-Beckley, speaks to the Beckley Rotary Club on Tuesday afternoon at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center. Forster discussed where the branch campus stands now and what its future may hold.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Private and federal mine safety inspectors can be held liable and sued when a negligent inspection results in the wrongful death of a coal miner, the state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in handing a victory to the widows of two men killed in 2006. The unanimous ruling penned by Justice Robin Davis says inspectors owe “a duty of care” to workers who count on them to do their jobs “with ordinary skill, care, and diligence” expected by members of their profession. Inspectors, the ruling said, know that negligence is likely to result in foreseeable harm to miners. For the widows of Don Israel Bragg and Ellery Elvis Hatfield, the ruling is a victory in a continuing battle for justice for those behind by the January 2006 fire at Massey Energy’s Aracoma Coal Co. Alma No. 1 mine in Logan County. “The conscious decision of coal companies to ignore the most basic of mine safety laws and instead just run coal should not and cannot excuse government regulators from their independent responsibility to enforce those laws,” said attorney Bruce Stanley, “regardless of the prevailing political climate or perceived economic pressures.

Even as the statewide rate falls, the number of teenagers giving birth in McDowell County is soaring, jumping 34 percent in five years. The 2012 West Virginia KIDS COUNT report released Tuesday shows a rate in McDowell of 96 births per 1,000 girls in 2010, the latest figures available. That’s 17 more births per 1,000 girls than the next-closest county, Mingo, and more than double the statewide rate. McDowell’s rate is also seven times higher than the county with the fewest teen births: In Monongalia, it’s just 14 per 1,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 19. The figures are alarming, says KIDS COUNT Executive Director Margie Hale, because teenagers who get pregnant are likely to drop out of school and live in poverty. Their children are at higher risk of being born underweight and dying before their first birthdays. Experts say they’re also less likely to get the intellectual and emotional stimulation needed for healthy development. Overall, the report shows a positive trend: The statewide teen birth rate fell in 2010, as did the natonal rate. But West Virginia still ranks among the 10 worst states, with 45 births per 1,000 teens, compared to a national rate of 34.

See MINE FIRE, 14A

See BIRTH RATE, 9A

WEATHER

Volume 133 Number 232

McDowell teen birth rate soars as W.Va. rate falls

Morning clouds and sun in the afternoon High 41. Low 23. Details, Page 14A

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REGISTER HERALD THE

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Beckley, West Virginia ◆ Single copy: 75 cents

Convoy of Hope to visit Aug. 17

Beautification project

By Jessica Farrish REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER

All of southern West Virginia is invited to a Day of Hope. Everyone — all ages and religions — will be served when the Convoy of Hope stops in Beckley Aug. 17 to set up free grocery distribution, refreshments, medical and dental services, job placement services, haircutting stations, live entertainment, family portraits and a children’s carnival. Convoy of Hope is a Missouri-based non-profit organization that focuses on feeding the hungry. Convoy, a first-re-

sponder organization in disaster relief, has fed more than 55 million people around the world since it was started in 1994, according to its website. The goal of the organization is to “deliver much-needed food, supplies and hope to the impoverished and suffering.” Around 750 volunteers from area businesses, churches and community agencies are assisting Convoy of Hope crews in bringing the services to the community. The Convoy truck will bring 35,000 pounds of groceries which will be distributed free to people who need them. See HOPE, 12A

David Clayton White receives life in prison By Tina Alvey REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER

F. BRIAN FERGUSON/THE REGISTER-HERALD

Casinda Nelson, left, and Jenny Curry, both with One Voice, a faith-based community resource, plant flowers Tuesday afternoon in front of their facility on South Kanawha Street.

LEWISBURG — In a pre-sentencing statement punctuated by an obscene invitation, a defiant David Clayton White placed blame for his legal woes on his defense attorney, the State Police, the prosecutor and the judge who presided over his ar- White son trial. “Nineteen months ago, I was an innocent man,” the 48-

year-old White proclaimed during his Tuesday sentencing hearing in Greenbrier Circuit Court. “Now, I’ve lost everything.” White was convicted in February of 21 arson, retaliation and conspiracy crimes in connection with a December 2011 fire that destroyed numerous vehicles in the parking lot of the State Police detachment in Rainelle. See WHITE, 12A

Beckley ARH’s renovated fourth floor ready for patients Monday

No southern lawmakers or Republicans going to EPA

By Wendy Holdren

REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER

REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER

The fourth floor of Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital has made a bold step into the 21st century after nine months and $9 million in renovations, and will welcome patients starting Monday. As soon as patients and visitors step off of the elevator and onto the fourth floor, the entire atmosphere is different. A soft green and brown color scheme, selected by the fourth floor staff, can be found in the artwork on the walls, the plush new furniture and even on the floor tiles. As West Virginia Marketing and Service Excellence Manager at ARH Ted Weigel said, it feels more like a hotel than a hospital. The 19 private rooms feature WiFi and flat screen televisions, as well as full bathrooms and state-of-the-

F. BRIAN FERGUSON/THE REGISTER-HERALD

Workers complete final details for the lobby of the newly renovated fourth floor of Beckley ARH Tuesday. art beds. The adjustable beds provide both comfort and safety, Weigel said, as they can be lowered to prevent patient falls. CEO Rocco Massey said the rooms are spacious, as

well as conducive to healing. From a clinical perspective, he said everything was built with patient safety and the newest technology in mind.

WEATHER

Volume 134 Number 42

Cloudy with 70% chance of thunderstorms High 75. Low 64. Details, Page 12A

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See HOSPITAL, 12A

By Mannix Porterfield CHARLESTON — Absent from the official invitation list for that ballyhooed trip to confront the Environmental Protection Agency in a Thursday protest against what are perceived as paralyzing regulations on coal are any legislators from the heart of the southern coalfields. And one southern lawmaker, while expressing confidence in the ability of those invited to carry coal’s Hall message to the White House, is keenly disappointed. Moreover, a Republican leader in the House, reminded that no one from his party made the guest list either, termed the visit a public relations gimmick. Heading the entourage destined Thursday for the nation’s capital via bus tentatively are Senate President Jeffrey Kessler, D-Marshall and

House Speaker Tim Miley, DHarrison. The list also is to include a representative of industry and the United Mine Workers of America, but a complete roster was unavailable Tuesday from state Democratic headquarters in Charleston. “I have full confidence in those going, but the heart of the coalfields should be represented as well,” said Sen. Daniel Hall, D-Wyoming, who voiced his desire to the Democratic leadership that he be asked to attend. “It would be easy to name 15 people from the coalfields in the House and Senate who should be first on the list.” Not only were southern lawmakers snubbed, but ditto for the Republicans, prompting criticism by House Minority Whip Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan, who said it is plain to see that West Virginia’s economy has See LAWMAKERS, 12A

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FromPageOne

THE REGISTER-HERALD Wednesday, July 31, 2013

• SIX-DAY FORECAST

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• W.VA. FORECAST

• NATIONAL FORECAST

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• SEVERE WEATHER, ROAD CONDITIONS To report severe weather, call the National Weather Service toll-free at 877-633-6772 Current weather and alerts on-line: www.WVVA.com West Virginia road conditions www.transportation.wv.gov or 877-WVA-ROAD

• ALMANAC Yesterday’s high Yesterday’s low Record high Record low

Precipitation (period ending 6 p.m. yesterday) 78° 51° 92° in 1931 47° in 1932

HOPE Continued from 1A The event will be held rain or shine at the YMCA of Southern West Virginia’s Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex. No identification is required and distribution will be made on a firstcome, first-served basis. Day of Hope was facilitated by John Jordan, Convoy coordinator and pastor of Calvary Assembly of God in Beckley. “This is too big for one church to do,” explained Jordan. “It had to be a community effort from both the faith-based and community agencies to make something like this happen.” Jordan said he’d heard of Convoy of Hope when it started in the mid1990s and was impressed by how the group responded to natural disaster victims. He said that for the next decade, he talked to Convoy representatives “on and off” to try to get them to Beckley. “I obviously do feel like there’s a physical need, a natural need in the areas of groceries and different things we’re going to be offering,” said Jordan. “That kind of need has always been and always will be evident in our communities, probably. “I feel like even beyond that, though, (Day of Hope) has the opportunity to change the spiritual atmosphere of our community, to see the church come together and lay down our doctrinal differences and denominational banners and say, ‘Hey, let’s work together to show the community that the church as a whole is alive and well and that God really does love people.’ “This gives us an opportunity to show the compassion of Christ.” Last fall, Convoy representatives contacted Jor-

HOSPITAL Continued from 1A Negative pressure rooms and isolation rooms were built especially to help control and reduce infections, and alarm and oxygen control systems can be found outside the rooms so the staff can monitor room conditions. “First and foremost, we want a positive patient experience with comfortable and private rooms that promote healing,” Massey said. In addition to the 19 rooms, other renovations include new heating and air conditioning, new elevators and a new outside facade. Weigel explained that the new elevators cost about $1 million and they are operated by a hydraulic piston on the bottom instead of a cable from the top, ensuring

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dan and told him they’d like to serve southern West Virginia. “This was the first time they’d initiated it from their end, so I thought maybe the Lord’s doing something here.” Jordan said he reached out to several local pastors, including pastors Jason Lowe (Faith Community Church), Vondie Cook (CrossPoint Church of God) and Doc Adkins (First Baptist Church) and leaders of community agencies like Women’s Resource Center, Birthright and others. “It seemed like doors started opening, and things started falling into place,” said Jordan. “I’m excited, not only for the churches, but to see the community organizations and agencies come together. “Under our community services tents, we’re up to 18 different agencies.” Dee Sizemore, public relations, fundraising and development coordinator for Women’s Resource Center, said Day of Hope opens doors to her organization. “One of the best ways to serve victims is to network with other groups in our community, and this will be a great day to network and to reach out into the community with our services,” said Sizemore. Faith Community Pastor Lowe said his faith led him to get involved with Day of Hope. “The Bible is clear that God has called us to care for those in need in our community, and He has called us to be in unity, which the Day of Hope represents through bringing churches and community groups together,” stated Lowe. Community leaders and businesses may contact Jordan by phone, 304-252-0717, or e-mail, pastor@outoftheboxchurch.org for more information.

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• LAKES, STREAMS, FISHING • For statewide fishing reports on-line, visit: www.wvdnr.gov/fishing/ weekly_fishreport.shtm • For the latest river and stream reports, which are updated at 8 a.m. each day

Bluestone Lake

304-466-0156

Lake, New River, Greenbrier River information

Summersville Lake

304-872-5809

R.D. Bailey Lake

304-664-9587

Lake, Meadow River information Lake information

LOTTERY Daily 3: 5-1-4 Cash 25: 1-7-13-17-22-24 Powerball: Est.: $235 million

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Explosions rock Fla. gas plant TAVARES, Fla. (AP) — After hearing two explosions, maintenance worker Gene Williams looked outside to see a 20-by-20 foot fireball rising above an outdoor storage area at the Blue Rhino propane plant. Moments later, a forklift worker stumbled into the building with flesh hanging off his hands. His legs and face were burned. Exploding 20pound canisters of propane began raining down around them during the series of explosions late Monday night. Bright orange flames would grow as high as 200 feet, fueled by the exploding canisters that shot through the air like fireworks. Houses nearby shook and residents awakened to the sound of “boom after boom after boom.” No one died, but eight workers were injured, including one worker who was hit by a car on a nearby road while fleeing the explosions. Officials said the damage could have been significantly worse if three 30,000pound propane storage containers had caught fire at the plant that refills propane tanks for gas grills and other home uses. About 50 nearby houses were temporarily evacuated, though none was ultimately damaged. If the large tanks had exploded, “it would have wiped us out,” said Lake County Battalion Chief Chris Croughwell, one of the first responders to

the explosions in the town northwest of Orlando. The cause of the explosion was under investigation by federal and state authorities. Williams said it appeared to begin about 100 yards from the loading dock in an area where some of the plant’s 53,000 20-pound propane canisters are stored on plastic pallets. Tavares Fire Chief Richard Keith said possible causes of the explosion may be either equipment malfunction or human error. Sabotage was not suspected. The plant’s two-dozen workers were preparing to go home when the explosions started Monday night, said Williams, who works the third shift. Based on what the forklift operator told him, the explosion was likely caused by a “combination of human error and bad practices, possibly. I don’t want to speculate any further, that’s what the forklift driver was telling me.” Williams said the forklift driver told him, “‘I did what they told me to do, I did what they told me to do, and then this happened.”’ “Something in that area must have triggered it. I don’t know if he did something or something else triggered it,” Williams said. Williams said they were able to remotely shut the valves to the three big tanks. But they weren’t able to turn on

water sprays meant to keep the tanks cool during a fire. “It was too violent, too hot, to get in there and turn them on,” he said. Croughwell said the hoses designed to spray water on the large tanks didn’t go off because they had to be manually activated — requiring someone to brave dangerous conditions. “Most sane people don’t stick around for an event like this,” he added. Tavares Mayor Robert Wolfe said Tuesday that he was surprised to learn the hoses at the plant had to be manually activated. If Blue Rhino reopens the plant, Wolfe said he plans to ask that the hoses be activated automatically by computer. “That way, it’s failsafe,” Wolfe said. “We’re lucky those tanks didn’t explode.” Blue Rhino is a subsidiary of Kansas-based national propane provider Ferrellgas. Spokesman Scott Brockelmeyer said Tuesday he didn’t have specific information available about the safety water hoses but added that the company follows industry standards. “It’s as sobering a situation as you can possibly imagine,” Brockelmeyer said. “We have folks who are injured, and we’ve got Blue Rhino and Ferrellgas employees across the country who are keeping them in their prayers and sending good vibes their way.”

Ferrellgas paid a $2,295 fine in November 2011 following an OSHA inspection that found a component at the end of an air hose used in the consumer tank refurbishing process was not present. Brockelmeyer said the company corrected the issue and added that “the process is performed in area away from where the tanks are filled....so no product was being processed in that area.” Four workers were listed in critical conditions at area hospitals. Tavares Fire Department Battalion Commander Eric Wages said five workers walked up to a command center firefighters set up near the plant Monday night with skin hanging off their arms, torso and faces. He said their arms were outstretched and they were in complete shock. The Florida Highway Patrol confirmed that 29year-old Leesburg resident Kaghy Sam was struck by an SUV driven by 72-year-old Gene Batson on a road near the Blue Rhino plant. A statement from the FHP said that Sam was running on the road “due to a large fire and several explosions” just before 11 p.m. Monday and “ran into the direct path” of Batson’s vehicle. Sam was flown to Ocala Regional Medical Center with serious injuries. No charges were filed in the auto accident.

WHITE

prisonment, Greenbrier County Prosecuting Attorney Patrick Via acknowledged during Tuesday morning’s hearing, “It is an extraordinary sentence ... the maximum provided by law.” But, he noted, “The acts ... merit that type of sentence.” White demanded the death penalty instead of life in prison, saying the two amounted to the same thing. Using crude language, White also asked court

officials and law enforcement officers involved in his case to line up and kiss his posterior, even repeating the invitation when a dismayed Pomponio inquired, “What did you say?” Citing White’s “substantial” criminal record — which includes the federal offenses of racketeering and being a felon in possession of a firearm — the judge sentenced him to the prison terms Via had recommended. “We don’t have the

death penalty in the state of West Virginia, so this court can only sentence you to life,” Pomponio told White. After another brief outburst by the defendant, Pomponio added, “I’m supposed to follow the law, and that’s what I’m doing.” At the conclusion of the hearing, defense attorney Douglas Arbuckle stated his intention to appeal his client’s conviction.

leadership has failed to act on them. “Let’s stand together, let’s work together,” the Republican leader said. “I am disappointed in the state Democrat leadership. Now is the time to be united as West Virginians, not play politics.” Only one member of West Virginia’s delegation in Congress, Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., plans to sit in on the meeting with EPA officials. In advance of the meeting, Rahall said he is “delighted” to have members of his political

party and home state demonstrating on behalf of the coal industry. “The policies of this EPA are hurting Democratic coal miners just as much as they are hurting Republican coal miners, and if we want to help coal miners of both parties and their families, we need to recognize that,” he said. “We need this administration to get the message loud and clear that members of both parties are strongly opposed to those ill-considered, anti-coal policies.” State Democratic

Chairman Larry Puccio announced the trip last week during legislative interims at the Capitol but offered no specifics on what EPA regulations were objectionable. For several years, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and others have been locked in battle with the EPA over what they routinely have labeled “a war on coal.” Tomblin took the administration to federal court and won reversals in some areas of the legal struggle over regulations.

Continued from 1A A separate jury, im-

— E-mail: jfarrish@ paneled three months register-herald.com after his trial, identified

safety even if the elevators were to break down. Construction is still under way for the exterior, which will include more energy efficient windows, and the ribbon cutting ceremony is scheduled for Sept. 20 at 11 a.m. “In 1965, at the time, Beckley ARH was a premiere facility,” Massey said. Over time, however, the building has become dated and it was in need of some changes and a more “modern look.” Massey said he is a 32year employee at Beckley ARH and he was even born there, so the hospital holds a special place in his heart. “We’re looking at the future in a positive way.” As for future renovations, Massey said everything is still up in the air, but they do plan to continue to renovate and modernize.

by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, phone the following numbers:

White as a habitual criminal, effectively requiring Greenbrier Circuit Court Judge Joseph C. Pomponio Jr. to sentence the man to life in prison. Asking the judge to hand down the life sentence, plus an additional 45 to 129 years of im-

LAWMAKERS Continued from 1A

suffered by the EPA’s assault on the coal industry. “West Virginia Democrats must join with us to fight for our people and jobs, with actual real legislative action, not public relations stunts like this partisan bus trip,” Cowles said. Cowles said the GOP has offered several “strong bills” to reverse the Obama administra— E-mail: wholdren@ tion on coal regulations, register-herald.com but the Democratic

— E-mail: talvey@ register-herald.com

— E-mail: mannix@ register-herald.com


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