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LITTLE BLACK DRESS BENEFIT AT DANIEL VINEYARDS LOCAL | Page 3A

NEW NSA REVELATIONS STIR CONCERN NATION | Page 12A

MICHELLE ON THE MOVE COMING SUNDAY

REGISTER HERALD THE

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Beckley, West Virginia ◆ Single copy: 75 cents

■ ALABAMA WOMEN MISSING SINCE 2000

2 bodies found in storage unit By Jessica Farrish REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER

The remains of two people were discovered Wednesday at a Summersville storage company, but no arrest had been reported by State Police Friday evening. Alabama authorities be-

lieve the remains could be those of two women missing from there since 2000. State Police Sgt. R.D. Lilly of the Summersville detachment in Nicholas County declined Friday to identify the suspect in the case but said he hopes to file charges “in the very near future.”

Lilly said, the owner of Stor-All storage company on Broad Street contacted police to report what appeared to be a human leg inside a unit into which he looked because the door was unsecured. “He saw what he believed to be a human leg, but he wasn’t

sure,” Lilly said. “He told us he didn’t know if it was animal or human ... but as soon as we saw it, we knew. There was no question.” After obtaining search warrants, troopers discovered the decomposed See BODIES, 13A

Awfully fond of you

■ MINGO

County reeling as judge, official indicted By John Raby and Vicki Smith ASSOCIATED PRESS

WILLIAMSON — Even in southern West Virginia, where corruption is as much a part of life as coal, people are shocked by allegations that a judge commandeered the legal system in a years-long attempt to frame a romantic rival for crimes he didn’t commit. Federal prosecutors indicted Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury on two counts of conspiracy Thursday, just hours after indicting County Commissioner Dave Baisden on extortion charges. Thornsbury attorney Steve Jory declined comment while Baisden’s attorney did not return messages. The state Supreme Court has suspended Thornsbury and his law license, and a replacement judge took over his caseload Friday. Thornsbury is set to appear in federal court in Charleston at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Meanwhile, he’s been ordered to surrender See INDICTED, 13A

■ 1,800 WORKERS F. BRIAN FERGUSON/THE REGISTER-HERALD

You’re the one! Aeryn McGraw, 2, daughter of Scott and Nancy McGraw of Crab Orchard, chooses a rubber duck for a prize at the Lucky Duck booth at the State Fair of West Virginia. To purchase this picture and to see others, visit our photo store at www.register-herald.smugmug.com FAIR FOLK AND FACTS COLUMN AND MORE STATE FAIR PHOTOS ON PAGE 2A

■ DOES IT NEED A HALL PASS?

Home-bound fourth-grader can attend classes, hang with her friends, via VGo By Cody Neff REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER

She wakes up and gets ready for school. Rather than slip off to the bus, she sits down at the computer and activates her robot avatar, VGo. VGo rolls off its base and they’re off to class. This might sound like science fiction, but this scenario is very real for Hinton Elementary School fourth-grader Ellie Rhodes. Rhodes is isolated to her home as a result of a compromised immune system that is the result of a bone marrow transplant. With the help of her new robotic self, Rhodes can go to school, attend class

and even socialize with her peers. The VGo telepresence robot allows its controller audio/ video control as well as remote-controlled movement. VGo was purchased for use in the classroom by the Summers County Board of Education with a grant provided by the Hinton Area Foundation. The school board confirmed that it is the first in West Virginia to implement this technology. VGo got its first test run Thursday as Rhodes rolled off to start the fourth grade. Rhodes will be operating the robot from her own computer at home using the remote software purchased by the school. She will be able to operate the

VGo for the entire school day on the robot’s 12-hour battery. Superintendent Vicki Hinerman says it was Summers County business manager Jennifer Farley who proposed the idea of buying the VGo robot after seeing a news story about a student in another state using the device to attend school. With the recent news about a Texas family’s baby monitor being hacked, parents may have concerns about hackers taking control over the Internet-controlled robot. “There’s nothing to worry about,” Hinerman said. “If something so extreme were

WEATHER

Volume 134 Number 59

Mostly cloudy. 40% chance of rain. High 73. Low 60. Details, Page 13A

■ NEWS HOTLINE: 304-255-4400

UMWA members ratify pact at Patriot By Jessica Borders FOR THE REGISTER-HERALD

The robot VGo physically attends classes for fourthgrader Ellie Rhodes at Hinton Elementary School.

FAIRMONT — United Mine Workers of America members have voted in favor of the agreement with Patriot Coal Corp. on labor contract terms and conditions. On Monday, both entities made announcements about the settlement, which shows substantial improvements compared to the changes to collective bargaining agreements and benefits that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kathy Surratt-States approved May 29 and the contract terms that Patriot imposed on July 1. Approximately 1,800 West Virginia and Kentucky UMW members, from 13 local unions, voted Friday at their worksites. Active miners, laid-off miners, and employees who may be off because of workers’ compensation injuries See PATRIOT, 2A

See VGO, 13A

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THE REGISTER-HERALD Saturday, August 17, 2013

• W.VA. FORECAST

13A

• NATIONAL FORECAST

www.register-herald.com

• 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

Precipitation (period ending 6 p.m. yesterday)

Yesterday’s high 77° Yesterday’s low 55° Record high 94° in 2007 Record low 45° in 1979,1963,1912

Last 24 hours

For month

For year

inches

inches

inches

0.00

4.47

Sunrise today Sunset today

29.29

6:42 a.m. 8:14 p.m.

• 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

by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, phone the following numbers: 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: 9-5-8 Cash 25: 01-16-17-19-23-25 Powerball: Est.: $60 million

Daily 4: 2-6-5-1 Mega Millions: 7-13-26-36-46 Mega Ball: 37 Est.: $43 million

A1SUD360

BODIES Continued from 1A remains of two humans, Lilly reported. The State Medical Examiner’s Office removed the remains to Charleston for identification, and Alabama authorities were in Charleston Friday to assist in identifying the bodies, he added. ■■■ Walker County, Ala., prosecuting attorney Bill Adair said Friday that his office is investigating a case involving a mother and daughter who disap-

INDICTED Continued from 1A his passport, to give up any weapons and to avoid contact with dozens of potential witnesses, including another judge, county officials, five state troopers and prominent multimillionaire industrialist James “Buck” Harless. Both Thornsbury and Baisden are free on $10,000 bond while awaiting trial, but the indictments were painful news in a community still reeling from the assassination of its sheriff in April. The indictment says Thornsbury tried between 2008 and 2012 to frame Robert Woodruff for crimes including drug possession, larceny and assault. The judge had been having an affair with his secretary — Woodruff’s wife, Kim — and he tried to eliminate the competition after she tried to break things off, it says. The schemes involved a state trooper, the county emergency services director and another man, the indictment says, but none of them panned out. Thornsbury faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, and a lawyer for the Woodruffs says he can also expect a civil lawsuit. “My client should never have been placed un-

NEWS OF RECORD The following is a list of incidents reported to police agencies Aug. 15; however, the call may have resulted in something other than what was originally reported.

peared from Jasper, Ala., in winter 2000. Sgt. Lilly said that the home of Wanda Faye Kiser, 61, of Summersville, was searched in July by Alabama investigators, Lilly and Cpl. D.P. White and that the Alabama authorities questioned Kiser about the disappearance of Mary Cobb and her daughter, Wynona Delvecchio. “They didn’t discover anything,” Lilly reported. “They didn’t gain any new information, at that point, on the missing persons case that they were working.” Kiser was indicted in Alabama in July on 17

der the stress of being charged criminally,” said Charleston attorney Mike Callaghan, “nor should he have spent time in jail for crimes he did not commit. “As a lawyer, I knew something was wrong,” he said. “But never in my wildest dreams did I fathom the reason for the prosecution.” The indictment said Thornsbury, 57, wanted a friend to plant a magnetic metal box containing drugs on Robert Woodruff’s vehicle in 2008. The friend didn’t go through with it. When that failed, prosecutors said the judge got the trooper to file a false complaint against Robert Woodruff for larceny. The judge wanted the trooper to pursue a case against Woodruff for salvaging mine-roof drill bits and scrap from the company he worked for, though he had permission to do so. Thornsbury had befriended the trooper and “purposely cultivated a relationship” to influence how he carried out his duties, the indictment said. The officer, named trooper of the year in 2009, was placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, said State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous. County Prosecutor Michael Sparks intervened in the larceny case. He knew of the affair and “recognized that Beckley Police Alarm: Robert C. Byrd Drive, South Kanawha Street, Orchard Avenue, Perdue Street, Business Street, Prince Street, Robert C. Byrd Drive Check welfare: Harper Road Destruction of property: Hartley Avenue, Division Street, Wildwood Avenue

counts of forgery for allegedly cashing Cobb’s railroad retirement benefits and Delvecchio’s alimony checks, officials reported. She had already served three years’ probation after a federal judge in West Virginia found her guilty in 2005 of wire fraud in receiving Cobb’s railroad benefits, according to Adair. She was also ordered to pay more than $10,000 in restitution to the United States Railroad Retirement Board, according to court documents. According to Alabama officials, their case began in January 2000 when

the criminal charges against Woodruff were improper,” the indictment said. The late sheriff, Eugene Crum, was working as magistrate at the time and dismissed the larceny case. Thornsbury also tapped a friend, the county’s emergency services director, to become the grand jury foreman, according to the indictment. The judge allegedly wrote subpoenas and had the grand jury issue them to help get private information about Woodruff. That scheme was exposed when one of the businesses refused to cooperate. And when Robert Woodruff became the victim of an assault last year by two men, the judge arranged for Woodruff to be identified as the perpetrator. The county prosecutor dismissed the charges. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said none of the men accused of helping Thornsbury in his “campaign to persecute” Woodruff will be charged. However, he said, “the investigation into Mingo County corruption is ongoing.” Mingo County has a long history of violence and government corruption. It’s the home of the legendary feud between the Hatfield and McCoy families, and was dubbed “Bloody Mingo” when unionizing miners battled security agents Disturbance: Third Avenue Domestic dispute: Third Avenue, Hargrove Street (2), Hartley Avenue Drug violation: Joseph Street Falls: South Fayette Street Fight: Mills Avenue, McGinnis Street Found property: Harper Road Harassing phone call: Barber Avenue

Delvecchio was living next door to Kiser in a middle-class subdivision in Jasper, Ala. Delvecchio’s mother was staying at the Shadecrest Health Care Center, a nursing home in nearby Mobile, Ala. When Delvecchio, who was reported to be in her 80s, fell in 2000 and broke her ankle, Kiser discovered her. Delvecchio’s doctors placed Delvecchio temporarily at the same nursing home as her mother. Two or three weeks into Delvecchio’s stay at Shadecrest, Alabama police alleged, Delvecchio

and coal companies in the early 20th century. In 1988, former sheriff Johnie Owens was convicted of selling his office for $100,000. In 2002, the county clerk resigned to avoid prosecution over matters the prosecutor had been investigating, including use of a government credit card for personal reasons and overcharging for expenses. In 2007, the prosecutor was admonished by the State Bar for subpoenas his office issued for a county commissioner’s financial records. In February, a woman was charged with tipping people off about indictments while she served on the grand jury. Meanwhile, Baisden, the county commissioner, was accused of trying to buy tires for his personal vehicle at a government discount, then terminating the county’s contract with Appalachian Tire when it refused to cooperate. Baisden, 66, was released on $10,000 bond and ordered not to discuss the case with any witnesses, including his fellow commissioners. In April, Mingo County’s sheriff was shot twice in the head, in a spot in downtown Williamson where Crum frequently had lunch. The suspect, Tennis Melvin Maynard, is facing first-degree murder charges. The motive has not been revealed. Larceny: Ewart Avenue, Temple Street, North Eisenhower Drive Missing person: South Kanawha Street Motor vehicle accident: Stanaford Road, North Kanawha Street Possible DUI: N. Eisenhower Drive, Robert C. Byrd Drive Prostitution: Third Avenue School zone: Crescent Road,

checked herself out of the home, with the help of Kiser. Within a week, Delvecchio had checked Cobb out of the nursing home. Neither of the women has been seen since then, Alabama official sources reported. The case became a missing persons case in June 2003, when an investigator with the United States Railroad Retirement Board tried unsuccessfully to contact Cobb. Alabama authorities learned of Kiser’s arrest on the wire fraud charges through federal agents. When Adair became prosecuting attorney, he

re-opened the investigation into women’s disappearances and enlisted the help of West Virginia State Police to charge Kiser with the 17 forgery charges related to cashing Cobb’s retirement checks and Delvecchio’s alimony checks. Currently, Alabama officials said, Kiser is fighting extradition to Alabama on the forgery charges. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has formally requested that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin extradite Kiser back to Walker County, Adair said. — E-mail: jfarrish @register-herald.com

VGoNet

VGoNet establishes the best connection through the network to provide the highest possible quality.

VGO Continued from 1A ever to happen, there is a power switch on the robot’s base that can force it to shut down.” ■■■ According to its website, VGo’s underlying technology is very sophisticated, but to the user, it’s very simple and no training is required. Ellie will bring up the VGo App on her computer, click on the location she needs to visit — and instantly she is there. VGo connects to the network (Internet) using WiFi or Verizon 4G LTE service. VGo is continually monitored by a purpose-built cloud-computing network (VGoNet) that keeps track of its availability and initiates telepresence upon request by a remote user. VGoNet uses its intelSouth Fayette Street Suspicious activity: City Avenue Unwanted presence: Burgess Street Vehicle towed: G Street Violation of DVP: Ewart Avenue Raleigh Sheriff Animal problem: Lanark Breaking and entering: Mount

ligence to establish the best connection through the network to provide the highest possible quality. The upper part of the VGo is what people look at and is where all the audio and video is captured, processed and presented. Driving VGo is simple — just drag the mouse pointer and VGo moves in that direction. Drag it more and the VGo moves faster. Keyboard arrow keys will also move it. The camera is tilted using the scroll wheel on the mouse or the keyboard. ■■■ The Hinton Area Foundation is a nonprofit, community foundation organized to encourage philanthropic giving and to provide a common source for contributions to benefit the local community. — E-mail: cneff @register-herald.com

Tabor, Glen Daniel Disturbance: Crab Orchard, Beaver (2), Harper Heights, Bradley Larceny: Beckley (2), Prosperity Motor vehicle accident: Bolt, Sophia, Beaver, Ghent, Surveyor, Crab Orchard, Pettus Shoplifting: Bradley Unwanted presence: Sprague, Beckley


HOLIDAY SEES

HERD O-LINE AS A STRENGTH

WHEN ALL YOU CAN DO IS ‘TRI’

REGISTER HERALD THE

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Beckley, West Virginia ◆ Single copy: $1.50

Charges to be filed in illegal body disposal Hospitalized woman to be arrested upon release By Jessica Farrish REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER

Nicholas County Prosecutor P.K. Milam said Saturday that a woman whom police sought to question about an elderly mother and daughter missing from Alabama will be charged in West Virginia with two counts of illegally disposing of a dead body. Wanda Kiser, 61, was charged in July by Alabama authorities with 17 counts of forgery for allegedly cashing checks that belonged to 105-year-old Mary Cobb and her daughter, Wynona Delvecchio, 84, of Jasper. The women were reported missing in 2003, according to Alabama officials. West Virginia State PoKiser lice discovered the remains of two bodies Wednesday at a Summersville storage company. Milam said arrest warrants were issued in the hours following the discovery, but when troopers went to arrest Kiser, she had “taken a bunch of pills.” Milam added that Kiser is hospitalized and will be arrested once she is released. No additional charges related to the bodies will be filed against Kiser in Nicholas County, he said. He added that additional charges may be filed in Alabama. Kiser is fighting extradition to Alabama on the forgery charges, and the governor of Alabama has asked Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin for assistance. See KISER, 8A

Appalachian Festival slated to kick off Friday By Cody Neff REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER

Seventeen years ago, it was decided that the Appalachian Arts and Crafts Fair needed to be expanded. This expansion aimed to make the fair into a communitywide event that would include multiple events and partnerships with businesses and organizations in the area. This combination began the Appalachian Festival. The Appalachian Festival is typically held throughout Raleigh County over three days in late August each year. This year the festival will be Aug. 23-25. The festival helps to advance the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce’s goal of giving visitors the opportunity to “see it all” in one stop. See FESTIVAL, 8A

F. BRIAN FERGUSON/THE REGISTER-HERALD

Siblings Hallie Marie Bess, 3, left, and older brother Frank Bess, 5, center, both of Beckley, get fitted for free shoes from volunteer Ella Cox during Saturday's Day of Hope event at the YMCA Soccer Complex.

Day of Hope accomplishes goals By Wendy Holdren REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER

Day of Hope started out with goals of 750 volunteers, 3,000 guests and 35,000 pounds of donated food, but just after 1 p.m. Saturday, those goals were exceeded. Nearly 1,000 volunteers came out to support the Beckley Day of Hope at the YMCA Paul Cline Youth Soccer Complex, and over 3,150 people participated in the event. The event provided free food, as well as medical and dental services to anyone who was in need. Pastor John Jordan with Calvary Assembly of God got in touch

“We thank them, too — they’re the whole reason we’re here.” The Wallace family certainly had a fun-filled day, as they were all smiles after having a family portrait taken. “We heard about the event through our church,” Todd Wallace said. His wife, Rachel Wallace, and their kids, Neighla, 10, and Heccakyah, 8, enjoyed coming out and spending some quality family time together. “It’s great to have fun, to see diversity and to see everybody come together,” Wallace said. See HOPE, 8A

Coalition fighting to reduce child poverty Editor’s note: The following article is part of the West Virginia Press Association’s series on the “Our Children, Our Future” Coalition. Journalist George Hohmann is following the coalition’s efforts, providing reports from its organizational meetings this month through its attempts to have impactful legislation passed during the 2014 session of the West Virginia legislative session.

By George Hohmann WVPA REPORT

CHARLESTON — Organizers of a grassroots campaign to improve kids’ health and fight child poverty in West Virginia through a statewide call to action hope to build momentum this week and help set the agenda for the next session of the Legislature. Started last year by kids’ health and anti-poverty advocates, the campaign — now operating under the banner “Our Children, Our Future” — is a loose coalition of groups including unions, chambers of commerce, faith groups, lawmakers, and kids and families themselves.

WEATHER

Volume 134 Number 60

with Convoy of Hope, a nonprofit organization that provides resources to help communities meet physical and spiritual needs, to coordinate the event. “I’ve had a desire and a dream to do this for 10 years,” Jordan said. “It’s been an amazing, surreal and incredible experience.” He said “you have to be blind” not to see the need in the community. “It’s not just Beckley, it’s everywhere. People are having hard times across the board.” He said all the people he had the privilege of speaking with were very appreciative and thankful for the Day of Hope.

Cloudy with a 50% chance of rain High 72. Low 61. Details, Page 8A

■ NEWS HOTLINE: 304-255-4400

The “Our Children, Our Future” coalition won five victories or partial victories in the Legislature earlier this year, said Stephen Smith, executive director of the West Virginia Coalition for Healthy Kids and Families. Smith’s Healthy Kids and Families Coalition was created in 1998 to push the Legislature to create the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known as CHIP, in West Virginia. That effort succeeded. “West Virginia is seventh in the country in terms of enrollment,” he said. “About one-and-a-half years ago, our board said, ‘On the one hand, poor kids in West Virginia have health care and that’s great. But on the other hand, in almost every other way, poor kids are worse off than when we started 14

years ago. “As we were having that conversation internally, other organizations were having similar conversations about ‘What would it look like if we had a Smith statewide campaign that was explicitly not about one issue or area but was tackling the problem of child poverty more broadly? What would that look like, how would you do it, who would be a part of it?’ “We don’t care about political affiliation. As long as you’re willing to work and you care about having a state where kids don’t grow up in poverty, come and learn how to make policy and win policy. This is especially for students, families and teachers — people who care about the issues. Come get the skills.” See CAMPAIGN, 5A

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THE REGISTER-HERALD Sunday, August 18, 2013

• SIX-DAY FORECAST

www.register-herald.com

• W.VA. FORECAST

• NATIONAL FORECAST

www.register-herald.com

• 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) 70° 55° 96° in 1988 41° in 1914

Last 24 hours

For month

For year

inches

inches

inches

0.00

4.47

Sunrise today Sunset today

29.29

6:43 a.m. 8:13 p.m.

• 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

by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, phone the following numbers: 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: 3-1-5 Hot Lotto: 7-17-27-37-39 Hot Ball: 9 Est.: $1.15 million

Daily 4: 2-7-9-7 Powerball: 18-21-46-54-56 Powerball: 23 Est.: $60 million

A1SUD360

KISER Continued from 1A West Virginia State Police Sgt. R.D. Lilly said Friday that the owner of Stor-All storage company on Broad Street contacted police to report what appeared to be a human leg inside a unit into which he looked because the door was unsecured. It is unclear who holds

FESTIVAL Continued from 1A The main attraction of the Appalachian Festival is the Arts and Crafts Fair, which is in its 49th year. More than 100 vendors will be there this year to sell their hard work and will have everything from quilts and pottery to sculptures and wood works. Foods like kettle corn, roasted peanuts, and steak sandwiches are also made by the fair’s artisans. With half-a-century worth of history under its belt, the fair has touched the lives of entire family generations. “We had sold to the families of children in strollers and now those children have grown up and brought their own kids to the festival,” stained-glass crafter Judy Bailey said. “We’ve been doing the Arts and Crafts Fair for around 25 years now.” Bailey runs a craft stand that produces everything from garden lights to bird feeders. “We started glasswork as a hobby and people just wanted our crafts more and more,” Bailey said. “We couldn’t give our crafts to everyone, but we would sell a little bit. We once went to the Charleston show and sold out all of our crafts on the first night, which was a little embarrassing,” Bailey added with a laugh.

the lease on the storage unit. “He saw what he believed to be a human leg, but he wasn’t sure,” Lilly said. “He told us he didn’t know if it was animal or human ... but as soon as we saw it, we knew. There was no question.” After obtaining search warrants, troopers discovered the decomposed remains of two humans, Lilly reported. The State Medical Examiner’s Office removed

the remains to Charleston for identification, and Alabama authorities were assisting in identifying the bodies, he added. Lilly said Kiser’s home was searched in July by Alabama investigators, Lilly and Cpl. D.P. White and that the Alabama authorities questioned Kiser about the disappearance of Cobb and Delvecchio. “They didn’t discover anything,” Lilly report-

ed. “They didn’t gain any new information, at that point, on the missing persons case that they were working.” Kiser was convicted in federal court in 2005 of wire fraud for receiving and cashing $10,000 of Cobb’s United States Railroad Retirement Board benefits. Kiser served three years’ probation in Nicholas County on that charge.

Bailey says that the Chamber of Commerce has worked hard to avoid turning the fair into a regular marketplace. “All of the crafts that everyone makes are always so nice,” Bailey said. “It’s not a bunch of cheaply made jewelry like you’d find in some shows. People come to the Appalachian Craft Fair for quality items.” Bailey and her husband may have been contributing to the fair for 25 years, but they show no signs of slowing down. “My husband and I will keep exhibiting in the fair for as long as we feel healthy,” Bailey said. “It’s nice to have a hobby that keeps me active, and I certainly don’t feel my age. All of the people that we’ve met through the fair have just been fantastic.” Aside from the Arts and Crafts Fair, the Appalachian Festival also features daily musical entertainment that is said to range from traditional Celtic music to bluegrass. Those who attend the Arts and Crafts Fair can also take their ticket to the Beckley Exhibition Coal Mine to receive a tour at a reduced group rate. Tickets can also be presented at the Cliffside Amphitheatre to receive discounted tickets to see “Rocket Boys, the Musical.” Ellen Taylor, presi-

dent and CEO of BRCCC, said she and her staff always look at this event as kind of a last summertime hurrah. “It’s a fun three days for the community and it is a very family-oriented event.” Arts and Crafts Fair hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Other weekend events include artists demonstrations and a juried art exhibit from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Cynthia Bickey Gallery inside Beckley Art Center on Johnstown Road. The gallery will also host a Make and Take Workshop from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in which adults and children can create a small watercolor painting to take home. Another Make & Take, this one a traditional mountain craft, will be from 10 a.m. to noon at the Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia. A coal mining photo exhibit by George Bragg will be shown at Crossroads Mall. The big event of the evening will be the Taste of Appalachia, a block party showcasing the flavor and music of Appalachia in Beckley’s Historic District. In addition to cuisine from local restaurants, there will be performances by Clinton Collins & the Creek Boys and the New River Jazz Band in Uptown Beckley at

Main and Neville streets from 6 to 9 p.m. Another evening activity is the Historic Beckley Ghost Tour, which explores local history and unusual happenings. The tour takes from 60 to 90 minutes and starts in front of the Raleigh County Courthouse. A variety of activities in the New River Gorge National Park are available as well, including ranger-led activities to learn more about nature. Craft demonstrations of textiles and turned wood will be available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day of the festival at Tamarack. An Oldies Car Show by Shade Tree Car Club will be Sunday at Crossroads Mall; registration is from 10 a.m. to noon and the show will be from noon to 6 p.m. Tours of Historic Wildwood House, home of Beckley’s founder, Gen. Alfred Beckley, showcase materials dating back through the 19th century and a doll collection. Hours are 1 to 4 p.m. Tamarack will have its weekly Sunday@ Two performance featuring Bobby Maynard and Breakdown. ■■■ For more information, including ticket prices, visit www.appalachianfestival.net or call the BeckleyRaleigh Chamber of Commerce at 304-2527328.

Assault: Harper Road Check welfare: Hager Street, Harper Road, South Kanawha The following is a list of inciStreet dents reported to police agen- Destruction of property: Laucies Aug. 16; however, the call rel Terrace may have resulted in someDisturbance: Harper Road, thing other than what was origi- Beckley Plaza nally reported. Drug violation: South Fayette Street (2), Vine Street Beckley Police DUI: Klaus Street

NEWS OF RECORD

Harassment: Hylton Lane Larceny: South Eisenhower Drive, Calloway Street Motor vehicle accident: North Eisenhower Drive (2), McCulloch Drive, Beckley Crossing, Robert C. Byrd Drive (2), Johnstown Road MVA leaving the scene: Robert C. Byrd Drive Prowler: South Kanawha

F. BRIAN FERGUSON/THE REGISTER-HERALD (2)

— E-mail: jfarrish@ register-herald.com Convoy of Hope volunteers hand out free groceries

during Saturday's Day of Hope event at the YMCA Soccer Complex.

Street Reckless driving: South Eisenhower Drive, East Beckley Bypass, Reservoir Road Suspicious person: Larew Avenue, Bibb Avenue, Galleria Plaza, Hager Street Unwanted presence: South Kanawha Street Raleigh Sheriff

Earl Bennett, 3, of Pax gets a back-to-school haircut from Brenda Edwards during the Day of Hope event.

HOPE Continued from 1A The kids especially enjoyed the “Kids Zone,” where they played in the bounce house, slid down the slide and even got their faces painted. The event was filled with local volunteers from 15 churches and a host of various businesses and organizations, but one young volunteer hailed all the way from South Africa. Fresh out of high school, soccer player Dundas Clark said he is staying with an American family in Daniels while he works with Convoy of Hope. “It’s always nice to serve and to work with kids,” Clark said. “It’s wonderful to serve Jesus.” Over 750 people took advantage of free health services offered at the event — everything Breaking and entering: Midway (3), Stanaford Burglary: Beckley Check welfare: Fairdale, Daniels, Glen Daniel (2), Shady Spring, White Oak Disturbance: Coal City, Westview, Bradley, Sophia Drug violation: Shady Spring, Tolleytown, Dameron Larceny: Calloway Heights,

from dental and vision screenings to mental health and diabetes education. Wes Dangerfield and Pastor Jason Lowe helped organize the medical staff on site Saturday. Sam’s Optical offered the eye screenings, Beckley ARH and FMRS provided mental health education, and dentist Dr. Greg Harvey and Dr. Brett Eckley were on site for dental screenings. Local LPNs were also on site to offer their services. “We feel from a church perspective, that’s what were here to do. We’re here to help,” Lowe said. “There are so many volunteers, so many physicians, and it’s great to see them volunteer their time.” Dangerfield added, “It’s a tremendous blessing.” — E-mail: wholdren@ register-herald.com

Sandlick, Stanaford, Rhodell, Fitzpatrick Motor vehicle accident: Sandlick, Sophia Possible DUI: Beckley Prowler: Raleigh, Prosperity Reckless driving: Eccles, Glen Daniel Shots fired: Clear Creek, Midway Unwanted presence: Bradley


TASTE OF APPALACHIA TO TICKLE TASTE BUDS SATURDAY LOCAL | Page 3A

UNEMPLOYMENT RATES RISE IN MOST U.S. STATES IN JULY NATION | Page 10A

SATURDAY’S CROSSFIT 5K TO BENEFIT UNITED WAY SPORTS | Page 1B

REGISTER HERALD THE

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Beckley, West Virginia ◆ Single copy: 75 cents

‘Urbanized area’ Farm fresh designation puts public transit funds in jeopardy

Regional Jails to lose money when inmates move to Salem By Mannix Porterfield REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER

By C.V. Moore REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER

Public transit in Raleigh and Fayette counties is at risk of going away unless leaders find a way to negotiate a new funding landscape. A new “urbanized area” from Beckley into Fayetteville was revealed by the 2010 census. The urbanized designation is having the unintended consequence of endangering public transit services. When the area was rural, state funding helped match a federal investment in transit, but the new urban designation takes those state funds off the table. Now, local leaders are struggling to find a way to come up with the difference so that services can be maintained. This is difficult in an area where small municipal governments are struggling for cash as it is. “We’re very likely looking at some kind of transportation levy because as far as I’m aware, none of the counties and towns have the money to put in,” said W.D. Smith, executive director of the Region 4 Planning and Development Council. “The lack of funding is the big gorilla in the room,” says David Cole, Smith’s counterpart in Region 1. The situation will play out differently in Raleigh and Fayette counties, which currently have separate public transit systems. In Fayette County, Mountain Transit Authority (MTA) now provides bus service. It is a rural transit authority that also serves Webster, Greenbrier, and Nicholas counties. There are contradictory signals as to its plans going forward. At a meeting of the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Monday in Beckley, Cole reported that the MTA recently announced that its board no longer wanted to provide service in Fayette County. See TRANSIT, 11A

Experts called in to help ID remains of Nicholas bodies By Jessica Farrish REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER

The West Virginia State Medical Examiner’s Office called in experts from Washington, D.C., to help identify two sets of human remains found Wednesday in a Nicholas County storage unit, an Alabama prosecutor said Monday. Walker County District Attorney Bill Adair added that Wanda Kiser, 61, of Nicholas County, for whom arrest warrants were issued in Nicholas County for two counts of illegally disposing of a dead body, remained hospitalized in Summersville Monday morning. Nicholas County Prosecutor James Milam said Saturday that when law enforcement went to her house to serve the warrants, they found she “had taken a bunch of pills.” She has been hospitalized since. Adair did not say whether the storage unit was leased to Kiser, who is charged in Alabama with 17 counts of forgery for allegedly cashing retirement checks belonging to Mary Cobb, 105, and alimony checks of Cobb’s daughter, Wynona Delvecchio, 84, of Jasper, Ala. See BODIES, 11A

2013

RICK BARBERO/THE REGISTER-HERALD

Jerry Wiley sits on his truck along W.Va. 10 in Pineville Monday selling his double sweet corn while trying to escape the rain. He said he sold 140 dozen.

Lawmakers leaving this week to learn about ‘future fund’ in N.D. only four years. “We don't want to hamper the gas industry,” Hall said. “But we also don’t want to do CHARLESTON — Hoping to avoid repeating the mistakes of the what coal did to McDowell, past, when billions of dollars in coal Wyoming and Boone counties in the production largely went to out-of- 1930s. People didn’t think and milstate corporations, a delegation of lions — actually, billions by today’s West Virginia lawmakers heads to standards — worth of coal was proNorth Dakota this week to learn duced in southern West Virginia and it all went to New York and about creating a future fund. In mind is a special account to be Pittsburgh.” Hall acknowledged that coal was fed by taxes imposed on the fledga financial blessing to ling Marcellus gas insome extent but said dustry and oil produc“It’s financially the state could have tion. fared much better had “It’s financially reresponsible to save people looked to the sponsible to save for for the future.” future rather than the the future,” Sen. present. Daniel Hall, DSEN. DANIEL HALL, “McDowell County Wyoming, one member D-Wyoming was one of the richest of the entourage, said and most productive Monday. “Look at what we’ve been able to counties for several decades in the do with the Rainy Day Fund. We country in the early part of the don’t spend that money unless it's 1900s,” the 9th District senator an emergency situation, like disas- said. “Now, it’s one of the poorest. ter relief.” In this year’s legislative session, There's no real infrastructure.” Hall said governments are facing SB167, the proposal advanced by Senate President Jeffrey Kessler, potentially tough times, particularD-Marshall, never came to a vote in ly with the “legacy costs,” of postemployment benefits and pensions. the Senate. “This could help alleviate some of Kessler arranged the Wednesday visit to Bismarck to see how those problems with the state down N o r t h D a k o t a s e t u p a n d h a s the road,” he said. managed its own future fund, one See FUND, 11A that has swelled to $1.3 billion in By Mannix Porterfield

REGISTER-HERALD REPORTER

WEATHER

Volume 134 Number 62

CHARLESTON — Court fees are on the decline, and once the new prison overcrowding law starts to have an impact, the Regional Jail Authority stands to lose significant income, lawmakers learned Monday. Already, Regional Jail Director Joe DeLong said, his agency will see an $8 million loss in revenue once 450 statesentenced inmates are transferred to a prison in Salem. This year, the Legislature enacted SB371 with various provi- Legislature sions intended to ease over- On Page 2A crowding, and this will signif- ■ More from icantly trim Legislative the revenues interims paid into his agency by the counties for the upkeep of inmates. DeLong was joined at an interims meeting of the Legislative Oversight Committee on Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority by his agency’s chief financial officer, Tony Atkins. As of June 30, Atkins told the panel, the authority had total net assets of $118 million, and $20.6 million in restricted cash, including an annual installment of $8.9 million in bond debt payments. With eight more years left to satisfy a remaining bond debt of $56.4 million, Atkins pointed out that the only dedicated source of meeting these payments is money collected in court fees. DeLong pointed out that money paid by counties cannot, by law, be applied to the bonded indebtedness, but such payments can only be met with court fees. The per diem payments by counties must be spent on general operating costs. “We’ve had a funding deficit the past seven years of almost $5.6 million in court fees to make our debt payments,” he said. Atkins told the committee that as of July 1 next year, the agency’s financial statement must begin to reflect the pension liability, but he couldn’t project what that number will be. House Government Organization Chairman Jim Morgan, D-Cabell, asked Atkins if he could provide a ballpark figure on what the pension liability would be, but the financial officer couldn’t. “Not a wild guess?” Morgan persisted. “I do not,” Atkins said, but then added, “It’s not going to be a small number.”

Partly sunny, 20% chance of rain High 80. Low 63. Details, Page 11A

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TRANSIT Continued from 1A “The MTA does not want to taint themselves with the urban criteria that goes along with operating in this area,” he said, since that criteria could cut it off from state funding. It was originally thought that since so little of its services occurred in Fayette County, that it could continue to operate as a rural provider. However, it’s apparent now that if it is going to serve any of the urbanized area, it is going to have to become an urbanized transit authority, said Smith. “They indicated early on that they did not want to because they were not staffed for it and did not have the budget to support the required local

JAILS Continued from 1A Atkins said pension plans have figured prominently in the “stress” caused in other states and municipalities, more recently as evidenced in bankrupt Detroit. Overall, however, lawmakers were told that the state’s unfunded liability of the Public Employees Retirement System as of June 30, 2012, was $1.2 billion. “And when this kicks in, a portion of this will become a liability on the regional jail authority’s books,” Atkins said. Atkins said the authority has some $122 million worth of assets, but the

BODIES Continued from 1A Both Cobb and Delvecchio were checked out of an Alabama nursing home with assistance from Kiser in 2000, and they were reported missing in 2003, Alabama officials said. A skull was found under Delvecchio’s home in 2012, and Alabama investigators had traveled to Nicholas County in July to question Kiser about the women’s disappearance, Nicholas police reported Friday. No positive DNA

cost share,” he said. “From their perspective, it sinks the fiscal ship.” But Bill Mauzey, director of MTA, says his organization is considering “still being in Fayette County in some capacity,” though not in the urbanized area running mostly along the U.S. 19 corridor. Susan O’Connell of the West Virginia Department of Transportation says the ball is in the MTA’s court. “The MTA has not put forth any kind of plan,” she said. “We would be willing to consider something in Fayette County if that’s what the MTA wants to do, because they already operate there, but I don’t know if it makes sense from an operating perspective.” Mauzey protested that the MTA was not given adequate information to inform such a decision.

“If we were informed with more details of how the match money worked, we could have maybe got more involved,” he said. “We never had enough information that we needed to move forward. We investigated all we could. We didn’t have anything to make the decision with.” The MTA recently canvassed Fayette County communities for funds to expand its services there, so local leaders were surprised to hear of its possible intention to pull out of Fayette. “Where does this leave the municipalities in Fayette County with public transportation?” asked Oak Hill City Manager Bill Hannabass, whose city recently gave $6,000 to MTA. “My disappointment is that we have not been a party to this conversation

at all,” said Fayette County Commission President Matt Wender, who learned of the matter at Monday’s meeting. The situation in Raleigh County is different, but just as serious. Currently, Raleigh County Community Action Association (RCCAA) provides transportation services there, including four bus routes and several other specialized services for residents and commuting workers. Much of its funding comes from two programs that were repealed under last year’s federal Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. That money is now rolled into Urbanized Area Formula Program funds. But since RCCAA is a private non-profit and not a public transit authority, it is not eligible to directly receive those federal

funds. A couple of options exist for creating a “designated recipient” that would subgrant the funds to a provider like RCCAA. A new public transit authority with an independent board could be created to be the recipient. Or an existing government entity could become the conduit of the funds for a sub-grantee to operate the transit system. This would require some staff resources to execute. In either case, something must be done by the end of this coming fiscal year, June 30, 2014. Both MTA and RCCAA will continue to operate in Fayette and Raleigh until that time. After that, the path is unclear. The MPO decided to move forward with creation of a scope of work document that would establish the public trans-

portation needs of the two counties, in the hopes that a provider would step forward to operate both. “We have to define what it is we really need, and we may redefine what transportation services are being provided in the area,” said Cole. “In fact, we may be priced out of the market without an additional revenue stream. But we have to do our due diligence to identify that.” Bobbi Thomas-Bailey of RCCAA expressed concern that a lengthy study could delay proceedings. “Raleigh County has no transit if this doesn’t get done,” she said. “We do know the clock is ticking. Certainly we don’t want to see transit come to a standstill at that point. ... That would be disastrous,” said Beckley Mayor Emmett Pugh.

average age of them is 16.2 years, well beyond the ideal five to six years. The first jail was erected in 1989 and the last one in 2005. Southern Regional Jail was constructed in 1993. ■■■ In another matter, Mark Reynolds, director of Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Second Chance, explained the program’s goal of working with chaplains in seeking to rehabilitate offenders at no cost to the states. “We blanket the world with our programs,” he said. THe idea is to work with juveniles in an effort to improve the recidivism rate. While he couldn’t provide any hard figures to

Delegate Denise Campbell, D-Randolph, largely since “there are several fingers in the pie,” Reynolds provided some anecdotal evidence to the committee. A warden at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as Angola, called Second Chance “one of the three legs of his success.” “They went from one of the bloodiest correctional facilities n the United States to one of the most positive facilities,” Reynolds said. “We just want to be a tool to help enhance those chaplains and state programs,” Reynolds said. “We’re trying to head it off at the youth level.”

FUND

“We’re able to borrow money at much cheaper rates than other states do.” Others making the trip are Sens. Bill Laird, DFayette; Ron Miller, DGreenbrier; Bob Beach, D-Monongalia; Rocky Fitzsimmons, D-Ohio; Bob Plymale, D-Wayne and Bob Williams, DTaylor, and Delegates Nancy Guthrie, DKanawha; Jason Barrett, D-Berkeley; Adam Young, D-Nicholas; Richard Iaquinta, DHarrison; Bill Hamilton, R-Upshur; Ron Walters and Eric Nelson, both RKanawha; Philip Diserio, D-Brooke; and Mike Manypenny, D-Taylor. “The reason we’re going to North Dakota obviously is to see what

they've done and see what they've done right and wrong,” Hall said. “Surely, there are some things that they wished they had done differently when they set it up.” Hall said many questions remain about how West Virginia lawmakers will create one here. “We don’t want to raise taxes,” he said. “Nobody is saying raise taxes. I’ve never said we should raise taxes to pursue a future fund. But I’m not opposed if gas production and prices go to a certain point that this would trigger another percentage increase. Not a hard set tax, but maybe a percentage. It’s all in how you set it up.”

matches or identification have yet been made to the two bodies or to the skull, Adair said Monday afternoon. “Because of the length of the time, obviously, and the state we found them in, there are some difficulties surrounding (identification),” said Adair. “Although we are somewhat confident of what we have, we need to verify this and that’s taking the amount of time.” Adair said Kiser and her husband had lived next door to Delvecchio prior to Delvecchio’s disappearance, which was reported to Jasper police in 2003.

Kiser was found guilty in federal court in West Virginia in 2006 of wire fraud for receiving $10,000 worth of Cobb’s retirement checks from the United States Railroad Retirement Board. She served three years’ probation. Adair added that while Kiser is currently the only person charged with any crimes in relation to the missing persons case, “We have not closed off any avenue. “At this point, there are some leads investigators are following up on.”

Continued from 1A

“Those are the legacy costs of maintaining bridges, the infrastructure system of water and sewer systems, which are all going downhill in 50 years. The things we’re doing now are all going to run out. Nothing is permanent.” If the state can erect a special fund and either collect interest or invest it, Hall said, it would be in position to meet future needs. “We have some of the highest bond ratings in the country right now because of the Rainy — E-mail: mannix Day Fund,” the senator @register-herald.com said.

— E-mail: jfarrish @register-herald.com

DUI: Neville Street Fight: Oakwood Avenue Firework complaint: Park The following is a list of inci- Avenue dents reported to police Harassment: Orchard Avagencies Aug. 18; however, enue the call may have resulted Intoxicated person: in something other than Kessinger Street, S. Eisenwhat was originally reported. hower Drive Juvenile problems: S. Fayette Street Beckley Police Larceny: Hull Street (2) 911 hang-up: Vine Street, Leaving the scene of an acWoodlawn Avenue Alarm: Robert C. Byrd Drive cident: Harper Road Mental/Emotional PS: Hill (2), Johnstown Road, S. Street Oakwood Avenue (2), RusMotor vehicle accident: sell Street Harper Road Assault: Harper Road Noise complaint: Railroad Attempt to locate: MapleAvenue wood Lane Parking complaint: N. Business check: Adair Eisenhower Drive (3) Street Runaway juvenile: Grant Check welfare: Harper Road, Third Avenue, Robert Street Shoplifting: N. Eisenhower C. Byrd Drive Drive Domestic dispute: Woodlawn Avenue, Foster Avenue, Shots fired: Bostic Avenue Suspicious person: Beckley S. Kanawha Street

NEWS OF RECORD

—E-mail: cmoore @register-herald.com

Crossing Threats: Stanaford Road, Main Street Trespassing: N. Eisenhower Drive, S. Eisenhower Drive Unwanted presence: S. Kanawha Street Violation of DVP: Bellevue Lane Raleigh Sheriff Breaking and entering: Sprague Check welfare: Stanaford Destruction of property: Rhodell Disturbance: Crab Orchard, Soak Creek, Dry Hill Domestic dispute: Cool Ridge, Bradley, Leevale, Shady Spring, Stanaford, Dameron Larceny: Crab Orchard, Macarthur Motor vehicle accident: Glen Morgan, Mount Tabor, Sophia, Dry Hill, Glen Daniel, Eccles Shoplifting: Macarthur


News writing 8 17 all bodies found jf  
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