Archive for June 2007

MSHA critical of inspectors at Sago, Aracoma, Darby

June 29, 2007

By Emily Corio
The Mine Safety and Health Administration released an internal review Thursday about how poorly it enforced safety regulations at the Sago, Aracoma, and Darby mines. Deadly disasters at all three killed 19 miners last year. MSHA’s report criticizes its local inspectors and supervisors, saying they lacked the proper attitude to enforce safety rules.


‘Unleashing Capitalism’ creates buzz, but is its research accurate?

June 29, 2007

By Scott Finn 

Many West Virginia business leaders, policymakers and media reports are gushing over a new book. It’s called Unleashing Capitalism: Why Prosperity Stops at the West Virginia Border and How To Fix It.”

The book’s recommendations include tort reform, tax cuts and less government regulation.The State Journal says the observations in Unleashing Capitalism are based on “hard economic facts,” and that we all should be students of the book’s editor, WVU Economics Professor Russell Sobel.

But there are critics who say the book’s findings are fueled by a conservative agenda. Scott Finn reports.

Byrd addresses recent reports on his age

June 28, 2007

By Cecelia Mason 
Senator Robert Byrd says he felt compelled today to make a speech on the Senate floor about his age.  Byrd, 89, responded to ra ecent Associated Press report that revealed, as he put it, “the shocking discovery that I am getting older.”

Byrd says his age does not affect his ability to do his job.“I still look out for West Virginia. I still zealously guard the welfare of this nation and its Constitution. I still work, every day, to move the business of this nation forward, to end this reckless adventure in Iraq, and to protect, preserve, and to defend the Constitution against those who would reshape it to suit partisan agenda. And I will continue to do this work until this old body gives out. Just don’t expect that to be anytime soon.”

Byrd also discussed a report that compares his signature on financial disclosure forms from years past. He has a condition called essential tremor, and says some days it is worse than others.  Byrd says it should also not come a surprise that he uses canes or isn’t as fast as he used to be.

Wheeling Island track disappointed in turnout of potential casino dealers

June 28, 2007

By Keri Brown
This weekend residents in Hancock County will vote on a local referendum on table games at Mountaineer Racetrack and Gaming Resort.. Voters in Ohio County have already approved games like blackjack and roulette at Wheeling Island Racetrack.

One of the selling points for the casinos was the need for jobs. Classes started on Monday at West Virginia Northern Community College to train dealers for the casino jobs in Wheeling. But Racetrack officials are disappointed in the number of people enrolled in the classes. Keri Brown reports.

Minister faces extradition to Ireland over assisted suicide charges

June 28, 2007

From staff reports 

In 2002, Rosemary Toole committed suicide in Dublin, Ireland, but she wasn’t alone. Beckley minister George Exoo and his companion were there with Toole as she ingested crushed up pills, put a tube connected to helium gas cylinder in her mouth and pulled a plastic bag over her head. Irish authorities have been investigating ever since. Last week, federal prosecutors formally requested Exoo’s extradition and Monday, FBI agents arrested him and put him in the Southern Regional Jail in Raleigh County.

Huntington filmmakers sue ‘We Are Marshall’ studio

June 28, 2007

By Kristin Murdock

Huntington documentary producers Deborah Novak and John Witek have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the writers and producers of the movie, “We Are Marshall.”

They say the movie ripped off scenes and the story line from their documentary, “Ashes to Glory,” which first aired in 2000 on West Virginia PBS. Novak and Witek are seeking $40 million dollars. Kristin Murdock reports.

Life on Wheels

June 27, 2007

By Cecelia Mason

The Recreational Vehicle Industry Association estimates about one million people in the U.S. live full-time in RVs. West Virginia native Dick Strader has joined the ranks of those who have traded their traditional home for one on the open road. This story was produced as part of our series Aging with Grace and Dignity.