Archive for December 2007

Manchin’s daughter received no favoritism, WVU says; Mylan stands behind COO

December 22, 2007

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Friday that West Virginia University rewrote records that originally showed that Gov. Joe Manchin’s daughter had completed only half of the required course work to earn her MBA degree at WVU in 1998. WVU says a clerical mistake is to blame for the appearance that Heather Bresch received favorable treatment regarding her MBA.

The Post-Gazette started looking into Bresch’s background in October after she was named chief operating officer of Milan Inc, a pharmaceutical company based in Pittsburgh.  

University spokeswoman Amy Neil says Bresch’s records were corrected, but only after an investigation showed that information contained in the College of Business and Economics files were not properly recorded in WVU’s admission’s office a decade ago.  Neil says similar problems were discovered in the records of a couple of other students. 

Neil: “We have admitted to the Post-Gazette and to Ms. Bresch and to any students that were impacted that it was the College of Business and Economics’ error back 10 years ago. It was, whether it be the lack of electronic recording of grades or the way the College of Business and Economics reported their records to the Office of Admissions and Records. Obviously, it was not done in the proper fashion, and the university has admitted to those mistakes, have corrected those errors from back ten years ago. And it’s not the most perfect situation, but it had nothing to do with favoritism, had nothing to do with names. It was just a matter of making sure that our records were correct and accurate which the Dean ensured that they were.”  

The Post-Gazette article quotes unnamed classmates of Bresch’s who didn’t think she had finished her coursework in 1998. It also reports that the university had no record that she had paid for her missing classes, citing an unnamed source within the university.

The dean of WVU’s College of Business and Economics, Stephen Sears, refused comment to the Post-Gazette. He also has not returned a call to West Virginia Public Broadcasting seeking comment.

Mylan Inc. issued a statement Friday in Bresch’s support. It reads, in part, “Rather than relying on anonymous and unsubstantiated sources, Mylan has received confirmation from West Virginia University that Ms. Bresch received her MBA in December 1998. Ms. Bresch has the full respect and confidence of Mylan’s Board of Directors and management team.”   


Mylan Inc. statement in support of COO Heather Bresch

December 22, 2007

“Mylan stands behind the integrity of its long-time employee and senior executive Heather Bresch. Ms. Bresch is a highly qualified and well-respected industry leader with an exemplary track record of success, established throughout her fifteen year career with the company. Rather than relying on anonymous and unsubstantiated sources, Mylan has received confirmation from West Virginia University that Ms. Bresch received her MBA in December 1998. Ms. Bresch has the full respect and confidence of Mylan’s Board of Directors and management team.

Missing Marshall Student’s Body Believed to be Found

December 22, 2007

Huntington police believe they have found the body of missing Marshall University student Leah Hickman. 

They said they found the body Friday evening in a crawl space under the apartment building where Hickman lived. 

Police had not made an official identification as of Friday night, but they said they believed they had found Hickman’s body. 

The missing college student has been the subject of nationwide publicity and a massive search.

Street violence in Charleston, Huntington

December 21, 2007

Earlier this week, the Rev. Al Sharpton was in Charleston. He was part of a rally that urged prosecutors to file hate crime charges in the rape and torture of Megan Williams in Logan County. But as this case continues to gain attention, some say that leaders like Sharpton, local politicians and the community itself are ignoring more pressing issues.

Of particular concern is recent escalation of street violence. On December 8th, Charleston was the scene of three separate-but-related shootings that criss-crossed the city.

One man was killed, two were seriously wounded and two others have been arrested. Murders are certainly not unheard of in Charleston, but the nature and circumstances surrounding them are changing in the view of Pastor Matthew Watts. He heads an organization in Charleston that works with at-risk youth and juvenile offenders.


He spoke with Beth Vorhees this week on our television program Outlook, as did Brandi Jones. She’s the director of administration in Huntington, and a former member of city council. Huntington is also a city that’s been the scene of high-profile murders and shootings in recent years, most notably the murder of four teen-agers on prom night in 2005.

Below is video of that conversation (and comments made by Al Sharpton), a transcript and a condensed version that aired on the radio program West Virginia Morning.

It’s official: WV now a casino state

December 21, 2007

By Keri Brown 

Two Northern Panhandle racetracks are officially full-fledged casinos. On Thursday, Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino Racetrack and Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort started offering games like blackjack, roulette and craps.


Marshall student still missing; friends organize vigil

December 21, 2007

leahhickman.jpg Leah Hickman

By Clark Davis

The search continues for 21-year-old Marshall University student Leah Hickman, as friends and family keep hope alive.

ARH strike is over

December 20, 2007

The strike between Appalachian Regional Healthcare and its nurses is over. 

After a strike that lasted nearly three months, both sides have announced that they reached a tentative agreement. Details of the agreement will be kept confidential until the approximately 700 registered nurses represented by the Kentucky and West Virginia Nurses Associations have the opportunity to vote on the new proposal tomorrow and Saturday. 

Pat Tanner, chief negotiator for the Kentucky and West Virginia Nurses Associations, said that the last three months have been a difficult time for everyone, but, “I am happy to report that in this proposed tentative agreement – the Kentucky and West Virginia Nurses Associations remain strong and intact.  No nurse is left behind and our issues have been addressed.”  

ARH official Dan Fitzpatrick said the agreement reflects compromises by both parties. Governor Joe Manchin said in a statement that he is “pleased that they were able to come back to the table and reach an agreement that gets our nurses back to work, and enables ARH to continue providing quality health care for southern West Virginia.”  

About 650 nurses walked off the job Oct. 1. Earlier this month, they rejected a contract offer in a 455-5 vote. The strike forced Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital to lay off 17 workers and close one floor. The hospital was seeing fewer patients because many refused to cross the picket line. 

Nurses say their main purpose for striking is the well-being of their patients. They say that staffing levels are spread too thin and mandatory overtime has become the norm. Hospital officials say that federal and state regulators have never found that ARH’s staffing levels adversely affect patient outcomes.