The Voice of West Virginia
MINERAL COUNTY, W.Va. — A Hampshire County man was killed and his wife remained hospitalized following a motorcycle crash last weekend in Mineral County.
State Police said emergency crews were called out for a reported crash involving a motorcycle and an SUV along U.S. Route 50 at about 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019 near Patterson Creek Road.
Troy Lee Imes, 55, of Springfield, was pronounced dead at the scene.
His wife, Yvonne Imes, 49, sustained serious injuries and was flown via helicopter to Ruby Memorial Hospital.
On Tuesday, she remained hospitalized.
The two people in the SUV were not hurt.
The crash investigation continued on Tuesday.
The post One hurt, one killed in Mineral County vehicle wreck appeared first on WV MetroNews.
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — The WVSSAC playoff ratings are calculated using a points-based system, factoring in each team’s record and strength of schedule.
SSAC Points System:
|19||PRESTON HIGH SCHOOL||4||1||2||0||65||76||12||0|
|14||ROBERT C. BYRD||6.33||2||1||0||117||97||18||1|
|10||WHEELING CENTRAL CATHOLIC||5||2||1||0||81||56||12||3|
Not Eligible for Playoffs
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An electrical shock was being blamed early on in the investigation into the death of a coal miner in Kanawha County.
Steven Vernon Keeney, 40, of Sylvester in Boone County, died early Tuesday morning, according the state Office of Miners’ Health, Safety and Training.
At the time, he was working at Panther Creek Mining’s American Eagle Mine located in Cabin Creek.
Investigators said Keeney was a certified electrician.
The accident was reported before 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.
“Our brave mine electricians are right there underground with our coal miners every day, doing courageous and important work that allows us to keep the lights on across the entire country,” Governor Jim Justice said in a statement.
“Today, we are heartbroken for the loss of one of these heroes: Steven Keeney. Cathy and I ask everyone to join us in praying for his family, friends, and the entire West Virginia mining community.”
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The ‘CareSource MetroNews Top Plays’ segment is back for the 2019 season. Check out the best plays from Week 3. You can send your Top Plays each week by posting the video with #MNTopPlay. The #1 play earns $100.
LASHMEET, W.Va. — A motorcyclist was killed when his vehicle crashed in the Lashmeet area Monday.
The victim, described as an adult male from Mercer County, was pronounced dead at the scene on Route 10. His identity has not been released.
No other vehicles were involved.
The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the cause of the accident.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Greg Carey and Joe Brocato break down the best matchups on the board in Class AA football during Week 4.
- Fairmont Senior (3-0) at Bridgeport (3-0) – MetroNews HD video broadcast (Thursday, 7:00)
- Weir (2-1) at Keyser (3-0)
- Man (3-0) at Greenbrier East (2-1)
The post Fairmont Sr.-Bridgeport highlights Class AA slate in Week 4 appeared first on WV MetroNews.
If you drive out past Lumberport in Harrison County and stay on the road when it turns to gravel, you will eventually come to the end of the road, and there you will find the Shaw farm. The 111 acres have been in the family for a couple of generations, and it’s where several family members live.
Norma Shaw and her daughter, Linda, live in the last house. Up until March of last year, that’s also where Norma’s husband and Linda’s father, George, lived. That’s where I visited with the Shaws last Friday. Between cups of coffee and Linda’s homemade cookies, we talked at length about the tragic and malicious events that had changed their family forever.
George Shaw, Sr., was a career Air Force man—28 years—and he spent another eight years after retirement working at the Louis A. Johnson VA Hospital in Clarksburg.
Linda Shaw was also career Air Force. The family depended on the VA hospital for their care. It was only natural that when George Shaw became ill that he would go to the VA. Norma said doctors told them George had become dehydrated. He would be better in a couple of days and could come home.
But Shaw took a dramatic turn for the worse. “His sugar dropped. He wasn’t doing anything. He was dying,” Linda said. Overnight he went from robust for his age to dying and it’s a shock.”
He ended up in hospice care and died a few weeks later. The family buried him and grieved. Then, months later, investigators from the FBI and the VA’s Office of Inspector General came to see Norma unannounced.
They had shocking news. George Shaw’s death was suspicious. They wanted to exhume the body for an autopsy. The medical report revealed that Shaw, who was not a diabetic, had been injected with insulin at four different places on his body and that killed him.
“When they said it was homicide, my sister and I were like, ‘We knew it.’ We knew he never should have died. We knew there was something wrong,” Linda said.
Federal investigators have told the Shaws there is a person of interest, but no one has been arrested. The Shaws say they have faith in the investigation. “These boys are dotting every I and crossing every T, and I say let them do it,” Linda Shaw said. “Let them do their investigation however long it takes. Let’s get the truth out there.”
The truth will reveal more than just what happened to Shaw. Felix Kirk McDermott, an 82-year-old Army veteran, was also a homicide victim at the same VA hospital at about the same time as Shaw. Investigators say up to nine more patients died under suspicious circumstances.
The Shaw family feels betrayed. “How could this happen? How could it happen at someplace I trust?” Linda Shaw asked. “We’ve got to make sure this never happens again to anybody anywhere, not just our family.”
Norma Shaw is angry about what happened to her husband. They would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this past June. “That was taken away from me,” she said.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A group of Democratic senators is asking congressional leadership to pass legislation permanently funding health care and pension benefits for retired coal miners as discussions continue in regards to preventing a government shutdown.
U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia; Doug Jones of Alabama; Mark Warner of Virginia; Sherrod Brown of Ohio; Bob Casey of Pennsylvania; and Tim Kaine of Virginia sent a letter dated Monday to leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
By 2022, 87,000 retired coal miners could lose their pensions if lawmakers do nothing, as well as 20,000 additional beneficiaries who have yet to draw their pensions.
Manchin said in July the bankruptcies of Westmoreland and Mission Coal could result in 1,200 workers losing their benefits by the end of the year.
“If we don’t take action now, these families in Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming, Alabama, Colorado, North Dakota and New Mexico will begin receiving health care termination notices at the end of October,” the senators said Monday.
“Without congressional action to keep this from happening, they will spend their holiday season worrying about whether or not they will have to choose between their life-saving medications and putting food on the table,” they added. “After all they have done for our country, the least we could do is keep our end of the bargain, honor the commitments that were made, and show them that we are thankful for the sacrifices they have made for our country.”
Manchin, Kaine, Brown and Casey spoke on the Senate floor in July in favor of the American Miners Act, which would require the Department of Treasury to transfer funds to the 1974 United Mine Workers of America Pension plan, increase the limit on transfers from $490 million to $750 million, and extend health care access to coal miners whose employers became bankrupt in 2018.
The legislation would also restore the Black Lung Liability Trust Fund excise tax through December 2028.
Manchin and the five other senators introduced the bill in January. The Democratic caucus co-sponsored the bill during the Senate’s consideration of the National Defense Authorization Act, but the vote was blocked.
The six senators also thanked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., for pushing House Resolution 397, which would allow for loans to certain pension plans in critical status.
The House passed the measure 264-169 in July; Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., voted for the resolution, while Reps. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., and Carol Miller, R-W.Va., opposed.
The House Natural Resources Committee is also slated to vote on measures funding health benefits and pensions for retired coal miners; McKinley sponsored the bill regarding pensions, House Resolution 935.
The six senators said despite the House’s efforts, the Republican-led Senate has not taken up any related legislation this year.
“Because this is literally a life and death issue for thousands of families across this country, we urge you to include a permanent solution for miners health care and pension benefits in the short-term funding package that will ensure the continued operation of the U.S. government beyond September 30th, 2019, and we stand ready to work together in a bipartisan way to keep our promises to these great American families,” the legislators wrote.
Congress will have to approve multiple appropriations measures before Oct. 1 to fund various government agencies and departments.
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FAIRMONT, W.Va. — The Fairmont State University Board of Governors has agreed to begin negotiations with president Mirta Martin for a new three-year contract.
The board met Monday, which attracted the attention of students as well as community members who want to see Martin remain as president.
“My relationship with her and in our working environment with the university and the things I do every day has been so positive and so good that I just want to continue that and she’s the right person to continue that with,” Fairmont Mayor Brad Merrifield said.
Martin took over the university in 2018. The college was $2.8 million in debt, but now has $1.9 million in reserves.
Enrollment is also increasing for the first time since 2010.
Martin said reaccreditation is her current top priority.
“Accreditation is a priority, that ensures our degree is worthy for our students so that they are able to progress,” she said.
Student body vice president Dillon Bradley said the changes he has seen in his five years has been incredible.
“In that period of time, I can see the changes that have happened and they’ve been drastic changes that had to happen for this institution to stay here,” said Bradley, who is working on his master’s degree.
Martin’s base salary is set at $270,000 with financial incentives for reaching certain goals.
Her current contract goes through Dec. 28.
The post Fairmont State BOG votes to offer Martin new contract appeared first on WV MetroNews.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The education omnibus that state lawmakers passed earlier this year included language aimed at increasing enrollment at the ChalleNGe Academy to 600 students as well as opening a second location in southern West Virginia.
The problem: the bill did not provide any additional funding for the proposal.
West Virginia University officials are among those watching the next steps to not only secure funding but also secure a site for a second school.
“They had a lot on their plate with K-12 education reform. They may have wanted some additional information, they may have just said sharpen your pencils and come back,” said Rob Alsop, WVU’s vice president of strategic initiatives. “The National Guard has continued to have conversations with the legislature on how we get to a good place and make that ChalleNGe Academy a reality.”
The only current ChalleNGe Academy is in Preston County; the volunteer program is a 22-week quasi-military program for at-risk teenagers in danger of missing graduation requirements.
In terms of a second location, Alsop said WVU is considering allocating buildings from the West Virginia Institute of Technology campus in Montgomery.
“We’re a willing partner in terms of working with them for the buildings and as far as transfer of the property to the appropriate folks, so we’re very willing to work with them,” he said.
KVC Health Systems was supposed to take over the campus for an education facility for people aging out of foster care, but the group pulled out of the arrangement in March.