W.Va. dog euthanized for biting despite prominent backers

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A dog whose case inspired an outpouring of support from politicians in West Virginia amid a long legal battle has been euthanized for biting two children multiple times.
House of Delegates Speaker Roger Hanshaw says Jasper the dog was put to death Wednesday.
Hanshaw represented Jasper’s previous owner, Brenda Jeffrey, as the case bounced from local courts in Raleigh County to the state Supreme Court and even the U.S. Supreme Court.
Jeffrey surrendered the Whippet mix to a local Humane Society and pleaded guilty to harboring a vicious animal.
As the case played out, Gov. Jim Justice issued a statement saying his office exhaustively looked into it but West Virginia law didn’t allow him to intervene.

Ahead of debate, Senate leader boosts GOP education plan

By ANTHONY IZAGUIRRE Associated Press
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The leader of the West Virginia Senate on Thursday boosted his broad-based education proposal ahead of the special legislative session debate.
GOP Senate President Mitch Carmichael urged support of his plan at a press conference, holding up signs that detailed West Virginia’s near last rankings in SAT scores and other education benchmarks.
“There is no way to defend this system,” he said at a press conference. “It is past time to act.”
The lengthy Senate Republican proposal allows for charter schools but doesn’t include education vouchers, both of which are opposed by unions and were part of another wide-ranging bill that caused a two-day teacher strike earlier this year.
The legislation also contains a pay raise for teachers, mental health services for students and a provision that would withhold pay for teachers if a school is closed because of a strike.
Carmichael, who pushed hard for the vouchers during the regular session, said they will be proposed in a separate bill when the Senate reconvenes Saturday.
Fred Albert, president of the West Virginia chapter of the American Federation of Teachers, said educators plan to show up at the Capitol when the Senate meets. He said a recent Department of Education report that came at the end of a series of public forums didn’t push for charters or the vouchers and questioned the resurrection of those measures.
“If he’s listening to the report and the citizens, then we wouldn’t have charter schools in this bill,” Albert said. “The citizens of West Virginia spoke, and that’s not what they wanted.”
Republican Gov. Jim Justice called the special session after the legislature failed to agree on education measures in the wake of the two-day teacher strike. He issued a statement supporting the Senate GOP education bill after it was released, saying “I applaud the state Senate for making a significant move in attempting to create a bipartisan approach to education betterment.”
Carmichael has said he wants the Senate to pass the proposals in a single day, suspending a rule that requires bills to be read over the course of three days.
Separately, House of Delegates Speaker Roger Hanshaw on Thursday issued a call for delegates to reconvene June 17. A House spokesman said they would then start working on their own bills as well as any proposals passed by the Senate.

Mega Millions ticket worth $2M sold in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A Mega Millions ticket worth $2 million has been sold in West Virginia.
The West Virginia Lottery says in a news release the ticket for Tuesday’s drawing matched five numbers and missed the Mega Ball number. The ticketholder also paid an extra $1 for the Megaplier option, meaning the prize doubled from $1 million to $2 million. The ticket was sold at the Pilot Flying J in Sutton.
No tickets matched all six numbers in Tuesday’s drawing, pushing Friday’s jackpot to an estimated $444 million.
The numbers drawn Tuesday were 9, 21, 34, 2 and 50, and the gold Mega Ball was 21.

Officials investigate inmate death at West Virginia jail

BARBOURSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) — An official says authorities are investigating a death at the Western Regional Jail in West Virginia.
Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety spokesman Lawrence Messina told The Herald-Dispatch that 28-year-old Brittney Horner suffered a “medical emergency” on May 19 while in the medical unit at the Barbourville jail. He said staff and outside emergency medical technicians responded.
Messina said no cause of death has been determined, but an overdose isn’t suspected. He said officials are waiting for a report from the chief medical examiner.
It is the first death reported at Western Regional Jail this year.
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Information from: The Herald-Dispatch, http://www.herald-dispatch.com

West Virginia woman sentenced for taking disaster funds

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia woman who embezzled disaster benefits from the Federal Emergency Management Agency after heavy flooding more than two years ago has been sentenced to 10 months in prison.
The U.S. attorney’s office says in a statement that 57-year-old Pamela Taylor of Clay County also was ordered during Thursday’s sentencing to pay a $10,000 fine. The statement says Taylor has already paid more than $18,000 in restitution.
Taylor admitted to falsely registering for benefits after the June 2016 flood. Her home wasn’t damaged and she was living in it but claimed it was damaged and she was staying in a rental unit.
In December 2016, Taylor was fired as director of the Clay County Development Corp. after she wrote a Facebook post referring to then-first lady Michelle Obama as an “ape in heels.”

Attorney: US high court shouldn’t review WV impeachment case

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — An attorney for a West Virginia Supreme Court justice is arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court should not take up the question of how states allocate power among their branches of government.
The legal brief comes as the nation’s high court considers an appeal from the West Virginia Senate and the state House of Delegates. The lawmakers are requesting a review of a ruling that halted impeachment proceedings for state Supreme Court justices.
The U.S. Supreme Court asked West Virginia Justice Margaret Workman’s attorney to file a response to the request. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports attorney Marc Williams’ filing Friday argues the matter doesn’t warrant a review because the federal court previously ruled that the distribution of power within state governments was up to individual states, not the federal government.

W.Va. Catholic diocese releases more accused priests’ names

By JOHN RABY Associated Press
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s only Roman Catholic diocese has released the names of two more priests who it says have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse in the state.
The priests are accused of committing the abuse while working at the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. Both are deceased.
One of them, the Rev. Raymond Waldruff, previously was accused of abuse in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Pennsylvania, in the 1960s. Complaints of decades-old abuse were made against him in March in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and in April in the Diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky.
Waldruff served at two churches in north-central West Virginia in the 1970s.
The other priest, the Rev. Andrew F. Lukas, was accusing of abusing a minor in the 1960s. The allegation was reported to the diocese in January.
Eight other priests added to the latest list had claims against them in other regions or dioceses but not in West Virginia. None are in active ministry.
The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register first reported on the updated list, which brings to 40 the number of accused priests or deacons who served in West Virginia.
The diocese posted the list on its website last week. The original list was posted in November.
Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston spokesman Tim Bishop said in a statement Tuesday that the updated list shows “the Diocese’s commitment to transparency and accountability.”
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a lawsuit in March accusing the diocese and former Bishop Michael Bransfield of knowingly employing pedophiles and failing to conduct adequate background checks on camp and school workers.
Morrisey said in a statement that the diocese quietly updated the original listing without immediately trumpeting its release.
“If the Diocese truly sought closure and healing for victims, it would make good on its obligation to announce updates to its findings so those victimized would feel empowered to seek counseling and know they are not alone,” Morrisey said.
Instead, “the Diocese appears fixated upon its goal of minimizing this scandal with limited publicity about wrongdoing and maximum publicity of its public relations campaign to protect the Church.”

West Virginia man charged with stealing car, ambulance

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia man accused of stealing a car and then an ambulance has been arrested.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports Kenneth Wayne Nottingham of the Roane County community of Pigeon has been jailed on charges of grand larceny and receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle.
Authorities say the 30-year-old Nottingham was first caught Sunday after stealing a woman’s car from her driveway. Police took him to the Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital for an evaluation, but on Monday he left the hospital, hopped inside an ambulance and took off.
The newspaper cites a criminal complaint that says Nottingham told an officer he took the ambulance “to get a ride home from the hospital.” He was arrested in Clay County.
It’s unclear if Nottingham has an attorney.
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Information from: The Charleston Gazette-Mail, http://wvgazettemail.com.

West Virginia Senate to meet Saturday on education

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Senate is set to reconvene later this week for the special legislative session on education.
Republican Senate President Mitch Carmichael said Tuesday that he’s going to call the chamber back in to vote on a broad-based education proposal Saturday.
Carmichael released a draft of the bill last week and asked senators to review the bill so they can take up the legislation Saturday.
The measure includes a pay raise for teachers, mental health services for students and a provision that would withhold pay for teachers if a school is closed because of a strike.
Republican Gov. Jim Justice has praised the bill, saying it’s a bipartisan approach.
Senate Democratic Minority Leader Roman Prezioso has said he’s happy to have common ground on which to move forward.

West Virginia man accused in slaying arrested in N Carolina

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A West Virginia man accused in a slaying has been arrested in North Carolina.
News outlets report 24-year-old Jalen Malik Alexander was arrested Tuesday by Winston-Salem police. He’s charged with first-degree murder in the May 17 death of 22-year-old Maurice Emmanuel Webster.
Beckley, West Virginia, police have said Webster was shot an area apartment complex and later died from his injuries. Authorities haven’t released a motive behind the slaying or said why Alexander was in North Carolina.
Alexander was being held Tuesday at a county jail in North Carolina. He’s set to appear in court June 13 and is awaiting extradition to West Virginia. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer.